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Play, Landscape and Bake House Transformation Project

Harewood House Trust has embarked on an exciting and major project to reimagine key historic landscapes and gardens, build a new playground and create a new visitor welcome space.

We are thrilled to announce this significant project which will transform the area to the west of the House.

First, we will create an imaginative and inclusive new playground with appeal for all ages and abilities. In a second phase, the Bake House, the Grade-II listed building that sits between the car park and the Playground, will be repurposed into a new welcome centre with visitor facilities and a family activity space. It 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.

An innovative new playground

Harewood’s Adventure Playground is a beloved part of the site, and we are looking forward to rejuvenating our play offer with an imaginative and accessible new space, inspired by Harewood’s history and eventually integrating seamlessly with the beautiful new landscape. We are planning for it to be ready by summer 2024, and will be planning alternative play options for you to enjoy if the current playground has to be closed at any point.

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A new welcome centre

Originally a small building that contributed to the House’s kitchens, then extended over the years for residential use, we have appointed Bauman Lyons Architects to reimagine the historic Bake House as a welcome space for visitors, as well as lead the overall project vision. Bauman Lyons are a Yorkshire-based firm with extensive experience in renovating listed buildings and a deep sensitivity for heritage and conservation, having recently worked with the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill and Hull Minster.

New gardens and a transformed landscape

Drawing on the seasonality and sustainable gardening techniques that are already a priority at Harewood, an extensive area from the car park down to the Lake and encompassing the old Bird Garden site will be relandscaped to create wonderful new gardens for our visitors to enjoy. The Landscape Agency will lead on this aspect, in collaboration with award-winning garden designer Matthew Wilson, who many will know from his books, features in national print and television, and regular appearances on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time.

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The Bake House and Landscape elements of the project will be developed in a second phase, opening in spring/summer 2025.

We are grateful to the Lascelles Family Will Trust for part funding this project, and we will also be seeking additional funding to allow us to deliver this ambitious plan.

What’s next?

Soon we will be inviting our Members and visitors to give their thoughts on the initial plans created by this talented team of designers. If you’d like to be involved, stay up to date on our new mailing lists:

Sign up to the Play Project mailing list for special updates on the new Playground, plans for the family activity space in the Bake House and exclusive first look events when the new play areas open.

Sign up to the Gardens Project mailing list for the latest news from the garden design team, with thoughts on how they’re approaching this exciting opportunity, and invitations to events with Matthew Wilson and Harewood’s Head Gardener, Trevor Nicholson.