BY CHARLES EVANS
Lord Darnley, afterwards husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, was born at Temple Newsam east of Leeds, Yorkshire – so-called for having originally been a preceptory of the Knights Templar. The oldest part of the present house dates from c.1550, but the house was virtually rebuilt in 1630 by Sir Arthur Ingram.
The dignity of the design, simplified from the ornate exuberance of Jacobean buildings, represents the taste of Charles I’s early years.
In the 18th Century the 7th Viscount Irwin redecorated much of the interior, employing the York school of craftsmen. In 1922, the Earl of Halifax sold the property to the Leeds Corporation. Newsam became Leeds’ principal art gallery, containing important permanent and loan collections of furniture and pictures.
Beautifully restored to its former glory, Temple Newsam is now home to one of the most important collections of decorative arts in Britain.