Normanby Hall Country Park is comprised of 300 acres of parkland, a Regency mansion, a farming museum and a Victorian walled garden.
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Normanby Hall was the home of the Sheffield family for over 400 years, former Dukes of Buckingham. They built Buckingham House in London and sold it to George III. It is now known as Buckingham Palace. In the 1820s Sir Robert Sheffield demolished the existing house at Normanby in the 1820s and built the house now on site. In Normanby’s rooms are collections of Regency, Victorian and Edwardian furniture accumulated over the centuries. The house was designed by Sir Robert Smirke and built between 1825-1830. Between 1906-1908 it was extended and altered using the designs of Walter Brierley.
Snowdrops, daffodils, and rhododendrons dot the parkland. In the woodland are mature beeches, oaks and sweet chestnuts. Of special note are the Tulip tree, the Handkerchief tree and the Holm Oak, rarely found as far north as Normanby. The grounds are replete with dozens of species of birds, butterflies, wild flowers and unusual types of fungi.
Visitors can enjoy self-guided nature trails in the grounds. Adding to the attractions is a deer park with red and fallow deer. Also in the grounds are an original ice house, a Victorian laundry, and coach house and stables.
The one acre Victorian walled garden was built in 1817 and restored in 1997. Victorian vegetable, flower and trainer fruit varieties are grown using traditional organic techniques. In the glasshouses are exotic ornamentals and luxury fruits like grapes and peaches. In the potting shed, bothy and head gardener's office are re-created working and living areas. On the south facing wall of the garden are glasshouses. The central pathway is lined with double herbaceous borders and spanned by wrought iron hoops supporting roses, clematis and honeysuckle. Trained apples and pears grow on the hoops over the main crossing path and also on the garden walls.
There is a collection of Victorian and scented leaf pelargoniums. In the vinery Victorian varieties of grapes are grown. The rear wall of the garden is home to passion flowers and clematis. A sub-tropical bed, outside the vinery, has displays of cannas, palms, dahlias, castor oil plants, and other species. In the Fern House are tender ferns and orchids. The Display House holds exotic ornamentals from all over the world. Near the walled garden is a living willow tunnel.
The Farming Museum gives visitors an insight into past rural life in North Lincolnshire. Large scale agricultural machinery such as binders and reapers are on display as well as smaller items such as fiddle drills and carding machines. There’s a re-created farm worker's kitchen, a wheelwright and coffin maker's workshop, a blacksmith's and a saddler's.
A miniature railway operates most Sundays in the summer. Children can enjoy the adventure playground.
Normanby Hall Museum and Country Park
Four miles from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire
Tel. 0 1724 720 588
Open: hall and museum, April-end Sep, daily, 1-5pm; park and playground, daily, 9am-dusk; walled garden daily, 10.30am--5pm
Tea-room; shop; caravan site; visitor centre; special events; adventure playground; duck ponds; peacocks; parking
Web: Normanby Hall Country Park