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castle howard

Why you should visit Castle Howard

Date: 12th July 2019
Author: Sarah Twist
Publisher: Darwin Escapes
Park: Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club
Local Area

Castle Howard has been wowing visitors with generations of the Howard family for over 300 years, it enjoys a rich and interesting history in the local area

Our own luxury destination, Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club, is only a 40 minute drive away from the spectacular Castle Howard. Base yourself at our resort and explore the local area, while relaxing in our luxurious lodges.

The beautiful landscaped gardens are spread over 1000 acres with various places to explore and the house offers a window to the highlife of Earls and Dukes. There is endless places to wander and stories to hear about the fascinating Howard family, who still keep the castle alive today.

The Howard Family

The Howard family are descended from Lord William Howard, the first Earl of Carlisle, he lived in Naworth Castle in Cumbria. The 3rd Earl of Carlisle, Charles Howard, was the original creator of Castle Howard but he unfortunately died in 1738, which was before the house was finally completed.

There were 8 generations of Earls who lived at Castle Howard, each with their own interested tales, as well as the later Howard decedents who have helped to restore the castle and welcomed the public in.

  • The 5th Earl of Carlisle finished the building of Castle Howard, to mixed reviews. He filled the rooms with paintings from his own collection
  • The last Earl of Carlisle to live in Castle Howard was the 9th. He was also a very talented painter and trustee of the National Gallery
  • After the Second World War, George Howard unexpectedly inherited Castle Howard, and with his wife Cecilia, they opened the house to the public for the first time in 1952
  • George’s son, The Honourable Simon Howard did fantastic job of running the Castle for 30 years, before stepping down in 2015
  • Simon’s brother, The Honourable Nick Howard and his wife Victoria continue to run the Castle today

About Castle Howard

The construction of the castle was a slow process, starting with the 3rd Earl of Carlisle in 1699, it spanned the lifetime of three Earls and was finally completed 100 years later.

Charles Howard was the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, and he commissioned the build for the castle hiring dramatist John Vanbrugh, who had no experience of building anything. In turn, Vanbrugh hired Nicholas Hawksmoor to help with construction and the practical part of the building.

Vanbrugh designed an opulent and symmetrical building, however when he died in 1726 the castle was not complete. Castle Howard was completed by Sir Thomas Robinson, who changed the flamboyant design by creating a conservative Palladian Wing, which created an unbalanced look. Once the castle was finished, this unbalanced look received a mix response, with a few high socialites at the time commenting too.

Over the centuries, further changes have been made, during the refurbishment of the Chapel in the 1870’s, the attic pavilions in the west wing were removed to try and bring a sense of harmony to the wings. However, Castle Howard will always remain only a part realisation of the original design, with two wings that do not match.

In 1940 an utterly devastating fire destroyed much of the roof of the castle, including the iconic dome. Restoration of the burned parts of the house started in 1960 with George and Cecilia Howard. The restoration efforts still continue today with work including masonry, lead roofing and even paintings restoration.

Castle Howard’s Gardens

Explore 1000 acres of picturesque parkland at Castle Howard, here you’ll find a place for peace and tranquillity. There are a number of area’s just waiting to be discovered and views ready to be seen, all set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Walled Garden was originally an 18th Century kitchen garden, but today enjoys immaculately manicured lawns and boarders. Inside the Walled Garden is the magnificent Rose Garden, which is dedicated to the memory of Lady Cecilia Howard. The Walled Garden is also home to a number of beautiful structures and a peaceful water feature to relax next to. The Woodland Garden boasts endless, meandering paths to explore, with nearly 800 species of Rhododendron flowers to find among the extraordinary collections of plants from around the world.

There are a number of lakes and waterways to discover around Castle Howard, the most famous is the Atlas fountain in the South Parterre of the Walled Garden, it also has sculpted sea god statues around it. The Prince of Wales fountain in the South Lake was installed in the 1850’s and jumps up to 40 feet.

There is a fun adventure playground for the children to enjoy too, as well as the brand new Skelf Island, which lays across the Great Lake and is an exciting new play area to explore.

Opening Times & Prices

House opening times for 2019: 10:30am – 3pm
Garden opening times for 2019: 10am – 6pm

2019 ticket prices:
House & Gardens: Adult £19.50 / Child £11 / Family of 4 £31
Gardens Only: Adult £11.95 / Child £7.95 / Family of 4 £19.90

Why not book your holiday getaway to our stunning Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club today and start exploring Castle Howard?

Our stunning lodges offer completely luxury self-catered accommodation in Pocklington, Yorkshire, as well as a range of fabulous facilities, including the Tranquility Spa Lodge, The Box Gym and of course, the beautiful golf course

Photo Credits: Chris, Puffin11K.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We’ve now reopened all of our holiday resorts. Find out more.