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Sewerby Hall & Gardens (England)

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Address: Church Lane / Sewerby / Bridlington / East Yorkshire / YO15 1EA / Telephone: 01262 673769

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      05.11.2007 08:23
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      A grand country house in East Yorkshire

      Sewerby Hall and its park and gardens lie approximately 2 miles (3Km) to the north of the popular seaside resort of Bridlington in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The park covers an area of 50 acres and was formerly the grounds of Sewerby Hall, which sits on the edge of this park.

      Sewerby Hall is an example of a grand country house that dates from the early part of the 18th century. John Graeme built it between 1714 and 1720 with an extension added between 1808 and 1811. During this latter period bow wings were added to the existing house and a portico was created. Whilst inside the house a new dining room was created and glass house, later used as an orangery was also added.

      There are fantastic views from the edge of this park and looking northwards you can see the white chalk cliffs of Flamborough head and the sheer sea cliffs at Bempton. Looking southwards you can see the town of Bridlington and beyond this it is said that on a clear day you can even see the lighthouse at the tip of Spurn Point 45 miles away (65 Km). I do however despite this claim as I have not seen quite as far as the lighthouse from here, but there is no denying that you can for many miles from here.

      The gardens are very ornate and there are hundreds of beautiful flower beds, woodland areas and formal terraces. There are several well sign-posted walks around here of varying length and degrees of difficulty, although almost all of them are reasonably flat and suitable for wheelchairs. Sewerby Park is famous for its South American Monkey Puzzle Trees, which are over 200 years old.

      Within the park there is a large children's play area, a zoo and an aviary. All of these are free to enter but there is a charge to park in the car park. The park also hosts many special events and there are also sometimes charges for these. When I was here over the recent August bank holiday weekend there was a vintage car show.

      Sewerby Park is a lovely place to stroll around but it can get rather busy at popular times when the weather is nice. There are several small themed gardens that include the Rose Garden, Formal Gardens and an Old English Garden. One of the features of the Rose Garden is a large fishpond that contains some of the largest Koi Carp that I have ever seen. The Formal Gardens has some interesting wooden carvings that include a group of Deer.

      The Walled Garden here is a perfect piece of symmetrical horticulturism. Here you will find a large display of shrubs and flowers that are enclosed within neatly cropped hedgerows.

      The Sewerby gardens are a popular place for wedding photographs to be taken but there is a variety of other activities available here to suit just about anyone including several picnic areas.

      My main reason for visiting Sewerby Park is usually to walk around the zoo. This is quite small but since it is free to visit it should not be overlooked. The footpath through the zoo takes a circular walk around this complex. There is an aviary with Parrots, Macaws, Pheasants and colourful Finches and this leads you into a central courtyard which were formally stables. Within these former stables there are Pigs, Goats and Horses and there are also toilets, a gift shop and a small café.

      Leading out of the aviary and the courtyard of the stables there are some open fields where you can see Wallabies, Emus and a few other larger animals. Perhaps the most popular area however is the Penguin pool. There are about a dozen Humboldt Penguins here and if you time it right you can watch them being fed. Directly behind the Penguins there are some small Monkeys in cages.

      I love this little zoo. It is a very good place to chill out and in addition to the animals on display in the cages there are Peacocks and Guinea Fowl that wander around freely. Since it is only a small Zoo the animals are not in cramped conditions and they seem to be reasonably happy. Many of them have been brought here from other establishments, often from places where their environment was less idyllic. It is also possible to adopt an animal here, with prices staring from about £5 a month.

      Sewerby Hall is owned by the East Riding of Yorkshire County Council and is now open as a historic house/museum having been preserved for future generations to enjoy. It has been fully restored to how it would have originally looked in its heyday. There are however admission prices to enter the house, which are currently as follows:

      Adult - £3.80 (5.7 Euros)
      Child - £1.80 (2.7 Euros)
      Family ticket - £10.00 (15 Euros)

      There are various different areas of the house that have been recreated to represent different periods within its life. On the ground floor there are Georgian, Regency or Victorian rooms. There is also an exhibition about the local history of this area. Two of these areas are known as the Swinton room and the Halifax room.

      The Swinton Room and the orangery are now used for civil marriages and they have proved to be a popular choice of venue. These same rooms are also uses for a variety of other functions too, including, concerts and piano recitals, educational activities, art workshops, seminars, meetings and even tea dances.

      The first floor of the house is almost entirely dedicated to Amy Johnson. Amy's father donated this collection of articles to the house in 1958, although further items have been added since this date. Amy Johnson is a local hero, who became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and also the first woman to fly solo to Australia.

      On the second floor of the house there is the mayor's palace, which contains several items including Royal pottery and paintings.

      Sewerby Hall is a grade 1 listed building and today it is a major tourist attraction in the East Riding of Yorkshire, attracting over 150,000 visitors a year.

      Sewerby Hall and its park and gardens makes a great day out for the whole family and is highly recommended.

      Sewerby Hall & Gardens
      Church Lane
      Sewerby
      Nr Bridlington
      YO15 1EA

      Telephone: (01262)673769

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      On display are history/archaeology pieces, art exhibits and a collection of trophies and momentos from Amy Johnson. The lovely gardens of Sewerby extend over 50 acres and overlook Bridlington bay.