It's not just for drinking, it's er, educational too
BRITAIN’S first national drink will be the focus of an exciting new exhibition at Temple Newsam House. Uncover life on the 500-year-old estate through the eyes of the staff and aristocrats who lived, worked, brewed and drank the 5,000 gallons of beer and ale once stored in the cellars.
In the exhibition Beer! A History of Brewing and Drinking visitors will also discover the secrets behind brewing the perfect pint and unusual ceramics from the museum collections. The exhibition will be accompanied by a range of events, from tasting sessions to special tours.
There’s certainly a lot to explore, starting with how beer came to play such an important part in our national life (there was certainly living proof around Leeds centre last Saturday night).
At a time when drinking water was often contaminated, beer offered a safe and nutritious alternative enjoyed across all social scales. It was even used to treat a range of ailments and diseases, from jaundice to ‘the King’s Evil’ (a skin disease). At Temple Newsam in 1749, Ann Scarburgh’s apothecary prescribed her ‘ingredients for Six Gallons of Beer yr Ladyships’.
New stories have been uncovered from the estate archives, including that of female brewer Elizabeth Pease, who provided ale for the estate for over 30 years during the 18th century. It fuelled celebrations from military victories to weddings. When King George recovered from his illness in 1789, Lady Irwin laid on 1366 gallons of ale for her tenants.
Visitors will have the chance to see objects from Leeds’s important collection of ceramics and view areas of the house in a new light. Now a popular area on tours, back in 1869 the cellars were liberally stocked with 3,800 gallons of ale and 2,200 of beer.
The exhibition launches at Temple Newsam House on March 24, with a preview on Friday 23 from 6pm-8pm.
The show is free with admission to the house. Prices here.