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Home > New Search > Castle Howard (Henderskelfe), Yorkshire

Castle Howard (Henderskelfe), Yorkshire  England 
Coneysthorpe, North Yorkshire, England

Started 1700
Completed 1726

Status: Fully Extant

Special Info / Location/ Date

Special Info
Phonetic Pronunciation of House Name

Location
Country
England
District Today
North Yorkshire
 Historic County
 City / Town / Village
Coneysthorpe
 Latitude
54.121389
 Longitude
-0.905833

Date
Start Date
1700
Completion Date
1726
Circa Date
Images

The South Façade

Click on thumbnail for a larger view

The South Façade
Detail of the South Façade
The North Façade
The West Wing
The Antique Passage
The Chapel Atlar
The Garden from the South Façade
The Walk to the Temple of the Four Winds
The Temple of the Four Winds
The South Façade from Meyer's Universum, 1839
The Mausoleum from The Beauties of England & Wales, 1812


Images From The V&A

Images courtesy of and copyright by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Plan of the ground to the north of Castle Howard, Yorkshire. [design] Plan of the ground to the north of Castle Howard. [design] A sheet inscribed with explanatory notes and attached to a sheet depicting a plan of the ground to the north of Castle Howard.
Elevation of the south side of the kitchen at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, showing an additional office in the form of a domed pavilion. [design] An alternative design for an additional office in the form of a domed pavilion at Castle Howard, Yorkshire drawn on a separate sheet attached to E.428-1951.
An early design for the west range wings of the south, or garden front at Castle Howard, Yorkshire. The elevation shows a one-story building with seven bays in the central section with round-headed windows separated by Corinthian pilasters and a pavilion with an attic at one end. The dome of the pavilion is cut off and the right-hand end of the sheet is missing. Another line is drawn below the ground line, possibly indicating preliminary ideas for the later rusticated basement.
Early plan of the ground floor of Castle Howard, Yorkshire with many variations from the design as executed. Scale: 1 inch to 20 feet.
Early, fully worked-up large design for the south, or garden front of Castle Howard, Yorkshire, showing coupled plain Corinthian pilasters, and no end pavilions.
A detailed pen drawing of an early design for the east range of the south, or garden front at Castle Howard, Yorkshire. The design shows a one-story building with seven bays and round-headed windows separated by single Corinthian pilasters. The windows are taller and broader with less clear space above them than as built, and have mutuled brackets below the sills. At the end of the building is a stepped effect with two adjacent pilasters. A system of rustication as in the built front is indicated in pencil.
Revised plan for the ground-floor of Castle Howard, Yorkshire showing the wings and quadrants with a domed hall. Each range has seven bays and one pavilion, with the rooms decreasing in size as they approach the pavilions. Each pavilion has two rooms. Scale: 1 inch to 20 feet
Study for the north, or entrance front of Castle Howard, Yorkshire. Scale: 1 inch to 5 feet.
Elevation of the north, or entrance front of Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Architectural drawing of an early proposal for the elevation of the central block of the north, or entrance front of Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Elevation of the east or west side of the forecourt at Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Perspective view of Castle Howard with its front and side courts as intended by Vanbrugh. On the back are the plans of the two principal floors of an unidentified small house.
Unfinished perspective view of Castle Howard from the north-east approximately as built.
Plan of the first floor of Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Plan of the first floor of Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Architects

Designed   Gardens, including installation of the Atlas Fountain
Date   1850s

Designed   Finished interiors of West Wing, including the Long Gallery, the Chapel, and the Museum Room, for 5th Earl of Carlisle
Date   1801-05

Designed   Obelisk (1714), Pyramid Gate (1719), Temple of the Four Winds (1723-24), Belvedere Temple (1725-28)
Date   1714-28

Designed   Stables for 5th Earl of Carlisle
Date   1774-82

Designed   Added steps & outer court to Mausoleum under Robinson's designs
Date   1737-42

Designed   West Wing
Date   1753-59

Designed   Exclamation Gate for 5th Earl of Carlisle
Date   circa 1770

Designed   Pyramid (1728), Mausoleum and Carrmirr Gate (1729-36), Temple of Venus [demolished], (1731-35)
Date   1728-36

Designed   House
Date   1699

Extant / Listed / References

Extant
Extant Type
Fully Extant
Extant Details

Listed
House Listed As 
Grade I
Gardens Listed As  
Grade I
Country House:  Yes

References
Vitruvius Britannicus
C. I, pls. 63-71, 1715. C. III, pls. 5, 6, 1725.
Vitruvius Scoticus
J.B. Burke (Burke's Visitation of Seats)
Vol. I, p. 142, 1852.
Country Life
XV, 234, 1904. LXI, 884 plan, 948, 1005 [Pictures], 1022, 1043 [Pictures], 1927. LXII, 200 [Outworks], 230 [Outworks], 1927. CXIII, 276 plan, 1953.
J.P. Neale (Neale's Views of Seats)
Vol. V, 1822.
Access / Ownership / Seat

Access
Open to Public Please note: Houses listed as being open "By Appointment" are usually country house hotels, B&Bs, or schools.
Yes
Historic Houses Association Member
Yes
Phone Number If calling from the U.S., delete the first "0" in British numbers.
01653-648-444
Fax Number
01653-648-529
Email
Website
Awards
HHA/Christie's Garden of the Year Award 2011.

Current Ownership
Current Ownership Type
Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use
Private Home
Current Ownership Use / Details
Castle Howard is jointly owned by the four sons of the late Baron Howard of Henderskelfe, The Hon. Henry, Nicholas, Simon and Anthony Howard, via Castle Howard Estate Ltd.

Seat ("Seat" is loosely defined as any family that occupied the house for a period of 2 years or more)
Today Seat of
The Hon. Simon Howard; Howard family here since 1577.
A Past Seat(s) of
Earl of Carlisle. SEATED AT HENDERSKELFE: Greystoke family, 15th century. Lord Thomas Dacre, 1488-1525; Dacre family here until 1577.
Possible (Unsure) Seat of
History / Gardens & Park / Movies

History
Earlier House(s) / Building(s)
The old castle of Henderskelfe was rebuilt in 1683, but gutted by fire 10 years later and replaced by the current house.
House Replaced By
Built / Designed For
Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle
House & Family History
After the burning of an earlier house, the "Old Castle of Henderskelfe," the young 3rd Earl of Carlisle, recently appointed First Lord of the Treasury, was determined to build a house befitting his newly-elevated status. In 1698 the Earl commissioned William Talman to build him a new house; however, the two soon disagreed and Talman, who had a reputation for being difficult, was dismissed. The following year the Earl made the surprising choice of John Vanbrugh as the architect for his new house (the finished product cost the immense sum of £78,000, worth approximately £10 million in inflation-adjusted 2010 values, using the retail price index). Vanbrugh was then primarily a playwright who had never designed a house (both Lord Carlisle and Vanbrugh were members of the Kit-Cat Club, which is very likely where their friendship developed). Vanbrugh's grand ideas, ably assisted by Nicholas Hawksmoor and enthusiastically backed by his patron and client, created one of the greatest houses of the 18th century. The great dome, which soars 80 feet, was the first in a private house in Britain. The scagliola in the Great Hall was one of the earliest examples in England of this mixture of marble chips and hard plaster. Frederick, the 5th Earl, commissioned C.H. Tatham in 1805 to finish the interior of the West Wing, the Chapel, and the Museum Room. Originally planned as a columned Dining Hall, the Chapel has a ceiling based on the Chapel Royal in St. James's Palace. George, the 9th Earl, was a painter in his own right (in the Pre-Raphaelite style); his friend Edward Burne-Jones designed stained glass windows for the Chapel, which were executed by William Morris. During World War II the House was occupied by a girls' school. In 1940 a fire engulfed Castle Howard, gutting the entire east and central sections of the south front and destroying the dome. Many important interiors, including the Garden Hall and the High Saloon were lost. The great dome was restored in 1960 by George Howard, who also commissioned the Canadian artist Scott Medd to restore Pellegrini's fresco of Phaeton falling from his father's chariot. In 1982 the artist Felix Kelly completed murals in the Garden Room; the murals were meant to evoke Claudian vistas as seen through "windows," the latter of which were designed by the architect Julian Bicknell. The murals (commissioned by his close friend George Howard, then Chairman of the BBC) were used in the TV mini-series "Brideshead Revisited" (passed off as the work of Charles Ryder, played by Jeremy Irons), which was famously filmed at Castle Howard. The 2008 motion picture of "Brideshead Revisited," starring Emma Thompson as Lady Marchmain, was also filmed at Castle Howard. Sanssouci, the Potsdam complex begun as the summer palace of Frederick the Great in the 1740s, includes New Palace, a 1760s building in the Prussian Baroque style that was clearly influenced in its design by Castle Howard. George Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle, Knight of the Garter, Privy Councillor, Member of Parliament and Viceroy of Ireland, was also, a bit surprisingly, a passionate lover of poetry (he exchanged sonnets with William Wordsworth). In 1826 the Earl famously accompanied his uncle, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, to Russia for the lavish coronation of Tsar Nicholas I. The Earl is buried in Hawksmoor’s sublime mausoleum at Castle Howard. In 1869-70 the Carlisle Memorial Column was erected on the Castle Howard Estate to the memory of the 7th Earl (see the “Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings” section for more information on the Carlisle Memorial Column).
Collections This field lists art objects that are currently or were previously in the collection of the house.

For information on the history of British currency, click here.  To use a chart that allows you to compare the purchasing power of money In Great Britain from 1264 to any other year, including the present, click here.  To use a currency conversion to see the current value of the British pound, click here.
Henry Howard, 4th Earl of Carlisle (1694-1758), formed an outstanding collection of 170 classical and post-classical gems (intaglios and cameos) at Castle Howard between 1739 and 1758, the majority of which were purchased by the British Museum in 1890. The collecting of antique gems in Britain reached such an intense and competitive level in the 18th century that the French gem expert P.J. Mariette, writing in "Traité des Pierres Gravées" in the 1750s, said "nowhere is more love shown for classical gems" [than in England]. The current collection at Castle Howard contains notable paintings, including the famous Holbein portraits of Henry VIII and the Duke of Norfolk. Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s "Cardinal dal Pozzo" was sold by negotiation to The National Gallery of Scotland 1986-87 for £3 million. A sale of various contents of Castle Howard was sold at auction November 11 - 13, 1991 by Sotheby's. Michelangelo's "Mourning Woman" drawing was sold for £5,943,500 at Sotheby’s in London, July 11, 2001. Sir Joshua Reynolds's "Portrait of Omai" was sold November 29, 2001 at Sotheby's for £10,343,500 (although its export was refused and it was subsequently bought by Tate Britain for £12.5 million in March 2003). One of Canaletto's masterpieces, "Bacino di San Marco, Venice," purchased by the 4th Earl of Carlisle, has been in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston since 1939, where it is considered among the finest Canalettos in America. A fine pair of Canalettos of the views of the Piazzo San Marco and the Piazzetta, also purchased by the 4th Earl, are today in the collection of The National Gallery of Art, Washington. An unusual circa 1705 walnut bureau cabinet featuring five carved and gilded figures on the cornice, formerly in the collection at Castle Howard, is today in The Burrell Collection, Glasgow. The bedroom passage leading to Lady Georgiana's bedroom is hung with a fine collection of 18th century prints of Raphael's decorations for the Vatican Loggia, purchased by the 6th Earl of Carlisle in 1827.
Comments
Castle Howard is generally considered to be the finest private residence in Yorkshire and the first great British house of the 18th century. Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd called the approach to Castle Howard "probably the most dramatic of all the great houses of England and Wales." Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, writing in "British Architects and Craftsmen," considered Hawksmoor's Mausoleum and Bridge at Castle Howard to be "greater works of art than many of our Cathedrals. They belong to the class of Landscape buildings, and probably of their kind, they are as beautiful as anything in Europe." Horace Walpole, writing in the 18th century on Castle Howard: "Nobody had informed me at one view I should see a palace, a town, a fortified city, temples on high places, woods worthy of being each a metropolis of the Druids, the noblest lawn in the world fenced by half the horizon, and a mausoleum that would tempt one to be buried alive; in short, I have seen gigantic places before, but never a sublime one."

Gardens & Park
Garden, Park, Follies and Outbuildings
Castle Howard sits in an Estate of 10,000 acres, of which 1,000 are devoted to gardens and follies, including the Temple of the Four Winds, the building in England which has the most in common with the built architecture of Palladio. Gervase Jackson-Stops believed that the follies in the gardens were deliberately Greek and Egyptian in design to complement Vanbrugh’s Roman Temple of the Four Winds – thus representing the three great civilizations of the past. The Mausoleum, which Horace Walpole famously quipped was so beautiful it would tempt one to be buried alive, is one of the most important buildings of its kind in Britain. The Mausoleum received a £1 million grant from English Heritage in 1979 to prevent its collapse, yet it still remains on the English Heritage List of Buildings at Risk. On Bulmer Hill stands the Carlisle Memorial Column, erected 1869-70 by public subscription and dedicated to the memory of George Howard, 7th Earl of Carlisle. The 120-foot stone tower is topped by an ornamental Greek brazier, or urn, with leaping copper flames. By 2002 the original cast iron beacon had been lost and a £60,000 project was begun to reproduce the beacon. The result was a 15-foot-high cast iron structure with a wrought iron basket and braces and gilded copper flames. The beacon weighs approximately four tons and sits on a ten-foot-tall Greek tripod. The column is inscribed: "AD MDCCCLXIX: IN PRIVATE LIFE WAS LOVED / BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM / BY HIS PUBLIC CONDUCT / WON the RESPECT of his COUNTRY / and LEFT THE BRIGHT EXAMPLE / OF A TRVE PATRIOT / AND EARNEST CHRISTIAN / VIIth EARL of CARLISLE." The famous Atlas Fountain was acquired by the 7th Earl at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and installed in the center of the South Parterre by W.A. Nesfield.
Chapel & Church
C.H. Tatham finished the interior of the Chapel in 1805. Originally planned as a columned Dining Hall, the Chapel has a ceiling based on the Chapel Royal in St. James's Palace, London. Edward Burne-Jones designed the stained glass windows, which were executed by William Morris.

Movies
Location for Movies / TV
"Lady L" (1965). "The Spy With a Cold Nose" (1966). "Twelfth Night" (1974 - TV production). "Barry Lyndon" (1975). “Brideshead Revisited” (1981 - TV mini series, as Brideshead). "The Buccaneers" (1995 - TV mini series, as Longlands, home of the Duke and Duchess of Trevenick). "Bill Bryson: Notes from a Small Island" (1999 - TV series). "Antiques Roadshow" (1999 - TV series, 2 episodes). "Bargain Hunt" (2000-07? - TV game show series). "Casanova" (2002 - TV production). "Time Team" (2003 - TV documentary series, episode 10.11). "Britain's Finest" (2003 - TV documentary series). "Castle in the Country" (2005 - TV BBC documentary, series 2). "Revisiting Brideshead" (2005 - TV documentary on the TV series “Brideshead Revisited” [1981], especially in the segment "Castle Howard"). "Garfield 2: A Tail of Two Kitties" (2006 - as Castle Carlisle/Carlyle exteriors and the bridge and lakes). "Flyboys" (2006). "The Great Garden Detectives" (2007 - TV series). "Brideshead Revisited" (2008 - theatrical movie, as Brideshead). "Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour of Europe" (2009 - TV mini series).
Bibliography

Author   NA
Year Published   NA
Reference   Spring 1999, pg. 15


Author   Sayer, Michael
Year Published   1993
Reference  


Author   Colvin, Howard
Year Published   1995
Reference  


Author   Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh and Sykes, Christopher Simon
Year Published   1994
Reference  


Author   Wilson, Richard; Mackley, Alan
Year Published   2000
Reference   pg. 243


Author   NA
Year Published   NA
Reference   No. 79, Spring 2003, pg. 13


Author   Wohlauer, Gilian Shallcross
Year Published   1999
Reference   pg. 231


Author   Jackson-Stops, Gervase (Editor)
Year Published   1985
Reference   pg. 263


Author   Barker, Nicholas
Year Published   2003
Reference   pg. 66


Author   NA
Year Published   NA
Reference   Nov 1985, pg. 665


Author   NA
Year Published   NA
Reference   Autumn 2004, pg. 60


Author   NA
Year Published   1997
Reference   pg. 24


Author   Norwich, John Julius (Introduction)
Year Published   2001
Reference   pg. 134


Author   Sloan, Kim; Burnett, Andrew (Editors)
Year Published   2003
Reference   pg. 136


Author   Jackson-Stops, Gervase; Pipkin, James (Photographer)
Year Published   1987
Reference   pgs. 132, 195



There are no documents associated with this house.


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