Picture Post: A golfing sunset at Oulton Hall, Leeds

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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Yorkshire is no stranger to dramatic skies, but even by those high standards this sunset is pretty spectacular.

The golfers teeing off at Oulton Hall in Leeds, are cast in silhouette as the setting sun lends a fiery glow to the sky above.

The Hall, now a Grade II listed building, was once the home of the Blayds family who left it to former mayor of Leeds John Calverly in 1807. It was under his stewardship that much of the work on the estate was carried out. Beginning by enclosing the surrounding common land, he brought in renowned landscape designer Humphrey Repton to lend a touch of class to the estate.

With the outside taking shape, focus turned to the interior. Architect Sir Robert Smirke, whose designs were often inspired by the ancient Greeks, was drafted in and later his brother Sydney also left his mark on the Hall.

Unfortunately, the results of the brothers’ labours did not last long. A fire broke out in the Hall in 1850, destroying much of the structure of the building along with the new decorative additions.

The property, however, did live to fight another day and by the end of the 19th century the Hall was once again habitable. During the world wars it was used as a military hospital and convalescent home for injured troops.

Having changed hands numerous times, the fabric of the building gradually fell into disrepair and by the mid 1970s it had been listed as derelict.

Rescued in 1991 by De Vere Hotels, a multi-million pound restoration project saw it transformed into a luxury hotel. Today it boasts a state-of-the-art spa, a 300 acre estate and crucially for some of its guests, a 27-hole golf course.

Technical details: Nikon D3s Camera, 80-200mm lens, exposure 400th sec at f5.6, iso 400).(SH1001/38a).

WORDS: Sarah Freeman

PICTURE: Simon Hulme