Browse Exhibits (2 total)

The Story of York Gate Garden

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The area of Adel where York Gate Garden now stands was formerly part of York Gate Farm. In 1951 the farm was split up and sold, the house, farmyard and around 6 acres of land being bought by Frederick Spencer, a surveyor living in Headingley.

Fred, his wife Sybil and their son Robin were an ordinary middle class family with no training in either horticulture or design. As keen riders, part of the initial attraction of York Gate was as a place where they could keep horses, while Fred was also keen to keep a few farm animals. However they soon became absorbed in developing the garden and were particularly inspired by the gardens of the Arts & Crafts movement.

This exhibit, which consists of a number of pages, aims to show, using items from the York Gate Archive, how their hard work and enthusiasm resulted in the creation of the beautiful garden which is their legacy.

More photographs and documents can be found by looking in our Collections.

Clicking on the photograph on the right will take you to the first page of this exhibit.

The Spencer Family

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York Gate Garden was created by Fred, Sybil and Robin Spencer between 1951 and 1994. Untrained, but with great enthusiam, they were able to develop this beautiful Arts and Crafts inspired garden largely in their spare time.

The aim of this exhibit is to use items from the York Gate Archive to illustrate their life stories both with biographical information, and also with pictures and documents which show their characters and varied interests.

More photographs and documents can be found by looking in our Collections.

Clicking on the photograph on the right will take you to the first page of this exhibit.