The Grounds and Garden
Normanby Hall is set amongst 300 acres of parkland, woodland, duck ponds and deer park.
After the Walled Garden was built in 1817, Sir Robert Sheffield employed the architect Robert Smirke to design the Stable Block. By the 1920s, only the west range was in use as a stable. With the introduction of motor cars early in the 1900s, the carriage house on the north side of the courtyard was adapted to house up to six motor vehicles
On display in the stables are the amazing Horse and Rider sculptures by the artist Harold Gosney. The pieces were made in 2011 and kindly donated by the artist in 2015.
This part of the Stable Block was used to house the families’ carriages. Amongst other objects, the Coach House now houses a miniature farm wagon, made for the Sheffield children by the Normanby village’s wheelwright. You will also find a collection of firefighting equipment. One of the fire engines, a 1900s horse drawn steamer, was bought by Sir Berkeley Sheffield in order to set up the Normanby Park Fire Brigade in around 1915.
The Ice House can be found on the site of the Miniature Railway, next to the main playground. The ice stored inside was used to cool wine and preserve food in the spring or summer. This ice house was built in 1817 and used until the early 1900s. More information can be found in the Servants Trail.
The award-winning Victorian Walled Garden is a treat for any garden lover. Sir Robert Sheffield had the Walled Garden built in 1817, eight years before the current Hall. Temporarily it was converted into a lido, but in 1997 it was restored to its late Victorian splendour. Besides the yearly crops there are many areas to explore:
- Glasshouses: exotic ornamental plants, luxury fruits like grapes and peaches
- The Potting Shed: where seeds would be sown and seedlings would be potted on
- The Tool Store: a collection of gardening tools and equipment
- The Bothy: where the gardeners would rest, eat, drink and warm themselves by the fire
The Walled Garden is open daily from 10.30am. Last admission 4.30pm (Summer), 3.30pm (Winter)
The deer park has been home to herds of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and fallow deer (Dama dama) for around 250 years. You are welcome to walk through the public area of the deer park from January to the end of September, although we ask that you stay out of the deer sanctuary and the fishing lake area.
The red deer, the largest land animals to be found wild in Britain, are easily recognisable with their reddish-brown coats. The shyer fallow deer have pale beige coats, spotted with white.
In October you can hear the male deer roar and clash antlers when the dominant male tries to keep all others away from his females during the mating period. The males lose their antlers around March, so you can see the new ones developing through until August. The young are born in June and July when the mothers find a quiet spot to give birth. Throughout the summer you will see the youngsters running around the deer park.
Please note that there is no public access through the deer park during October, November and December. Dogs are not permitted in the deer park.
With a well stocked lake that is open from 1 January to 30 September, Normanby is the perfect venue for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is open from 9am until the park closes.
With level banks and a platform, the lake is especially suited to teaching children to fish.
The lake has 20 pegs and is teeming with a variety of fish species. Current fish stocks include:
- Carp (Mirror and Common, up to 20lb)
- Tench (up to 7lb)
- Perch (up to 4lb)
Day fishing tickets cost £5 per adult and £4 per child. Children under the age of 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Day tickets can only be purchased by prior arrangement by contacting Mr Lawrence on 01724 732309 / 07580455501.
Fishing season tickets are also available for a cost of £45. They can also be bought directly from Mr Lawrence on 01724 732309 / 07580455501.
Rules for fishing
- Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult
- All anglers must be keep to the banks of the lakeNo dogs or radios allowed
- Any angler fishing with litter in the immediate vicinity of his/her swim will be banned from the lake
- No method feeders allowed
- No dog or cat meat allowed
- Ground bait in pole cup or feeder only
- Floating baits on hook only
- Barbless hooks only
The woodland contains superb mature Beech, Oak and Sweet Chestnut trees. There are also more unusual species like the Tulip Tree, Maidenhair Tree, Judas Tree and the Handkerchief Tree. Close to the Hall is a magnificent Evergreen or Holm Oak, Quercus ilex. The tree is a rarity this far north and it is currently a Lincolnshire County Champion tree due to the circumference of its trunk. You’ll also find dozens of species of birds, butterflies and wild flowers in the woodland and in autumn, unusual types of fungi.
A path has been installed through the woodland to make the area accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Visiting Normanby today, it is easy to forget that this was once a private house, the centre of a large estate and the focus of a community. The Hall shows how the owner and his family lived, but little remains to show aspects of the life of servants on the estate.
The Normanby servant’s trail has been designed to enable you to discover some of the less obvious aspects of life at Normanby such as where the family’s bread and ice came from, the origins of the model railway, where the laundry was done, the servant’s routes around the park, where the estate fire engine was stored, and the importance of the horses and dogs to the estate.
You can download the servant’s trail map below to help you find your way around the park. This trail is also available from the Gift Shop.