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The Gentleman Jack effect

West Yorkshire Garden Landscapes

The hugely popular BBC One TV show ‘Gentleman Jack’ has ignited a worldwide love for the West Yorkshire countryside and the region’s garden landscapes, especially those within Halifax, Huddersfield, Oldham and the surrounding areas.

As a result of the show being filmed in some of the most gorgeous spots in our Yorkshire countryside, such as Shibden Hall in Halifax and Sutton Park in Yorkshire, viewers are given the opportunity to draw on the wonder that is our very own ‘God’s County’, and people are loving it. Yorkshire landscapers and groundworkers are, as such, in popular demand.

In fact, the Groundwork’s Team has recently seen an increase in landscaping enquiries from discerning customers within Bradford, Huddersfield and Wakefield wanting to use the materials synonymous to the area and landscaping construction methods of way back when. From sourcing Yorkshire Stone for flags and cobbled paving, to the dry stone walling style for garden boundaries and gravel for driveways.

What’s the Gentleman Jack effect all about?

For those of you who haven’t seen the fantastic series, Gentleman Jack was based on the life of an 18th century Yorkshire landowner and diarist, Anne Lister -  now considered the ‘first modern lesbian’.

In the UK alone, at least 6 million people settled down in front of their TVs to watch the series. And the ‘‘Gentleman Jack Effect’ has even drawn visitors from further reaches of the globe, such as the US having aired on HBO. As such, visitors have begun planning trips to the Yorkshire countryside.

One of the main filming locations and actual home of Anne Lister, Shibden Hall, is proving just how popular our West Yorkshire landscape has become. So much so, that visitor numbers to the Manor House, situated closely to Halifax, have pushed the place to extend its opening hours.

Shibden Hall’s restored gardens highlight landscaping history from within this area. Graveled paths, Yorkshire Stone paving and Yorkshire Stone walling with ornamental features surround a neatly cut lawn with a huge array of colourful meadow style flowers and bedding plants. Feature ponds and the surrounding hilly landscape gives the nation a perception of a traditional West Yorkshire landscaper’s style.

Not just Shibden Hall

The street scenes featuring in the show are not confined to Halifax. Locations in Bradford, Wakefield Gate and Wainhouse Tower also feature in the series. Even when the show’s narrative was situated in Scotland the scenes were in fact filmed in Ripponden, further shedding light on our beautiful West Yorkshire countryside.

Such a focus has been made of the Yorkshire countryside in more shows than just ‘Gentleman Jack’ which may be all the talk now, but a few months ago viewers were drooling over 'Happy Valley'. The producer of both shows, Sally Wainright, put the Upper Calder Valley on display and also shot some parts in Hebden Bridge.

Sally Wainright, the most obvious advocate for West Yorkshire also created a show about the hugely famous Bronte Sisters named, ‘To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters’, a two hour drama special aired in 2016 that really made the perception of Yorkshire more three dimensional.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chelsea Flower Show

The Yorkshire countryside is more than just a gorgeous vista of traditional architecture constructed of weathered Yorkshire stone quarried from the local mines.

Welcome To Yorkshire have proudly featured a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show for 10 years running. The 2019 garden captured the beauty of our region’s canals and industrial heritage, winning Gold and the BBC’s People Choice Award. The idea was to highlight the natural beauty of the county, including the wild flowers that pop up between flagstones and it was quite clearly a huge hit with visitors.

How these traditional landscaping styles can be incorporated into modern day landscaping

It really seems as though these influential TV shows and Chelsea Show Gardens have defined the typical Yorkshire garden style. Of course, these gardens portray an image of history too from the walled Tudor gardens, to the Victorian industrialisation and Edwardian flower beds, and that’s why we love to visit them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use these traditional landscaping ways to create a modern West Yorkshire garden.

Landscapers create garden designs that involve an abundance of opportunities for wildlife and plants to flourish such as quaint flowers or herbs, with bees, butterflies and birds flying above lush green lawns are especially considered to be a Yorkshire style. Stone setts, gravel paths and dry stone style walls are typical materials used by local landscapers.

And for this, you should really use Yorkstone. Any flagstone that states it is Yorkstone must come from the part of West Yorkshire which runs from Huddersfield in the south to Keighley in the north, passing by Halifax and Bradford on its way. It is quarried from a single band of sandstone according to an article written about Dolmens in Gomersal. Off cuts are made into setts, so you can use the same material for both the pathways/patios and the edging.


There is a great array of different walling stones that can also give you the all so popular vista of ‘weathered Yorkshire’.

Reclaimed walling stone is aged worn stone that has been exposed to the elements. It has a distinctive appearance only displayed in proper reclaimed Yorkstone. It really gives a landscaped garden the story through this aged look but also a great deal of character. It is also environmentally friendly, as a reclaimed product.

The process of stone dressing is another great option for walling, creating that perfectly, imperfect look.

Reclaimed Tumbled Walling Stone is another type of stone that appears aged and worn. Tumbled walling offers random stone width, but a consistent height. It creates a neat and softer looking wall ideal for driveway entrances and boundary walls.

Riven Yorkstone paving has a textured face and has multiple variations of colour as well as having the potential to arrive coming with veins or markings, but this is all part of the look and adds to its distinctive naturalistic appeal. There is also paving stone that can come in grey tones providing a rustic, antique age-worn look that the ‘Gentleman Jack Effect’ is making us crave.

For information on our landscaping services, from block paving, to driveway installation and artificial lawn, head to our services page or get in touch.

Call 01484 522212 to discuss paving and driveways for your Huddersfield property. We specialise in block paving, artificial lawns and garden design.