YSP Archive

Archive image

Researching the Story of YSP

The YSP Archive, sited above the Formal and Bothy Gardens and easily reachable from the Visitor Centre, holds images, audio and written material about the development of this pioneering organisation since its inception in 1977. Exhibited artists, artists in residence and issues associated with sculpture in the open air (nationally and internationally) may be researched and visits arranged by appointment. Consulted widely by landscape, tourism, museum, gallery and education professionals, the Archive is also available to students and the general public.

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has provided a grant to enable further research into the history of the Bretton Estate and the development of YSP and a growing Heritage Archive now complements the main YSP Archive. The ‘heritage’ of the Bretton Estate has been variously interpreted to include existing documentation on: landscape and planting records; wildlife; historical and architectural features; social histories and families of the Bretton Estate; and historical maps.

This documentation is supplemented and enlivened by stories of life on the Estate by people living and working here from the 1960s to the present day. These videos are available to watch and listen to on the website. Contemporary landscape management plans also define aspirations for the future and the Archive will follow the evolution of the Estate under YSP management.

Download the Directory for Heritage Archive Research

Bretton Estate Archive
When the Bretton Estate was sold by the second Viscount Allendale in 1948 a considerable amount of the existing historic documentation was distributed to other archives in the region. In 2007 when Bretton Hall College was closed (under the ownership of University of Leeds) there was a second phase of distribution. The central archives which continue to house this documentation are at Yorkshire Archaelogical Society (YAS) in Leeds. The archive includes: sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth-century grants, conveyances and land leases relating to Bretton Estate; pardon from the King Henry VII to Thomas Wentworth of West Bretton (1485-6); lectures from Sir Herbert Read, first honorary Fellow of Bretton Hall College (1953, 1960, 1961); twentieth-century plans and maps.

The Special Collections department at the University of Leeds also house Bretton Hall & Dearne Valley Collection; education material from Bretton Hall College; Head Gardener’s diary (1963-1985); twentieth-century plans and maps.

Find out about the National Arts Education Archive at YSP.

Archive Contacts

Curator of YSP Archive
Angie de Courcy Bower
Tel: 01924 832537

Yorkshire Archaelogical Society (YAS)
23 Clarendon Road
Leeds LS2 9NZ
Tel: 0113 245 7922

Special Collections, University Library, University of Leeds
Leeds University Library
Woodhouse Lane
Leeds LS2 9JT
Tel: 0113 34 35518 or 0113 34 36383