Sculpture at Renishaw Hall and Gardens

  • 4 June 2021 4:55 pm


Sculpture at Renishaw


Sculptors are always on the lookout for suitable, unusual, and well-attended places to show their work and the gardens at Renishaw Hall attract many, who relish the beautiful surroundings.

During 2002 a sculpture trail was introduced in the old walled garden. The challenge for each artist is the new venue, the new audience and of course possible new clients for their work that such enterprise brings. This collection of sculpture is the first of many such exhibitions to take place at Renishaw over the coming years.

The sculptures are laid out to take advantage of the informal but interesting route around the old walled garden. Although they are undoubtedly enhanced by their situation and the views across some stunning landscape, all sculptors will say that their work also enhances the setting and gives the walk an added dimension.

The sculptures chosen for this show are all approachable images of a social scale, no giants, by artists who wish to communicate with their audience. The settings, which are both intimate and expansive, have been selected to give heart and encouragement to those who would like to acquire sculpture for their own gardens.
Renishaw Gardens


Sir Reresby and Lady Sitwell’s remarkable restoration of the garden has enhanced the geometric design, retaining yew hedges, pyramids and antique statues, whilst adding ebullient (and ever widening) mixed borders, rose and clematis gardens and a host of exotic plants, many rarely hardy in this part of the country. On either side of the formal gardens are more naturalistic plantings with specimen trees, unusual shrubs and towering rambling roses.

The formal garden was laid out in 1895 by Sir George Sitwell (1860-1943) in the classical Italianate style. Hedges and shape


To the east of the garden, holly and camellia avenues lead to paths through mature woodland, down to the lakes originally excavated to enhance the view from the house and now managed for wildlife. They are an important nesting and resting site for resident and migrating birds.

Children’s Trails

Renishaw’s garden is not only classical. There is also a new Children’s Adventure Garden with trails for all ages: an art and literature trail following the famous people who have been connected with the Hall and the family, a tree trail, and a trail for the little ones with silhouettes of characters from children’s stories.


There is also a maze, carvings in the trees, a story teller’s chair hewn out of a massive tree trunk knocked down in the Great Storm and a living willow tunnel.

Visitors should collect leaflets for the trails from the kiosk and on their way out check if they answered the questions correctly.

Young and old can get lost for hours and have a magical time.

The Yuccary


In 1999 the orangery was restored and was chosen to house The National Collection of Yuccas. Here are most species of the Yucca genus that originate in the western United States, plants that thrive in a hot arid atmosphere.

Renishaw’s Vineyard


Renishaw’s vineyard was planted in the upper pasture in 1972.

Until 1986, it was certified as the most northerly in the world at 53 degrees 18 minutes North.
Received wisdom at the time of planting was that grapes would only succeed south of a line from the Wash in the east to South Wales in the west.
However, now due to global warming, or man’s adventurous spirit, there are vineyards planted near Leeds, in the Lake District and even in Norway!

Two consecutive hot summers are needed for the best crops, the first to ripen the fruit bearing wood and to initiate flower bud formation, the second to ripen the grapes themselves.

This, however, is a course of perfection and grapes suitable for wine making are produced in even typical English summers.

2001: Renishaw Hall Wine achieves Regional Wine Status.

2003: a record year, about 2000 bottles.

The first harvest was on 3rd October with subsequent harvests on the 6th and 7th.

2006: Renishaw Hall Wine 2004, the still variety, wins a Bronze Medal at the Mercian Vineyards Association wine competition.

Of the many varieties planted in the 1970s only Seyval remains, a vigorous, disease-resistant vine ripening mid-late October. Seyval blends well and is often used as the base for sparkling wines.

In 1997 a programme of replanting was started. New Seyval vines are being planted with Madeline Angevine, a sweeter but more demanding vine ripening late September to early October, and Phoenix, a promising new hybrid.

The planting was completed in 2002 and the first full crop went on sale in 2006.

Prune vines and train new growth, weed vineyard and repair post and wire system.

Vines start growing. Worry about late spring frost which will kill all new growth, the vine has 2 or 3 buds in reserve in case this happens, but these are not as fruitful.

Vines flower. Those in the open should be pollinated by insects, those under glass may need shaking to disperse pollen.

New growth is trained between wires and trimmed with shears when it has grown two leaves above the top wire. Five or six feet of vine is needed to feed the growing bunch of grapes.

The bottom leaves are removed from the vine to expose the ripening bunches to autumn sunshine to produce sugars and flavour.

The grapes are picked by all the estate staff as late as possible, but before frost and winter weather takes over.

Treasures at Renishaw

Those who book tours of the house will be able to see some of the spectacular collection of art and historical artefacts that has been put together by generations of Sitwells. It is quite literally a treasure trove, of inestimable value to students and art lovers alike.

There is a splendid drawing room at Renishaw, which the family still use for large parties. It holds much Italian furniture, valuable Brussels tapestries, and the Sargent 1900-01 conversation piece of the family (see below), hanging above a Chippendale commode – examples of the furniture maker and the painter at the height of their powers.


There are Brussels tapestries and many paintings, including a portrait of the present Lady Sitwell, a great beauty of her day, by Molly Bishop. From this room, you pass through an antechamber, designed by Lutyens in 1914, into the ballroom added in 1808.

Joseph Badger, a local Sheffield architect, designed it (and also the dining room where weddings are solemnised today), and it was added for a ball given in honour of the Prince of Wales and his daughter Princess Charlotte. His emblem, the three feathers, is on the ceiling among other decoration. Lady Sitwell’s favourite painting in the house is the Salvator Rosa of Belisarius in Disgrace which hangs on the wall facing you as you enter. She is not alone in admiring it. Thomas Jefferson liked it too. The room has some of Sir George’s collection of Italian furniture. Two Doges’ chairs are on either side of the Belisarius, so large that only a sitting giant’s feet would touch the ground.

Museums at Renishaw
The 18th-century Georgian stables at Renishaw were designed, like the dining room, by Joseph Badger. They house the three fascinating museums with their changing exhibitions: the John Piper and Sitwell Museums, and the Performing Arts Gallery.

How to get to Renishaw Hall
Renishaw Hall is in the heart of England, on the easternmost foothills of the Pennines, 140 miles north of London between the cities of Sheffield and Nottingham.

It is only three miles from Junction 30 on the M1, and is well signposted from the Junction. roundabout.

The nearest railway station is Chesterfield, 20 minutes drive away.

Weddings at Renishaw


In a quiet corner of N.E. Derbyshire close to both Sheffield and Chesterfield at junction 30 of the M1 motorway, Renishaw Hall is reached by a long drive through breathtaking parkland and has ample parking.

Renishaw Hall has been the residence of the Sitwell family since the early part of the 17th century and was home to the three famous writers, Dame Edith, Sir Osbert and Sir Sacheverell Sitwell. The current owners Sir Reresby and Lady Sitwell have restored the Hall to an exquisite family home without losing any of its natural charm and historical atmosphere. The lake in the grounds and the renowned Italianate gardens with it’s ‘rooms’ of yew hedges and hidden statues laid out by Sir George Sitwell in 1886 offers the perfect backdrop for those all important wedding photographs.

The Red Dining Room designed by architect Joseph Badger, in 1769 is licensed for civil ceremonies, the apse at one end forming a natural ‘altar’ making this indeed the perfect place to hold your special day.

An intimate reception for up to 60 guests can be accommodated in the Red Dining Room, whilst larger affairs and evening celebrations will take place in a marquee situated in our wedding garden, with views over open fields to the lakes in the distance.

All styles of receptions are catered for, be it a formal meal, a light finger buffet, or canapés on the patio, our catering company, Chapman-Holmes are happy to work with you to prepare any specific dishes you may wish to choose.

Although not a hotel, Renishaw Hall boasts several reputable hotels a short drive away.

At Renishaw Hall we have extensive experience in co-ordinating weddings and receptions but unlike a lot of venues we do not aspire to become a busy wedding venue. Offering only 14 weddings a year, Renishaw Hall’s main objective is to provide the discerning couple with a unique, exclusive location to experience what is undoubtedly the most important day of their life.

From their first viewing of the beautiful Renishaw Hall and its stunning gardens to walking away as man and wife, we will walk our client through the entire sequence of events to ensure a problem free enjoyable day from start to finish.

What we offer:
A civil Ceremony for up to 70 people in the Red Dining Room
A seated reception in the Red Dining Room for up to 60 people.
A reception marquee in the Wedding Garden with views over open fields, a lake and parkland for up to 250 people (buffet)10-300

The wedding package:
The use of the Red Dining Room for the ceremony and the reception, and use of the wedding garden, to site a marquee. Excluding catering and marquee hire. If numbers exceed 70, the celebration also takes place in the marquee.
– £3,000. A civil ceremony only in the Red Dining Room
– £2,000. Use of the Wedding Garden for a marquee reception only
– £2,000 (excluding catering and marquee).
All exclusive of VAT

Renishaw Hall is in North East Derbyshire, close to Sheffield and Chesterfield. It is very near Junction 30 of the M1, and the house and gardens are reached by a long drive through breathtaking parkland, far from the road A6135. There is ample parking for up to 250 guests.

Renishaw Hall 01246 432310


Conferences at Renishaw


Renishaw is a perfect environment for conferences. An historic and attractive location, yet with modern equipment and experienced staff. We have room for groups of up to 100 in the Conference room in the coverted 18th-century stable block.

Our experienced staff will arrange for you to have the equipment you stipulate, and supply refreshments as you require them. For further details about prices, availability and resources, please contact the Events Office.
Contacts and bookings
For details on all events, tours, bookings, prices and availability
Tel 01246 432310
Fax 01246 430760
E-mail: [email protected]

The Events Office,
Renishaw Hall,
S21 3WB