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A Year of Anniversaries

14th January 2016

Categories: News

As we look forward to what 2016 holds in store it seems as though there are rather more anniversaries than normal, providing an extra incentive to visit Harrogate.

The Harrogate District is famous for its gardens and so we will not be missing out on the Year of the English Garden celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Visit Harrogate will be promoting the District’s gardens throughout the year but there are two important events already planned to mark this important birthday.  Between the 21st and 24th April the Harrogate Flower Show will host a special exhibition ‘Capability Brown: A Man for All Seasons’ exploring the life, times and gardens of Capability Brown. Starting on the 25th June Harrogate’s Mercer Gallery will be holding the first ever exhibition dedicated to 'Capability' Brown’s Yorkshire landscapes entitled Noble Prospects: Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape. This will run until 11th September and also marks the 20th anniversary of the Yorkshire Gardens Trust. 

Another 300th birthday in the area is that of Beningbrough Hall completed in 1716 by John Bouchier. This National Trust property not only features collections from the National Portrait Gallery but boasts a working walled garden, grand herbaceous borders that you can sit among, pocket seasonal gardens, wildlife havens and sweeping lawns creating a year round garden. Picture postcard views can be seen from the garden and the parkland offers opportunities to explore riverside walks, ancient trees and hidden wildlife on walks from 20 minutes to 2 hours. The wilderness play area is perfect for children to let off steam.

It is now 50 years since England won the World Cup and this year marks a number of other 50th Anniversaries. The Who played Harrogate’s splendid Royal Hall in 1966 and the first Knaresborough Bed Race was held in the same year although the 50th bed race was celebrated last year. 1966 also saw the launch of the Harrogate Festival of Arts and Sciences, now known as the Harrogate International Festivals. HIF delivers Festivals of national importance, as well as being a key cultural provider for the North throughout the year. There will be lots to celebrate and major events marking the 50th Anniversary of HIF throughout the year culminating in an Anniversary Ball on 24th September.

The list of anniversaries does not end there.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal being designated UNESCO World Heritage site status, fulfilling the criteria of being a masterpiece of human creative genius, and an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history.

In this 100th anniversary of the 1st Battle of the Somme one significant memorial is at Colsterdale just west of Masham which was the site of a training camp for the Leeds Pals before they left to for the Somme. Well worth a visit during this year.

So all in all 2016 is a year to celebrate and commemorate.

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