York Gate Garden
OS grid reference:- SE 274 392
York Gate Garden is a one acre garden behind the ancient St. John the Baptist church in Adel, on the northern outskirts of Leeds.
The garden was created by the Spencer family between 1951 and 1994, Frederick Spencer laid down the basic structure of the garden, his son, Robin, was largely responsible for its development. York Gate Garden was undoubtedly inspired by some of the outstanding gardens of the Arts & Crafts movement such as Lawrence Johnston's Hidcote.
The garden is now owned and cared for by the charity Perennial to whom it was bequeathed in 1994. Perennial is Britain's only charity dedicated to helping people working in horticulture when times get hard, providing free advice, support and financial assistance to people of all ages working in or retired from horticulture.
A series of smaller gardens with different themes and in contrasting styles are linked by a succession of delightful vistas. The garden is divided into rooms by yew and beech hedges. Evergreens, clipped into strong architectural shapes are used to spectacular effect throughout the garden. What makes the garden exceptional is the exquisite detail to be found in the the pavement maze in the driveway, the espaliered cedar in the pinetum, the meticulous arrangement of stone setts and gravel along the path in the canal garden.
York Gate is situated 2¼ miles south-east of Bramhope, just off the A660. Please park in the lay-by opposite the church in Church Lane and take the public footpath through the churchyard to the garden. This walk takes about 4 minutes.
From Leeds - take the A660 towards Otley. Turn right at the first set of traffic-lights after the intersection with the ring road (A6120), signed Adel and Eccup. Turn left into Church Lane and park in the lay-by opposite the Church. Take the public footpath through the churchyard and out through the gate at the far end. Continue straight on and through a second gate. The garden can be seen across the road on the left-hand side.
From the north- take the A660 through Bramhope. Turn left at the first set of traffic-lights after the Leeds Parkway Hotel. Turn left into Church Lane and proceed as above.