About Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire is one of England‘s most complete surviving Victorian country houses and has remained almost unchanged since the 1860s. Not only has Victorian life been ‘conserved as found’ at Brodsworth Hall, but the estate’s pleasure gardens have been restored, boasting a unique Rose garden.
Today, this Grade I listed building offers visitors a rare glimpse into the story of people who lived and worked at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens.
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens history
While Brodsworth Hall and Gardens are known as a Victorian time-capsule, the house and village lay where settlements have been since the Iron Age. The Romans popularly used a major route along the ridge to travel north to their garrison that later became Doncaster.
The house and land was owned by several notable families from the Norman time until the 17th century, when the owner Darcy Wentworth of Brodsworth became involved in the English Civil War on the Parliamentarian side. What the manor at Brodsworth looked like at this time is unknown.
The estate was bought in 1791 by Peter Thellusson, from a long established European mercantile family. His grandson, Charles Sabine Thellusson inherited Brodworth and was a leading yachtsman who needed a house to suit a family with an extensive social life. By the end of the 1860s, the remodelling was complete and Brodsworth was an impressive Italianate-style Victorian mansion.
In the 20th century however, the great estate was too expensive to manage and faced an uncertain future. Major work was needed to make it safe and bring the gardens back from their jungle-like state. English Heritage took charge of Brodsworth Hall and Gardens in 1990, and it opened to the public in 1995.
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens today
Today, what visitors see at Brodsworth is what has been stabilised, cleaned and conserved to tell the entire history of the Victorian house and gardens. Visitors can tour the house, seeing objects that transport us back to the splendid Victorian age. Highlights include the folding bed, Hadlock’s Horse, Italian sculptures and magnificent family portraits along with lavish furnishings.
The pleasure gardens – stretching 6 hectares wide – reflect the house’s Italianate style and boast spacious lawns and terraces with marble steps. Wandering around you will find white marble statues popping out of the greenery at you, as well as a 3-tier fountain, a rockwork grotto and garden buildings, all lined by fabulous topiary.
Expect to spend a morning or afternoon touring the property, open between 10am and 5pm, with Guided Taster Tours at 11am and 12pm during the April to November season.
Getting to Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens are easily found when driving, just off the A1 at the Doncaster Bypass and along the B6422 until you reach Brodsworth village. There is parking on site. Alternately, the 203 bus from Wombwell and Highgate stop at the top of the lane.