Approximately 15 miles north of York is the stately home of Charles Howard, the Earl of Carlisle. This 13, ooo acre estate (which encompasses four small villages) has been in the Howard family for 300 years. We learned of Castle Howard from new friends we met at St. Denys' church, and they graciously offered to take us there. While this is not a "true" castle, but by tradition, the term is used for any English country home that was built on the site of a former military castle. The ruins of the former Hendershelfe Castle came into the Howard family's hands in 1566. Construction of the current building, with its 145 rooms, was begun in 1699 and took approximately 100 years to complete. The Earl of Sandwich lived here for a long time. It is one of the largest country homes in England. From 1845 until the 1950's, the estate was serviced by its own railway station. A large part of the Castle was severely damaged by a fire in November of 1940. Much of the damage caused by that fire has been restored. The Castle and its grounds have been used in several films and television programs, including the 1981 "Brideshead", and the 2008 "Brideshead Revisited". While the current Earl of Carlisle still resides in part of the Castle, it has been opened to public tours since 1952. We were thrilled by having the unexpected opportunity to visit such a stunning vista, thanks to the generosity of Our new found friends, Dennis and Margaret.
The approach to the Castle has been deliberately designed so that the succeeding points of interest are always visible (at least if you are riding in a tall carriage).
One of those points of interest along the approach is this monument to the 7th Earle of Carlisle.
The south side of Castle Howard as seen from the Atlas fountain.
There are several outbuildings on the property, including the Temple of the Four Winds .
The Turquoise Drawing Room was originally a small chamber used as a dressing room with an adjacent closet.
What many consider the crown jewel of the Castle is the Great Hall. It's 70 foot tall dome collapsed during the 1940 fire and had to be restored.
The Crimson Dining Room started out life as the State Bedchamber
This is the bedroom of Lady Georgiane, wife of the Earl of Carlisle.
The sixth Earl, Lord Carlisle, used this bedroom ca. 1825.
One of the truly exquisite rooms in the Castle is The Chapel. Previously used as a dining room, it was converted into The Chapel by the end of the 18th century.
The 4th Earl of Carlisle visited Italy in the late 1730's. Impressed by the scuplptures he saw there, the Earl lined the Antique Passageway , which runs the length of the house from east to west, with busts, statues, and urns.
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Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.