Brodsworth Hall’s elegant hallways, ornate drawing rooms, and sparkling crystal chandeliers have faded over the years but otherwise have been unchanged by time. The grand home still has its furniture and contents intact.
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The Brodsworth estate was purchased by a banker, Peter Thellusson in the 1760s. He built a home on the property, however when he died he left the house and property in trust to accumulate (he had approximately £34 million in today’s money). 60 years later, after protracted family legal battles, the estate passed to Charles S. A. Thellusson who demolished the house. He then proceeded to build a new one (1861-63) in the classical style of the Italian palazzo. The limestone quarries on the estate were used for the stone. The house boasted gas lighting and indoor plumbing.
An entrance hall contains the staircase, scagliola columns and pilasters, and walls in faux marble. On the floor were Minton tiles. Around the room was a collection of 19th century Italian sculpture. The dining room has Dutch painting and the library is replete with a thousand leather bound books. A kitchen wing and servants’ wing were built for the 15 servants who served the Thellusson couple and their six children. Bedrooms are also open for viewing.
With the death of Charles Thellusson in 1885, the house quickly passed through his four sons, none of whom had heirs. A nephew, Charles Grant-Dalton and his wife Sylvia inherited, and she lived here until her death in 1988. English Heritage was presented with the estate by her daughter.
The Victorian grand gardens in miniature contain a summerhouse, croquet lawn, terraces, statues, an alpine garden, winter evergreens, and historic rose collection. There is a quarry garden, fern dell and an old archery house with an exhibition on the gardens. A pet cemetery is an unusual feature of the gardens.
In the spring visitors can enjoy snowdrops. A laburnum arch and summer bedding plants are other garden features. Other garden features are a wild flower meadow and thyme garden. A church sits in the wooded grounds.
Brodsworth, 5 miles north-west of Doncaster, Yorkshire
Tel. info line 01302 724 969; office 01302 722 598
Open: house, April-end Oct, daily, and BH, 11am-5pm; gardens/tea-room/shop/servants' wing, April-end Sep, daily, 10am-6pm; Nov-first week Feb, daily, 10am-4pm; second week Feb-end March, check EH website
English Heritage property; tea-room, shop; parking; special events
Photos of exterior, garden and fountain, flowers © by Barbara Ballard. Photo of staircase by Richard Croft courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland