Hidden away, deep inside Temple Newsam House is a fantastically festive creation worthy of Santa’s most enterprising elves.
The wonderful workshop will be the latest addition to the beautiful mansion’s spectacular 500 years of Christmas celebrations, which take place this Saturday and Sunday.
Crafted entirely from leftover parts taken from previous exhibitions and installations, the workshop has been made by technician Kevin Blenkinsop and will be dutifully manned by the estate’s very own team of dedicated elves this weekend.
Kevin, who works on exhibitions at Leeds Museums and Galleries sites around Leeds, has spent the past month putting his imaginative masterpiece together using anything he could find at the 500 year-old house including old shelves and lighting fixtures.
He said: “I’ve really enjoyed putting it together, it’s been so different to working on an exhibition and I’ve just been using my imagination with it.
“It’s made from whatever materials I’ve found lying around and it’s something unusual which hopefully all the kids who come to the house this Christmas will love.”
Earlier this week some of the house’s elves put the workshop through its paces as well as giving the great hall’s stunning Christmas tree a last-minute inspection.
The workshop and the tree will be part of a weekend of events which will see stunning rooms throughout the house transformed into a festive tribute to more than five centuries of Christmas tradition.
The packed programme will include a sumptuous Tudor banquet display, the chance for a sing song at carol karaoke and authentic music from Jane Austen’s time.
There will also be Victorian dancing, performances from local carol singing groups, bag pipes, a brass band, story tellers and craft making.
Home Farm will also be hosting a 1940s farm with baking demonstrations, a living nativity and a secret journey to meet Father Christmas.
Father Christmas has promised to attend and tickets to see him are available to buy now along with your admission ticket. Visitors are advised to book a time slot in which to meet Father Christmas in advance to guarantee seeing him.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries said:
“Christmas is a very special time of year at our museums and galleries sites and one which really brings out the very best in our teams as they use their imaginations and creativity to transform these historic locations.
“Temple Newsam has hosted Christmas celebrations for centuries and it’s incredible to think that families in Leeds today are still marking the festive season in the very same surrounding as those who did so 500 years ago.”
Tickets are priced at £20 for a family ticket, which admits two adults and up to three children, £8.40 for adults and £4.20 for children. Under 5s are free.
There is an additional £5 charge for visits to Father Christmas, which can be booked in advance by calling 0113 336 7460.