Lauderdale House once overflowed with rocks, books, Greek and Roman art and exotic plants. On some days it was also overrun by London’s in-crowd.
Between 1850 and 1871 many people visited Lauderdale House to see the collections amassed by James Yates, who lived here at the time. Others attended popular ‘archaeological’ garden parties laid on by James and his wife Dorothea.
Whatever their reason for coming, James and Dorothea’s visitors were rarely disappointed. They enjoyed generous hospitality, lively, intelligent conversation and a chance to see plenty of unusual things. The most curious of these could be found in James’s palm house, which stood to the side of the main building.