North Riding of Yorkshire

Castle Howard, North Riding of Yorkshire

Not a Castle, of course, but one of Britain's foremost stately homes.

The house was built for Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle, between 1699 and 1714 (although it wasn't finally completed until some years later).  The village which once stood here having been moved to make way for the building work.

The main architect was Sir John Vanbrugh (see Vanbrugh Castle, Kent), astonishingly this was the first building Vanbrugh ever worked on.  He was assisted by Sir Nicholas Hawksmoor, a pupil of Christopher Wren.  The west wing was added last and is slightly larger than the east wing giving the Castle a slightly lopsided appearance.  In recent years the dome was removed for refurbishment, but it was replaced again with great ceremony a few years ago - not long before our visit.

The interiors are magnificent and contain many treasured works of art; including that portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein.  The parkland, designed in part by the inevitable Capability Brown, are a wonder to behold with several large follies by Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor and famous fountains such as the Atlas Fountain (pictured above).

The TV Series "Brideshead Revisited" turned Castle Howard into one of the 'superstar' buildings of Britain.

Castle Howard is open to the public during the summer months - set aside the best part of a day for your visit.

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