Temple Newsam House

Learn fascinating facts about past residents who lived and worked at Temple Newsam House.

Please note that some areas of Temple Newsam House remain closed. We are working on how to open all areas safely in line with government guidance.

We currently have a one way visitor route in place which takes visitors through over 20 rooms inside the house. For visitor safety we have removed our audio guides and are not offering dressing up.

Please check this page regularly for updates.

Social history

The house captures over 500 years of history and this is key to the visitor experience. It is brought to life by telling the stories of the people who lived and worked there, through all art forms including digital, music, theatre and fine art. The collections show how the house was used as a family home, which was once birthplace to Lord Darnley, notorious husband of Mary Queen of Scots.

Interiors and collections

Following extensive restoration, over 40 interiors now display one of the most important collections of fine and decorative arts in Britain which were designated as being of pre-eminent importance in 1997: the first country house to be recognised in this way. It is a treasure house of outstanding collections including furniture, ceramics, textiles, silver and wallpaper.

The collection has been built up since 1923 when the estate was bought from the Hon. Edward Wood (later the Earl of Halifax) by the city of Leeds and developed as a country house museum, to restore the house and its fine collections to its earlier glory. Despite the sale of many of the furnishings in 1922, the basis of the contents of Temple Newsam House today is still the family collection. This has been added to over the years and now makes up one of the finest publicly owned collections of English decorative art outside London.


Families can pick up a free craft pack at the end of their visit to complete at home.

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