Castle Howard - History and Facts | History Hit

Castle Howard

Ryedale, England, United Kingdom

Castle Howard is an impressive stately home nestled in North Yorkshire, that has been the home of the Howard family since its construction in 1699.

Lily Johnson

30 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Castle Howard

Castle Howard in Yorkshire is a magnificent 17th century stately home nestled among 1,000 acres of landscaped gardens and woodlands which has become a hugely popular visitor attraction.

Castle Howard history

The imposing architecture of Castle Howard was constructed from 1699 for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, and took over one hundred years to complete. Technically a stately home, not a castle, it is decorated in the Baroque style and was designed by John Vanbrugh. Despite no architectural experience, Vanbrugh managed to pull off the impressive feat.

Intriguingly, the sheer length of time and the number of Earls that oversaw the building of the house means that it is quite mismatched in design, with later Earls did not adhering to its original plans and leaving the house with a varied array of architecture.

Sadly, much of the original house did not survive into the modern day due to extensive fire damage in 1940. A large amount of the building had to be restored and has since been brought back to life via the long and tireless project of restoration that ensued. The east wing however remains a shell.

The survival of the house today is owed to George Howard’s efforts in the 20th century. After the Howard family suffered devastating losses during the Second World War, the estate was expected to be divided and sold. George returned from war wounded and miraculously undertook the task of rebuilding and restoring the house however, in 1952 opening the estate to the public.

Castle Howard today

Today, Castle Howard provides a wealth of art, architecture and history to explore, with its vast number of paintings, tapestries, sculpture and furniture collected over various Howard generations. Guides are present all over the house to inform you of its history, and tours of the house and garden are available with admission.

The house is not the only attraction of this estate – 1000 acres of woodland walks and lakeside footpaths provide visitors with a chance to see the beautifully landscaped grounds and rich horticulture. The features of the grounds include the rose and vegetables gardens, the Ray Wood arboretum, fountains, lakes, the mausoleum and the statue collection.

Castle Howard provides a perfect family day out, with activities and playgrounds for children and the land train a fun way to get around the gardens!

Getting to Castle Howard

Castle Howard is located 15 miles northeast of York and is easily accessible from the A64, with parking available at the site. The CastleLine bus service runs from York directly to the site, while Malton is its nearest train station 6 miles away, from which the CastleLine bus or a taxi may be taken.

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