Study day at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Posted on November 28th, 2011 by Charles Boot
Sep ’12
10:00 am

Study day at Yorkshire Sculpture Park:
Bretton Hall estate, C18–C21

AGT and Yorkshire Gardens Trust Study Day, in association with YSP and GHS
Friday 21 September

Following recent changes in the ownership of Bretton Hall, and after decades of divided management of the designed landscape, the whole has now been brought into the care of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. An ambitious project to open up access, and restore both natural and built features, was begun in 2011.

Hidden in woodland in the outer reaches of the landscape Andy Goldsworthy made some fantastic interventions in the Bretton Hall landscape in 2007. Picture by Charles Boot.

Outclosure lies hidden in woodland in the outer reaches of the landscape; Andy Goldsworthy made some fantastic interventions in the Bretton Hall landscape in 2007. Picture by Charles Boot.

The Study Day will trace the history of the Bretton Hall gardens and park through the eighteenth century and the early decades of the 1800s, focussing on the major landscaping of the park in the mid to late 1700s by Sir Thomas Wentworth (later Blackett); and the subsequent developments under Diana Beaumont, Sir Thomas’s daughter. The Sculpture Park, established in the 1970s, has enlivened the landscape anew, winning both accolades and affection from its many visitors, culminating in being voted Yorkshire’s Most Magnificent Attraction 2011. It now embraces a new challenge, marrying restoration and conservation with contemporary sculpture and artists’ projects. Talks in the morning will be followed by guided walks around the gardens and park after lunch.

Our speakers are Karen Lynch on ‘Happily situated, in an elegant style’: two generations of landscape development at Bretton c.1760–1830; Karen looks at the transformation of the Dearne valley with the creation of two lakes and the embellishment of the park with a range of ornamental structures. Along the way she will introduce two interesting creators of this landscape, Sir Thomas Blackett and his daughter Diana Beaumont.

Dr Jan Woudstra on Robert Marnock at Bretton Hall (c.1827–1834); the nineteenth-century horticulturalist and landscape designer Robert Marnock commenced his career at Bretton Hall. Jan explores the conditions at the estate when Marnock arrived, and tries to establish his contribution to the estate between his arrival and departure in 1834.

In Layered Land, Dr Helen Pheby (curator, YSP) will discuss the current activity on the site of the Bretton estate in relation to its history, and will demonstrate how the designed landscape of Bretton is not simply considered a backdrop for showing sculpture but a continuous source of inspiration for both the appreciation and creation of art.

Cost: £50, including tea/coffee; sandwich buffet lunch; car parking; 10% discount in the YSP contemporary design shop.

To book a place please complete the Booking Form available on AGT and GHS websites and from the AGT office or: 020 7251 2610

You can download a partial copy of the YSP historic Landscape Management Plan here: it’s in 17 small parts and has some useful pictures, maps and plans. Good pre-symposium reading, though disappointing if you want any clues as to how the historic designed landscape is to be conserved and integrated with the YSP. This published section seems to be mainly aimed at conservation and protection of wildlife rather than the historic designed landscape which has been its home for the last 500+ years. Presumably the historic designed landscape and its features are covered in the 200+ pages not included here?

Alternatively you can download a brochure (also available on site) about the estate.

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