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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

http://www.bbc.co.uk/leeds/content/...roundhay_park_mansion_reopening_feature.shtml
Restoration drama

The Mansion at Roundhay Park is reopening to the public after extensive refurbishments.

The historic building, which has been closed for six years, has been given a complete restoration to return it to its former glory. The historic Grade II-listed building will throw its doors open to the public next week following a multi-million pound refurbishment programme to restore it to its former splendour.

From Monday 3 August 2009, people will be able to visit the newly-restored Mansion to enjoy the new café restaurant, deli, and people will also be able to marry there for the first time ever.

The Mansion is an impressive regency country house, situated in 700 acres of woodland and water gardens at Roundhay Park, Leeds. The house was built in 1811 after architect John Clarke was commissioned to design it by the then owner of Roundhay Park, Thomas Nicholson.

The building and park were then acquired for the people of Leeds in 1871 by Mayor John Barran and The Mansion established local and national renown as a café restaurant, carvery and party venue and acknowledged as one of the very best historic city venues in the country.
Staircase chandelier

Nice touch - a new staircase chandelier

The house was managed for over 120 years by the Gilpin family, the most famous of whom was Craven Gilpin. He pioneered professional outside catering from The Mansion and his reputation was such that King George V requested to meet him after a royal banquet at Leeds Town Hall in 1933.

After the Gilpin family relinquished their tenancy in 2003, Leeds City Council undertook a major assessment of the state of the house which found it to be in a serious state of disrepair, in need of major refurbishment, maintenance and repair.

With significant funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Leeds City Council began a major £8million restoration scheme for the whole of Roundhay Park which included The Mansion. One of the principal aims of both the park and Mansion restoration was to make them both more family friendly and place the park as one of the foremost family attractions in Leeds and the wider region.

This work involved the total renovation of all interior rooms and spaces including painstaking repair of original detail features such as decorative plaster cornices, architraves, wall panelling and beechwood dance floors. Restored features include the magnificent sweeping staircase with original stone steps, decorative wrought iron work and carved mahogany banister - the centrepiece of The Mansion.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/8182008.stm

Renovated mansion open to public

A Grade II listed building at the heart of a Leeds park has re-opened to the public after undergoing an £8m refurbishment programme.

The Mansion in Roundhay Park was deemed to be in a "serious state of disrepair" by Leeds City Council in 2003.

It has re-opened as a cafe, deli and venue for meetings and weddings.

Local children were invited to be the first visitors to the 19th Century building, where they were given jelly and ice-cream.

The building and 700 acres of parkland were acquired for the people of Leeds in 1871 after being built for Thomas Nicholson in 1811.

Funding for The Mansion's refurbishment came from Leeds City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: "The mansion at Roundhay Park is an integral part not only of Leeds' heritage, but that of the region.

"It will be wonderful to see the transformation and restoration of the house complement the rolling parkland, lakes, woodlands and gardens that surround it, and be enjoyed into the future by the local community and visitors alike."

Work on the building itself was carried out by Leeds City Council and the interior was tackled by private catering company, Dine.

Original features including decorative plaster cornices and wooden dance floors have been maintained wherever possible.

John Procter, of Leeds City Council, said: "The building is now fully occupied, open to the public and restored to its former glory as a grand and historic building here for future generations to enjoy."

The restoration cost about £3m and it can now be used for weddings and meetings or a quick sandwich
 

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Pleasure boat could return to Roundhay Park

http://newsfeed.leedsvirtualnewsroom.co.uk/2013/08/pleasure-boat-could-return-to-roundhay.html

Pleasure boat could return to Roundhay Park

A popular visitor attraction dating back to the Victorian era could be making a return to the lakes of a much loved Leeds park.

As part of details revealed last week, Leeds City Council are inviting offers from companies who may be interested in operating a pleasure launch cruise boat at Roundhay Park.

If a suitable operator can be found to deliver the project, this would mark a historic return to the park of the visitor pleasure boat, which first appeared at the park in the late 19th century.

The first tourist boat to grace Roundhay Park was the steamboat Maid of Athens, which took tourists on trips around Waterloo Lake. Following decommissioning and reports of the steamboat been sunk in the deepest part of the lake, the Maid of Athens was replaced by an electric launch the Mary Gordon in 1900, which ran until 1923.

As part of the tendering process, a licence to provide a new land train at Roundhay is also available, while in what will be a first, operators can also bid to manage a land train at Temple Newsam Park.

Operators have the opportunity to bid for one, two or all three licences, with quotation documents available by accessing the following: www.yortender.co.uk and searching for YORE-97YKPN (Trains) or YORE-97YKTW (Pleasure launch).

Cllr Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council's executive member for the environment said:

“It is exciting to think that Roundhay Park could once again be the home to a visitor pleasure boat on one of its lakes.

“Tourist boats at the park date back originally to the Victorian era, and I am sure the attraction, along with the chance of a new land train at Roundhay will be a big hit if suitable operators can be found.

“The council is also investigating the possibility of introducing for the first time a land train at Temple Newsam Park, and it would be fantastic to see this aim also come to fruition.”
 

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Roundhay Park was renowned as a huge concert venue back in the 1980s and 1990s. Surely it would be a great thing if concerts are bought back to Roundhay Park during the summer imo and potentially it could be a nice earner for Leeds City Council.
 

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I was only a child so my memories are a tad vague, but I recall being able to hear the music from Roundhay Park from here in east Leeds with my grandmother while walking up School Lane (Colton). Those were the days..
 

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Roundhay Park named as country’s best public green space

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co....s-country-s-best-public-green-space-1-6904963

Leeds’ own Roundhay Park named as country’s best public green space

Roundhay Park has been named the best public green space in the country.

The park won the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Best Public Park’ award at this year’s Britain in Bloom awards.

Held this year in Bristol, the acclaimed awards also recognised Leeds in the ‘Large City’ group category with a prestigious gold, 
but the city just missed out on the top prize to Sunderland.

It was also a night of celebration for Kippax in Bloom, who walked away with a Silver Gilt in the ’Urban Communities’ category.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds council’s executive member for cleaner, safer and stronger communities, said it was “a massive privilege” for the city to be shortlisted in the Large City category, and offered his congratulations to the staff at Roundhay Park as well as the Kippax in Bloom team.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Obviously the cafe extension is welcome, but I would have preferred to see the extension be an extension to the core attraction - ie more animals. I don't see any reason why LCC can't have a long term strategy to slowly expand Tropical World into a zoo as money becomes available for such expansions.
 

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Obviously the cafe extension is welcome, but I would have preferred to see the extension be an extension to the core attraction - ie more animals. I don't see any reason why LCC can't have a long term strategy to slowly expand Tropical World into a zoo as money becomes available for such expansions.
The problem is that space is limited on that site, hemmed in as it is between Prince's Avenue and Old Park Road.

Why not be more radical and go for a site that's closer to the city centre? For example, the underused land between Roseville Road and Gledhow Road/Dolly Lane. The businesses that are still there could be relocated pretty easily, the land falls from east to west which means that you could create caves or small cliffs without too much construction work, and it's within walking distance of the city centre.

And if you wanted to be even more radical, you could ally this inner city nature reserve with a new botanical garden on the other side of Gledhow Road. Get in Tim Smit and his team from the Eden Project to show how to turn polluted post-industrial land into a model of sustainable urban gardening, and you'll be onto a winner.
 

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Given the nature of the weather we could do with an all weather Park, (south Bank?) like the Eden project with a huge outdoor Lake connected to the River and Canal. Using wood to form the roof structure as on the Cross Green Incinerator wouldn't be that expensive you'd think...but maybe as it's Leeds, these ideas should be in the Fantasy thread:)
btw Roundhay Park must have been an amazing experience for the working class folks going on a quick tram ride from town 130 years ago. Thank you John Barran for securing it for the people...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well it could be something to be considered for the South Bank Park, and I've also thought before previously that LCC should team up with the RHS for that.

Working with what we have though, Tropical World could break out by having a pedestrian tunnel under the road - much like London Zoo's tunnel or the one at the National Railway Museum. If the funding was available though, then yes I'd support a new zoo in the centre.
 
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