Rare game larder restored on the grounds of Brodsworth Hall

PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 August 2018

Matthew Lester of English Heritage outside the restored game larder at Brodsworth Hall Photo: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Matthew Lester of English Heritage outside the restored game larder at Brodsworth Hall Photo: Anthony Chappel-Ross

ACR

A long forgotten part of game keeping is uncovered in the grounds of a South Yorkshire country house

Ellie Matthews, collections curator at English Heritage wheels a restored game cart Photo: Anthony Chappel-RossEllie Matthews, collections curator at English Heritage wheels a restored game cart Photo: Anthony Chappel-Ross

A rare game larder, once used for storing the spoils of the shooting season, has been restored at Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster. The octagonal shaped building sits in the award-winning gardens and is within walking distance of the kitchen which would have made it much easier for kitchen staff to fetch freshly shot game such as pheasant, grouse and hare.

The larder was restored by curatorial and gardening staff at English Heritage as part of a wider conservation project at the hall. They researched historical documents including game books, oral history recordings and historical photographs of the larder to find out more about who would have used it. Timber repairs were made, the roof was re-covered, the inner mesh to the sides was reinstated and the stones it stands on repaired or replaced. The inside of the larder has also been improved.

When it was built, the larder was set under shady trees with louvered sides for ventilation and raised on supports to deter vermin. Inside it game was hung from rods and there was a small table for the head keeper to complete his records. The structure remains on its original site – on the route along the back drive and close enough to kitchen, scullery, inner game larder in the cellar and the gun room by the back door to be handy for staff preparing meals.

New interpretation panels have been suspended from the rails from which the game would once have hung. More is now understood about the lives of the former owners and employees, from game keepers and gardeners to kitchen maids and cooks. An oral history speaker outside the larder allows visitors to hear former staff talking about plucking pheasants and deterring poachers.

Former head gardener, Ernest Swift. Photo: Edwards FamilyFormer head gardener, Ernest Swift. Photo: Edwards Family

Brodsworth Hall and gardens were the creation of Charles Sabine Thellusson in the 1860s, whose aspirational tastes were reflected throughout the estate. Eleanor Matthews, curator of collections and interiors at the hall said: ‘The estate was transformed into a model Victorian gentleman’s estate in the 1860s with the new house and gardens surrounded by parkland. Shooting was the family’s main leisure activity in winter and formed a large part of their social life at Brodsworth. The Thellussons spent a large proportion of their estate income on ensuring good sport. They planted and maintained the woods, and employed up to 10 gamekeepers providing them with rent free cottages, suits, guns, and allowances of ale and cheese. The keepers reared and protected pheasants and organised drives for the shooting party. Structures like the game larder, game keeper’s cottage and kennels helped the estate run efficiently. The larder was used for hanging game within easy access of the kitchens. Working on this project has helped us to understand more about life on the Brodsworth estate.’

Dan Hale, head gardener at Brodsworth Hall said they used photographs of former staff standing in front of the game larder to help them restore the surrounding gardens. ‘We got one of the garden team to stand in the exact spot to make sure that each tree was planted in the same place. This has been a brilliant team effort and we are thrilled with the way that it looks,’ said Dan. He and his team have planted pine trees, strawberry trees and 2,000 snowdrops on either side of the path leading to the larder.

www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/brodsworth-hall-and-gardens

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 00:00

The first ever National GetOutside Day takes place on Sunday 30 September with the aim of getting 1 million people active outdoors across the UK.

Read more
Mon, 00:00

There’s lots going on in Wakefield so visitors shouldn’t just confine their visit to the nationally famous Hepworth gallery, says Tony Greenway.

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Flamborough might be small but it has a big beach bag full of fun stuff for visitors to do

Read more
Flamborough
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Enjoy this walk with its secretive paths through shady woods starting from a classic North York Moors village

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Gateway to the Dales can be the perfect base for a walking holiday around the Yorkshire Dales, this selection of walks are all within a ten mile radius of the market town.

Read more
Skipton
Monday, September 10, 2018

Ambitious plans are going ahead to create new and unique public gardens that will inspire your own planting

Read more
York
Thursday, September 6, 2018

There’s much more to Leyburn than you might expect, as Martin Pilkington discovered when he joined the growing throng of visitors.

Read more
Leyburn
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

There are plenty of reasons for the obvious pride locals have in Brighouse

Read more
Brighouse
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Organisers of the 160th Great Yorkshire Show welcome many thousands of visitors to their anniversary extravaganzer

Read more
Great Yorkshire Show
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The hidden life below the waves is vital to the wildlife above it. Clea Grady from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust takes a peek into the North Sea

Read more

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Property Search