North Yorkshire, England
Castle Howard is an English country house in North Yorkshire, England. For more than 300 years the castle has belonged to the Howard family.
Throughout much of English and later British history, the Howards have played an important role. Claiming descent from folklore figure Hereward the Wake who resisted the Norman conquest, John Howard fought to the death at the Battle of the Bosworth Field in defence of the Yorkist cause. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, played a significant role in Henrician politics. Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, served as Lord Admiral of the English fleet which defeated the invading Spanish Armada.
Castle Howard is not a true castle, but this term is also used for English country houses erected on the site of a former military castle. Castle Howard was built between 1699 and 1712 to a design by Sir John Vanbrugh. The site was that of the ruined Henderskelfe Castle, which had come into the Howard family in 1566 through marriage to Lord Dacre’s widow of Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk. The house is surrounded by a large estate which covers over 13,000 acres. The estate was served by it’s own railway station from 1845 to the 1950’s. In 1952, the house was opened to the public by then owner, George Howard, Baron Howard of Henderskelfe. It is currently owned by his son, the Honourable Simon Howard, who grew up at the castle.
In 2003, the grounds were excavated over three days by Channel 4’s Time Team, searching for evidence of a local village lost to allow for the landscaping of the estate.
Castle Howard is one of the largest country houses in England, with a total of 145 rooms.