A Place to Sit and Reflect by fishers

A Place to Sit and Reflect

The parkland at Temple Newsam was re-landscaped in the 1760s by Capability Brown, but there was always a threat to the landscape as quite close to the surface there were beds of coal.

Other parts of the wider estate had coal extracted from the 17th Century. Estate records show the existence of coal pits in and around the park in the seventeenth century and Bell Wood to the south of the house would have had bell pits for coal extraction. A colliery at Halton village was leased to a number of different individuals from 1660 through to at least the 1790s. The leases generally required the leaseholder to supply coal to Temple Newsam house.

In 1815, William Fenton, one of the 'Coal Kings' of Yorkshire, began the sinking of a mine shaft on the estate at Thorpe Stapleton. The colliery was named Waterloo to commemorate the famous battle of that year. Deep coal mining on the estate ended with the closure of the Temple Pit of Waterloo Main Colliery in 1968.

Opencast mining on the estate began in May 1942. Seven sites were exploited to the south of the house almost entirely destroying Capability Brown's landscape. One site reached within 330 feet (100 metres) of the South Terrace. It continued at the Gamblethorpe site as far as Dawson's Wood, in full view of the house, until 1987. No trace of the opencast mining remains now as the parkland was re-landscaped when mining finished, and it is a tribute to the restorers that it is now hard to imagine that coal mining ever took place here.

I always find it a delight to walk through the grounds towards the lakes. There is always so much to see and places to sit and consider life the universe and everything! On the other hand its great just to sit and perhaps dream or doze.

In the words of AA Milne - “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits...”

Great capture, reflections and history
August 10th, 2020  
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