History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: A ground-breaking late 17th century garden, precursor of the English landscape garden
Garden highlights include:
The ChapelAt the rear of the house stands this classical temple, built in 1760 by James Paine. Four Ionic columns define a 3-bay front facade and give access to an inner chamber than spans the full width of the building. The name may be confusing; the building was intended as a folly in the style of a Palladian temple. It later served as an orangery, then a summerhouse, before it was consecrate as a chapel in 1907, a function it still serves.
The Open TempleBuilt in the early 18th century in limestone ashlar as a single cell with a 3-bay pedimented front facade. The temple is sometimes called the Lead Lads Temple after the lead statues that original stood on the pediment. The statues were unfortunately stolen and never recovered.
The Gothic TempleThis octagonal 18th century temple is also built of limestone ashlar. It stands 2 storeys high with corner buttresses. The temple was converted into a water tower in 1907 to supply water to the house. It served to hold the water supply until after WWII.
The RotundaThis circular temple in Ionic style stands in the Black Fen pleasure ground. It dates to the mid-18th century and was probably designed by Jasmes Paine. From the Rotunda six paths radiate out to other landscape features.
Bramham Park HouseThe house itself was built by an unknown architect in the style of a 16th century Florentine villa. Robert Benson was heavily influenced by a grand tour of Italy he took in 1697 and he wanted a house to reflect the classical Italian architecture he had seen on his travels. The house is neither Palladian (too early) nor Baroque, but falls somewhere in between. The result is a central block linked to flanking wings by colonnades. One wing held the kitchen, the other housed the chapel, symbolically balancing the needs of body and spirit. The striking central hall rises 2 storeys through the central block, and still bears the marks of a devastating fire of 1828.
The house has remained in Benson family hands since it was built, but only by passing sideways on several occasions. One of the owners was George Lane-Fox, an P for Beverley knows as 'The Gambler' for his profligate lifestyle. The house suffered a serious fire in 1828 and stood derelict and empty for 80 years until it was restored in 1908 by another George Lane-Fox, grandson of the first.
A subsequent owner was yet another George Lane Fox, who established the Bramham Horse Trials in 1974. In addition to the prestigious hors trials, Bramham is home to the annual Leeds Festival.
The gardens are regularly open to visitors, but both the house and garden are open by appointment at most times of the year.
About Bramham Park
Address: Bramham, Yorkshire, England, LS23 6ND
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: Just off the A1(M)
Website: Bramham Park
Historic Houses Association
Photo Credit: John Davidson, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Lead, St Mary's Church - 4.1 miles (Historic Church)
Harewood House - 6.9 miles (Historic House)
Temple Newsam House - 6.9 miles (Historic House)
Harewood, All Saints - 6.9 miles (Historic Church)
Cowthorpe, St Michael's Church - 6.9 miles (Historic Church)
Spofforth Castle - 7.2 miles (Castle)
Steeton Hall Gateway - 7.4 miles (Historic Building)
Leeds, St John the Evangelist - 8.6 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Bramham Park:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')
Wetherby Library & Tourist Information Centre
Tel: 01937 583 144