New project: Meet you at the Mansion?

This is our latest project, taking place this summer in Roundhay Park.  We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the opening of the park to the public in 1872.  We are working with a range of organisations and artists in Leeds to create a performance event for the week of 12 September 2022, and an audio walk that will be available towards the end of September onwards.

We are delving into the fascinating history of the land which can be traced to medieval times, when the ‘Round Hay’ was a piece of enclosed land that provided hunting for the nobility.

The invitation to ‘Meet you at the Mansion?’ is a familiar phrase to many people who have started their visit at the elegant house built by Thomas Nicholson in the early 1800s – now a cafe and restaurant.  You might also arrange to meet friends and family at the Lakeside Cafe, at Barran’s Fountain, on Hill 60, or the ‘castle’ overlooking Waterloo Lake.

We have been collecting people’s memories and current thoughts about Roundhay Park.  We have worked with two schools in Seacroft and made films recreating some of the extraordinary events taking place in the Park. We have been working with artists from Pyramid of Arts to create a ‘litter shark’ – oh yes! who will be resident in the Park encouraging us to take nothing but photographs and leave  nothing but footprints by taking our litter home with us.  We are working with young people at Chapel FM on writing projects that reflect their take on the right to access green space – amongst other themes.

John Barran was the visionary Leodiensian who fought to acquire the area as a place for the public to rest and play.  This was only achieved with a fight, but he argued:

‘Future generations will remember us with gratitude as they stroll along the pleasant walks and enjoy the ease and shade of trees’ 

(Leeds Mercury 14 October 1871)

We are part of those future generations.  We hope you will join us in September to reflect on Barran’s vision.

Tickets for the performance event will be available through Eventbrite at the beginning of September.

In the meantime please follow us on social media.@aquietwordleeds