Yorkshire Sculpture Park

West Yorkshire Geographic coordinate system West Bretton

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park visitor centre and restaurant
Established1977 (1977)
LocationWest Bretton, West Yorkshire, England
Coordinates53°36′50″N 1°34′23″W / 53.614°N 1.573°W / 53.614; -1.573Coordinates: 53°36′50″N 1°34′23″W / 53.614°N 1.573°W / 53.614; -1.573
TypeIndoor/outdoor art gallery
DirectorPeter Murray (Executive Director)

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is an open-air gallery in West Bretton near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, showing work by British and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. The park's collection of works by Moore is one of the largest open-air displays of his bronzes in Europe.[1] The sculpture park occupies the 500-acre[2] parkland of Bretton Hall and straddles the border of West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.[3]

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, opened in 1977,[4] was the UK's first sculpture park based on the temporary open air exhibitions organised in London parks from the 1940s to 1970s by the Arts Council and London County Council (and later Greater London Council). The 'gallery without walls' has a changing exhibition programme, rather than permanent display as seen in other UK sculpture parks such as Grizedale Forest.


A sculpture by Nigel Hall at YSP

The park is situated in the grounds of Bretton Hall, an 18th-century estate which was a family home until the mid 20th century when it became Bretton Hall College.[5] Follies, landscape features and architectural structures from the 18th century can be seen around the park including the deer park and deer shelter (recently converted by American sculptor James Turrell into an installation), an ice house, and a camellia house. Artists working at YSP, such as Andy Goldsworthy in 2007, take their inspiration from its architectural, historical or natural environment.[4]

A fragment of Yinka Shonibare MBE sculpture and YSP landscape

Since the 1990s, Yorkshire Sculpture Park has made use of indoor exhibition spaces, initially a Bothy Gallery (in the curved Bothy Wall) and a temporary tent-like structure called the Pavilion Gallery. After an extensive refurbishment and expansion, YSP has added an underground gallery space in the Bothy garden, and exhibition spaces at Longside (the hillside facing the original park). Its programme consists of contemporary and modern sculpture (from Rodin and Bourdelle through to living artists). British sculpture is well represented in the past exhibition programme and semi-permanent installations. Many British sculptors prominent in the 1950s and 1960s have been the subject of solo exhibitions at YSP, including Lynn Chadwick,[6] Austin Wright, Phillip King, Eduardo Paolozzi, Hans Josephsohn, and Kenneth Armitage. Exhibitions tend to be monographic – rather than group or thematic.

The redundant Grade II* listed St Bartholomew's Chapel, West Bretton built by William Wentworth in 1744[7] has been restored as gallery space.[8]

Longside Gallery

Longside Gallery is a space for sculpture overlooking Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The Arts Council Collection and Yorkshire Sculpture Park share Longside Gallery for an alternating programme of exhibitions. Between exhibitions, Longside Gallery is used for educational and outreach activities and events.[9]

The Weston

In July 2019, the new visitor centre housing a gallery, restaurant and shop, made the shortlist for the Stirling Prize for excellence in architecture.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "Henry Moore: open-air display of bronzes". Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  2. ^ "More to explore at sculpture park". 21 July 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  3. ^ grid reference SE282131
  4. ^ a b "Sculpture park to mark 30 years". BBC. 18 March 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  5. ^ "A history of Bretton Hall". Wakefield Council. Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Lynn Chadwick. Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park". The Burlington Magazine. 134: 45–46. January 1992. JSTOR 884979.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Church in Bretton Park (1135462)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Chapel facts". Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Sculpture at Longside". Arts Council. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  10. ^ "London Bridge station makes 2019 Riba Stirling Prize shortlist". BBC. 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.