Transforming Bretton Hall


The Grade II* listed Mansion House is set to become a unique hotel that celebrates art and community

Wakefield’s historic Bretton Hall is to be transformed into a unique hotel with art, learning and community at its core, thanks to a newly announced partnership between Yorkshire-based real estate developers Rushbond PLC and Artfarm – an independent hospitality company which transforms unique locations with culturally focused development.

Built in the early 18th century, Bretton Hall is a Grade II* listed Mansion House, set in the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) and Bretton Country Park. In addition to the new partnership, it has been announced that Stirling-Prize shortlisted studio Feilden Fowles has been appointed master planners for an ambitious and sustainable development of the wider Bretton Hall Estate.

It’s exciting to be bringing the historic Bretton Hall back to life.

Home to Bretton Hall College from 1949-2001, the site was once a thriving centre for artistic talent. The forthcoming transformation project continues the building’s creative legacy while helping to promote the City of Wakefield as a cultural hub.

“We very much welcome the news that Artfarm has been appointed as the operator-partner for the Bretton Hall development,” said Peter Murray, Founder and Executive Director of YSP. Starting with an exhibition in the grounds of Bretton College they now occupy 500 acres of historic landscape.

“We look forward to working alongside neighbours that share YSP’s commitment to furthering understanding, enjoyment and access to art for everyone,” he added.

Spectacular view from the stately Bretton Hall is the perfect environment to inspire creative minds

Since its foundation in 2014, Artfarm has focused on a select number of developments that have strong links to the communities and locations in which they are sited. The company will act as the creative and operational lead for Bretton Hall’s transformation, ensuring the House and Estate become a destination that complements Yorkshire Sculpture Park and is rooted in the wider community. 

Iwan and Manuela Wirth, founders of Artfarm said they were looking forward to working with Rushbond to ensure that Bretton Hall and its estate is a cultural destination that complements the incredible Yorkshire Sculpture Park and helps promote the City of Wakefield as a cultural hub.

“At Artfarm we are passionate about weaving together art, community, hospitality and learning, and Bretton Hall provides an exciting platform to deliver a truly unique offer for Yorkshire and the North,” they said.

The new development is the sixth to be led by Artfarm to-date, joining The Fife Arms in Scotland, the Roth Bar & Grill, Durslade Farmhouse and The Bull Inn in Somerset, and Manuela in Los Angeles. Each share a unique site, and an emphasis on educational and artist-led programmes and commissions which promote and celebrate their location.

Mark Finch, Director of Real Estate at Rushbond, said he was confident that his company will be able to achieve the vision to “reunite Bretton Hall with the wider park and to provide a platform to support the cultural development of the city and the region.”