South (garden) face of Castle Howard
|OS grid reference|
|Architectural style(s)||English Baroque|
|Owner||Castle Howard Estate Ltd|
|Official name: Castle Howard and East Court|
|Designated||25 January 1954|
|Official name: Castle Howard|
|Designated||10 May 1984|
Castle Howard is a stately home in North Yorkshire, England, 15 miles (24 km) north of York. It is a private residence, and has been the home of the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years. Castle Howard is not a fortified structure, but the term "castle" is sometimes used in the name of an English country house erected on the site of a former castle.
The house is familiar to television and film audiences as the fictional "Brideshead", both in Granada Television's 1981 adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited and in a two-hour 2008 remake for cinema. Today, it is part of the Treasure Houses of England group of heritage houses.
The construction of Castle Howard began in 1699 and took over 100 years to complete to a design by Sir John Vanbrugh for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. The site was that of the ruined Henderskelfe Castle, which had come into the Howard family in 1566 through the marriage of Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk to Elizabeth Leyburne, widow of Thomas, 4th Baron Dacre. For the Duke of Norfolk's son Lord William Howard had married his step-sister Elizabeth Dacre, the daughter of the 4th Baron Dacre who brought with her the sizable estates of Henderskelfe and Naworth Castle as well.
The house is surrounded by a large estate which, at the time of the 7th Earl of Carlisle, covered over 13,000 acres (5,300 ha) and included the villages of Welburn, Bulmer, Slingsby, Terrington and Coneysthorpe. The estate was served by its own railway station, Castle Howard, from 1845 to the 1950s.
After the death of the 9th Earl in 1911, Castle Howard was inherited by his younger son Geoffrey, with later earls having Naworth Castle as their northern country house. In 1952, the house was opened to the public by the then owner, George Howard, Baron Howard of Henderskelfe. It is owned by Castle Howard Estate Ltd and run by Nicholas and Victoria Howard.
In 2003, the grounds were excavated over three days by Channel 4's Time Team , searching for evidence of a local village lost to allow for the landscaping of the estate.
The 3rd Earl of Carlisle first spoke to William Talman, a leading architect, but commissioned Vanbrugh, a fellow member of the Kit-Cat Club, to design the building. Castle Howard was that gentleman-dilettante's first foray into architecture, but he was assisted by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Vanbrugh's design evolved into a Baroque structure with two symmetrical wings projecting to either side of a north-south axis. The crowning central dome was added to the design at a late stage, after building had begun. Construction began at the east end, with the East Wing constructed from 1701–03, the east end of the Garden Front from 1701–06, the Central Block (including dome) from 1703–06, and the west end of the Garden Front from 1707–09. All are exuberantly decorated in Baroque style, with coronets, cherubs, urns and cyphers, with Roman Doric pilasters on the north front and Corinthian on the south. Many interiors were decorated by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini.
The Earl then turned his energies to the surrounding garden and grounds. Although the complete design is shown in the third volume of Colen Campbell's Vitruvius Britannicus , published in 1725, the West Wing was not yet started when Vanbrugh died in 1726, despite his remonstration with the Earl. The house remained incomplete on the death of the 3rd Earl in 1738, but the remaining construction finally started at the direction of the 4th Earl. However, Vanbrugh's design was not completed: the West Wing was built in a contrasting Palladian style to a design by the 3rd Earl's son-in-law, Sir Thomas Robinson. The new wing remained incomplete, with no first floor or roof, at the death of the 4th Earl in 1758; although a roof had been added, the interior remained undecorated by the death of Robinson in 1777. Rooms were completed stage by stage over the following decades, but the whole was not completed until 1811 under Charles Heathcote Tatham.
A large part of the house was destroyed by a fire which broke out on 9 November 1940.The dome, the central hall, the dining room and the state rooms on the east side were entirely destroyed. Antonio Pellegrini's ceiling decoration, the Fall of Phaeton, was lost when the dome collapsed. In total, twenty pictures (including two Tintorettos) and several valuable mirrors were lost. The fire took the Malton and York Fire Brigades eight hours to bring under control.
Some of the devastated rooms have been restored over the following decades. In 1960–61 the dome was rebuilt, and in the following couple of years Pellegrini's Fall of Phaeton was recreated on the underside of the dome.
Some first floor rooms were superficially restored for the 2008 filming, and now house an exhibition. The South East Wing remains a shell, although it has been restored externally. Castle Howard is one of the largest country houses in England, with a total of 145 rooms.
According to figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, over 225,000 people visited Castle Howard in 2018.
In 2009 an underwater ground-source heat recovery system was installed under the castle's lake that halved the heating bill.
Castle Howard has extensive and diverse gardens.There is a large formal garden immediately behind the house. The house is prominently situated on a ridge and this was exploited to create an English landscape park, which opens out from the formal garden and merges with the park.
Two major garden buildings are set into this landscape: the Temple of the Four Winds at the end of the garden, and the Mausoleum in the park. There is also a lake on either side of the house. There is a woodland garden, Ray Wood, and the walled garden contains decorative rose and flower gardens. Further buildings outside the preserved gardens include Hawksmoor's Pyramid, restored in 2015, an obelisk, and several follies and eyecatchers in the form of fortifications which have been restored in recent years. In nearby Pretty Wood there are two more monuments, The Four Faces and a smaller pyramid by Hawksmoor. The grounds of Castle Howard are also used as part of at least two charity running races during the year. Additionally a free, weekly, 5 km parkrun takes place every Saturday morning at 9 am in the gardens. This is jointly hosted by the local community and members of staff at Castle Howard.
Located on the estate, but operating separately from the house and gardens and run by an entirely independent charitable trust, is the 127 acres (51 ha) Yorkshire Arboretum. Originally created through the enthusiasm and partnership of George Howard (Lord Howard of Henderskelfe) and James Russell, over a period of eighteen years, from 1975 to 1992, it was opened to the public for the first time in 1999 and a new Visitor Centre opened in 2006. The arboretum's extensive and important collection of 6,000 trees and plants from across the world is set in a beautiful landscape of parkland, lakes and ponds. The charitable trust that runs the Yorkshire Arboretum also manages Ray Wood.
The house is Grade I listed and there are many other listed structures on the estate, several of which are on the Heritage at Risk Register.
In addition to its most famous appearances in film as Brideshead in both the 1981 television serial and 2008 film adaptations of Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited , Castle Howard has been used as a backdrop for a number of other cinematic and television settings.
In recent years, the castle has featured in the 1995 film The Buccaneers . It was notable in Peter Ustinov's 1965 film Lady L and as the exterior set for Lady Lyndon's estate in Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon . It has even featured as the Kremlin, in Galton and Simpson's 1966 film The Spy with a Cold Nose . Rooms (Great Hall Entrance, Turquoise Drawing Room) were used for indoor scenes in Death Comes to Pemberley (TV series 2013).
The castle and its grounds were used as the setting for the Bollywood film Shaandar and the 2006 film Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties .
The castle and mausoleum were used as the setting for the 2018 Arctic Monkeys video Four Out of Five.
In 2003 a Time Team episode tried to discover traces of the old settlement of Henderskelf that had been demolished to make way for the castle.
Nicholas Hawksmoor was an English architect. He was a leading figure of the English Baroque style of architecture in the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. Hawksmoor worked alongside the principal architects of the time, Christopher Wren and John Vanbrugh, and contributed to the design of some of the most notable buildings of the period, including St Paul's Cathedral, Wren's City of London churches, Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Part of his work has been correctly attributed to him only relatively recently, and his influence has reached several poets and authors of the twentieth century.
Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and 1722, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Sir John Vanbrugh was an English architect, dramatist and herald, perhaps best known as the designer of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. He wrote two argumentative and outspoken Restoration comedies, The Relapse (1696) and The Provoked Wife (1697), which have become enduring stage favourites but originally occasioned much controversy. He was knighted in 1714.
Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed country house in the village of Wentworth, in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England. It is currently owned by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. Considered to be the largest private residence in the United Kingdom, it has an east front of 606 feet (185 m); the longest country house façade in Europe. The house has more than 300 rooms, although the precise number is unclear, with 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of floorspace. It covers an area of more than 2.5 acres (1.0 ha), and is surrounded by a 180-acre (73 ha) park, and an estate of 15,000 acres (6,100 ha).
George William Frederick Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle,, styled Viscount Morpeth from 1825 to 1848, was a British statesman, orator, and writer.
Seaton Delaval Hall is a Grade I listed country house in Northumberland, England. It is near the coast just north of Newcastle upon Tyne. Located between Seaton Sluice and Seaton Delaval, it was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1718 for Admiral George Delaval; it is now owned by the National Trust.
Easton Neston is a large grade I listed country house in the parish of Easton Neston near Towcester in Northamptonshire, England. It was built by William Fermor, 1st Baron Leominster (1648–1711), in the Baroque style to the design of the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. Easton Neston is thought to be the only mansion which was solely the work of Hawksmoor. From about 1700, after the completion of Easton Neston, Hawksmoor worked with Sir John Vanbrugh on many buildings, including Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace, and often provided technical knowledge to the less qualified Vanbrugh. Hawksmoor's work was always more classically severe than Vanbrugh's. However, Easton Neston predates this partnership by some six years.
Grimsthorpe Castle is a country house in Lincolnshire, England 4 miles (6.4 km) north-west of Bourne on the A151. It lies within a 3,000 acre (12 km²) park of rolling pastures, lakes, and woodland landscaped by Capability Brown. While Grimsthorpe is not a castle in the strict sense of the word, its character is massive and martial – the towers and outlying pavilions recalling the bastions of a great fortress in classical dress. Grimsthorpe has been the home of the de Eresby family since 1516. The present owner is Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, granddaughter of Nancy Astor, who died at Grimsthorpe in 1964.
Kimbolton School is a British HMC co-educational independent day and boarding school in the rural village of Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire, England.
Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle, PC was a British nobleman, peer, and statesman.
William Talman (1650–1719) was an English architect and landscape designer. A pupil of Sir Christopher Wren, in 1678 he and Thomas Apprice gained the office of King's Waiter in the Port of London. From May 1689 until William III's death in 1702 he was Comptroller of the Royal Works, and also in 1689 William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland appointed Talman and George London as his deputies in his new role as Superintendent of the Royal Gardens. In these roles Talman worked with Wren in his rebuilding of Hampton Court Palace and its gardens and, by proposing a cheaper interior decoration scheme for the new building, won that commission over Wren's head.
Naworth Castle, also known as, or recorded in historical documents as "Naward", is a castle in Cumbria, England, near the town of Brampton. It is adjacent to the A69 about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Brampton. It is on the opposite side of the River Irthing to, and just within sight of, Lanercost Priory. It was the seat of the Barons Dacre and is now that of their cognatic descendants, the Earls of Carlisle. It is a grade I listed building.
Gosford House is a neoclassical country house around 2 miles (3 km) northeast of Longniddry in East Lothian, Scotland, on the A198 Aberlady Road, in 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of parkland and coast. It is the family seat of the Charteris family, the Earls of Wemyss and March. It was the home of the late Rt. Hon. David Charteris, 12th Earl of Wemyss, chief of the name and arms of Charteris, until his death in 2008. In 2009, it was inherited by James Charteris, 13th Earl of Wemyss and March although the Earl and his wife, drug researcher Amanda Feilding, reside at Stanway House in Gloucestershire. The south wing is the family home portion of the estate.
Major George Anthony Geoffrey Howard, Baron Howard of Henderskelfe, JP was a British politician, soldier and media man.
Wentworth Castle is a grade-I listed country house, the former seat of the Earls of Strafford, at Stainborough, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire, England. It is now home to the Northern College for Residential and Community Education.
Charles Heathcote Tatham, was an English architect of the early nineteenth century.
William Etty was an English architect and craftsman, best known for designing Holy Trinity Church, Leeds and (probably) Holy Trinity Church, Sunderland.
Elizabeth Leyburne, Duchess of Norfolk, was a member of the English nobility. She first married Thomas Dacre, 4th Baron Dacre; following his death in 1566, she secretly married Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. She was his third wife.
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