During 2015 I undertook a photographic project at Temple Newsam. A park near Leeds. Visiting and recording what I saw during a 12 month period. I took around 500 photographs. Unfortunately one evening in a moment of self doubt or was it a fit of pique. Never mind, the consequence was that I seem to have deleted most of them. I wish I hadn’t but there you go. I’m in the process of sorting through what I have left.
My idea was to show the park throughout the year. I started on January 1st and ended on December 31st. The first time I posted them they were in order. Unfortunately this time around they are in no particular order.
Temple Newsam and its environs have changed a lot in my lifetime as the nearby city has encroached upon its land. There are though quiet days and quiet corners that seem timeless. I have photos that my Dad took in the early 1960’s that are almost identical to those I took fifty years later.
The estate these days is almost surrounded by massive warehouses, roads and housing. All built on what had once been open countryside. I have opinions on most things this park included. I did though with this series of photographs just want to show different aspects of what I think is the jewel in the crown (if not a little faded) of Leeds Parks.
Temple Newsam came into Leeds city councils ownership in the 1920’s. The house is a Tudor/Jacobean and houses with many fine pieces of furniture and works or art. There are extensive grounds originally designed by Lancelot Capability brown in the 1760’s. It is a lovely park with extensive gardens and and has miles of path and tracks. There is a working rare breeds farm, a golf course, sports fields, children’s play area. Everything you would want from a city park.
The earliest photo I have from the park is as a baby being taken there by my parents. I have visited ever since. Sometimes daily, sometimes not so often. Long walks on cooler, damper days would have to be my favourite. If you’re lucky you can almost have the place to yourself. Well that;s how it feels. I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of people with a mile or so.
There was no real reason for my photo project in 2015. I needed exercise, loved the park and wanted to record what I saw during that twelve month period. I decided on three hundred photos throughout the year. Sadly due to my stupidity many are lost. I hope though you have enjoyed what is left. One amazing thing that happened during the year was that I met my labrador dog. I had been caring for a series of older dogs and wanted a companion to share my strolls around the park with. The local dog re-homing charity had the most gorgeous five year old labrador. Unwanted and bursting with energy, she joined me in May and we explored the park together. I may even have another go at the project in 2020 and this time not destroy the photos.