Harewood House Trust has embarked on a major project to reimagine historic landscapes and gardens, build a new playground and create a new visitor welcome space at the popular stately home visitor attraction north of Leeds.

Harewood, the historic home of the Earl and Countess of Harewood and now run by the independent educational charity Harewood House Trust, welcomes over 250,000 visitors a year to enjoy the Grade I listed House, nationally-significant Gardens and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscapes.

The Trust are embarking on a significant new project to repurpose the Bakehouse, a Grade-II listed building, into a new welcome centre with visitor facilities and a family activity space. The renovated Bakehouse will sit within beautiful new gardens that celebrate seasonal planting and sustainable gardening techniques, extending down to Harewood’s Lake through the former Bird Garden site. In the renewed landscape, the old play area will be replaced with an imaginative and inclusive Playground with appeal for all ages and abilities.

The project will be led by Bauman Lyons Architects, a Yorkshire-based firm with extensive experience in renovating listed buildings and a deep understanding of heritage and conservation, with recent projects including the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill and Hull Minster.

Guy Smith of Bauman Lyons comments: “We are delighted to collaborating with the client and wider design team on this exciting new scheme at Harewood. It is a great privilege to be working on one of Yorkshire’s most important and beautiful estates.”

The gardens and landscapes will be designed by the Landscape Agency in partnership with award-winning garden designer Matthew Wilson.  The Landscape Agency have worked with the Royal Horticultural Society, National Trust and English Heritage, as well as Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Castle Howard and Bramham Park.

Matthew Wilson is an award-winning garden and landscape designer, writer, radio and television broadcaster and lecturer. He has extensive garden design experience having worked on a wealth of projects from small urban gardens to master planning estates. Matthew’s 2016 garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, entitled ‘God’s Own Country – A Garden for Yorkshire’, won the esteemed People’s Choice Award, which was followed by a Gold award at the 2022 Shenzhen Flower Show.

He has also authored three books on gardens and garden design, written for the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Independent and has been a regular panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time since 2009.

Harewood House Trust will also be commissioning a play design agency to create an inclusive play space inspired by Harewood’s history and setting.

Matthew Wilson commented: “It’s fantastic to be working on this prestigious and important project. Harewood House is a much loved part of Yorkshire’s heritage with national and international significance, so to be able to contribute to the reframing of part of the landscape is a real privilege, and along with my colleagues at The Landscape Agency is a challenge we relish.”

Rachel Crewes, CEO of Harewood House Trust, comments: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of such impressive teams at the outset of this project. Their combined experience of creatively developing public heritage spaces, with great sensitivity to conservation, sustainability and accessibility, will undoubtedly deliver fantastic enhancements to Harewood’s visitor offer. The project kickstarts an exciting time of growth for our independent educational charity and we are excited to share our vision.”

The project is support by the Lascelles Family Will Trust.

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