This Saturday, March 24, Temple Newsam will launch its brand new exhibition, which solely focuses on the subject of beer.
The history of Temple Newsam’s beer cellars will be unveiled, as this exhibition will explore the huge labyrinth of cellars which lie beneath the lavish halls and chambers of the Tudor-Jacobean house.
These cellars would have once stocked thousands of gallons of beer and 18th century aristocrats would have hosted banquets and parties, serving their guests an abundance of locally-brewed ales.
The extravagant nature of 18th century aristocrats will now be remembered in this new beer exhibition, showing the house’s complex, yet interesting, history of beer, ale and brewing.
This exhibition will also explore the different roles beer and ale played at not only Temple Newsam, but British culture in general between the years 1650 and 1850.
Experts have used local archives to discover intriguing facts and stories about life at Temple Newsam, and explore beer and brewing in relation to social class and divides.
Curator at Temple Newsam House, Dr Leila Prescott, states that “We’ve found that a long and esteemed tradition of country house beer and brewing was established at Temple Newsam” and that this “helped the house to be part of the local community, with local brewer Elizabeth Pease providing ale for the estate for more than 30 years during the 18th century”.
This shows how the brewing of beer at Temple Newsam helped to bridge social divides between the house and the local community.
Some of the drinking vessels in Leeds’ extensive ceramics collection will be showcased as part of this exhibition, which will reflect the personal beliefs and identities of the people who owned them.
During the 18th century, beer was not only an enjoyable celebratory drink, but it provided a reliable, nutritious and safe drink at a time when drinking water was often contaminated.
Beer was also frequently used to treat aches, pains and diseases, ranging from jaundice to a skin disease named King’s Evil.
A varying programme of events will take place on the estate throughout the exhibition and will also include tasting sessions.
Leeds-based Northern Monk Brewery have also brewed a Temple Newsam beer especially for this exhibition, inspired by a 1736 recipe for a ‘pipe of pale strong beer’.
This insightful exhibition will allow visitors to explore the rich and diverse history of Temple Newsam’s beer and brewing, and will run until October 27 2018.