|Heslington Hall from Country Life (1900)|
|Heslington Hall Gardens, from Country Life (1900)|
The hall and gardens have been well documented and have often been admired throughout history. This can be demonstrated by its appearance in Country Life Magazine twice - once in 1900 and again in 1913 whilst still a family home and then in 1971 when the university had been built.
In its first appearance in Country Life in 1900, the gardens are praised for “occupy(ing) a notable place in the history of English gardening.” We are given a scenic tour of the grounds, and witness the elegant sculptures and flowers that it contains. The large lake was also a source of pleasure and we can see in the photo someone boating on it. Although we may recognise some elements such as the yew trees, these used to be more extensive and stretched right up to the front of the house and were described as “fantastic yews, unlike anything else ever seen on sea or land".
Looking at these articles it is interesting to compare the vastly different ways the landscape around the hall has changed and been adapted. But despite this as you walk around the campus today, you can still make out some of the old elements of the hall and its “garden world of strange character”.
In the later edition of Country Life published in 1971 the
university is now the focus, and the article chronicles the transformation of
the landscapes of Heslington Hall from elegant gardens to university campus. It
is not critical of this change and describes the new vista as “one of the most
original landscapes created in Britain this century has yet to attract the
attention it deserves”.
|Heslington Hall Lake, from Country Life (1900)|
This post was written by Martha Cattell, one of our student interns.