They were the pampered pooches that lived a life of luxury as faithful companions to one of the city’s wealthiest aristocratic couples.
Now the historic graves which commemorate the beloved dogs of Lotherton Hall have been chosen as one of the top ten things to discover at the Aberford estate this summer.
The pet cemetery, located in the grounds of the hall, is made up of nine headstones, each bearing the name of one of the dogs belonging to Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne, the last private owners of the estate.
Lady Gascoigne, a devoted dog lover, took her dogs away with her when she travelled the world with Sir Alvary, a noted diplomat. Some of their pets also came home with them to Leeds after being picked up in one of the many countries they visited.
The couple created the cemetery while they lived at the house between the 1930s and 1960s.
The unusual feature is one of ten curious and enjoyable highlights for visitors to experience on the site over the summer holidays, which all feature in a handy new guide to the estate.
Other exciting activities include a family-friendly hay bale maze, counting the estate’s deer from a secret deer hide and playing chess on a giant chess board.
Visitors can also try and find the estate’s resident snowy owl in the bird garden, have a zip wire race in the Woodland Play Area, take part in weekly themed craft sessions over the summer or discover what’s lurking beneath the surface of the ponds.
In the house itself, guests can try and find Lady Gascoigne’s portrait and even dress up as an Edwardian themselves.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said:
“There’s an incredible amount to see and do at Lotherton Hall and the estate really comes to life during the summer months.
“Lotherton is a genuinely unique place that not only has an impressive amount of local history and heritage to learn about and explore, but also a huge range of vibrant and colourful fun to experience.”
Lotherton Hall offers an annual membership that gives visitors unlimited entry to the whole estate, including the bird garden, the house and grounds.
Visitors have the option to trade in their day ticket against the cost of membership (within 30 days), with the cost of the original visit refunded against membership.
Memberships are available to suit all and if you already have a Leeds Card then you can receive a discount.
Family membership for two adults and up to three children membership is priced at £42 with adult membership costing £19 and couples £31.50.
Membership can be purchased in the shop, enquiries can be made by calling 0113 378 2975.