'Menagerie at Wakefield's Nostell is a forgotten world'

Nostell has launched a fun creative competition inviting people to help bring alive its many treasured spaces.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 5:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 5:24 pm
Nostell
Nostell

And each week the Express will include a feature on one of Nostell’s nine “worlds”.

The National Trust property is calling on children, young people and adults to come up with wonderful works representing one of the Nine Worlds of Nostell, for local people to enjoy along with visitors from all over the world.

This week we feature the Menagerie Garden.

Parkland and Gardens Manager Paul Dibb counts the Menagerie Garden as one of his favourite places. He said: “Amid tranquil seclusion of this garden, it’s easy to escape the daily grind and become immersed in seasonal delights like wisteria and magnolia, or in tales told long ago yet somehow etched into the statues of magnificent creatures that once roamed here.”

Through the gothic archway lies a long-forgotten world housed within the historic menagerie garden.

Within stone walls and beneath a woodland canopy, the garden was created in 1743 and is still home to flora and fauna nurtured by generations past.

It bares traces of the majestic animals who once lived within yards of humans in the now abandoned menagerie house, designed by Robert Adam, and on a quiet morning you can almost hear the distant chatter of monkeys, colourful birds and the roar of the famous lioness.

An 1812 poster boasts that Nostell’s ‘black-eyed lioness’ featured in a fair held in nearby Pontefract and became ‘completely unmanageable’ once the clock struck 4pm each day.

The National Trust property is calling on children, young people and adults to come up with wonderful works representing one of the Nine Worlds of Nostell, for local people to enjoy along with visitors from all over the world.

Shortlisted pieces will appear in a special exhibition in the courtyard, with winning works set to feature on new posters and other marketing materials for all to see and love for years to come.

Visit Nostell’s website for details of how to enter, before the closing date of 9pm on September 9, and look out for special features on each of the nine worlds.