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.