Castle Howard

We took the THUG out for an outing today to Castle Howard near York, it was a beautiful sunny but cold day. Most of the left hand side of England had a fall of snow today, but here it was fine.

This was the scene that greeted us at 07.30hrs, Julie is somewhere in the black bit rounding up the horses to feed and pamper before we could leave.


This is the mighty DRAX power station as seen from nearby Carlton. From here it looks like a giant cloud making factory, the sky was empty of a single cloud so far!


Julie stand at the south-facing end of Castle Howard, to me and you that reads “Julie stands in the back garden!” It was conceived in 1699 and completed more or less in 1712 for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle.


This is in the walled garden, we were a bit early so we took a stroll around the huge gardens until the house opened at 11.00hrs, Julie says hello to some friendly Koi carp.


The day looks sunny and warm, sunny it was but warm it wasn’t, it was so cold that it made ones eyes run when the wind blew in from the east.


At the eastern end sat this building on the ridge, it’s called The Temple of The Four Winds….The eastern wind was blowing so cold today it made the old eyes water.


Further away one could see the mausoleum, I was stood at the cascades, this was an overflow pond to the South Lake. The bridge there is called the New River Bridge, original name or what??


The South Lake is ten feet higher than me at the moment, the house sits away on the ridge. There is a larger lake in the front garden  and this is called…wait for it…The Great Lake!! OoooH another inspirational name


If you plant lots of exotic trees and shrubs it’s called a botanical garden, did you know it’s also known as a arboretum? It very colourful at this time of year with shades of browns and greens don’t you think?


It just something…but have you noticed that Greek statues ALWAYS show a naked breast if it’s a woman and a naked peachy bum when its a bloke…AND… the woman is always a bit frumpy and motherly looking whilst the bloke always seems to look dead fit.


I’m glad I wasn’t a window cleaner in the 1800’s!! The house was severely damaged in 1940 by a fire, they are slowly repairing the damage, I guess even the gentry have their limits financially. You would have thought that such a building would have been helped along by the government of the day (in the 70’s or 80’s when we were all a bit richer than now) Maybe it’s because it belongs to somebody and not the country? I think it’s a bit odd that its been left all this time to repair. It has been used in several films over the years, in 1981 it was used in the period drama BRIDESHEAD REVISITED.

Its December 6th so I was surprised to see some roses still showing off in the walled rose garden. Nothing much else was out which was NOT a surprise!


From where I was standing this looked positively pornographic, two fit naked blokes in a clinch! Julie shook me from my stare to explain it was Hercules who had to keep the other bloke off the floor because every time he touched the ground he got stronger….Hmm… it still looks a bit queer to me darlings!


Going inside to see the Christmas decorations was warm but full of people shuffling along the corridors looking at the fantastic rooms, there was not a lot of room! Taking photos proved to be a bit difficult unless you like to look at a blue rinse or two or a baldie head. However when it opened up here and there it was very grand. Here we are under the centre dome..OOOOOOH lovely!


All the art work had been badly damaged in the fire but has now been repainted to how it was, especially here in the centre, some of the rooms are having new ceilings and walls, some of the rooms are still awaiting renovation. I’d hate to think how much it was costing them.


This is one of half a dozen gaily decorated Christmas trees around the house. Takes your breath away doesn’t it? We have seen similar scenes at Chatsworth House. It makes you want to dash home and get the plastic tree down from the loft doesn’t it guys?


These two young ladies  were playing the piano together and sounded really nice as we strolled along the long airy halls towards them. I got a bit excited when I recognized one of their tunes until I recalled it was from that funny old chocolate advert from the 1980’s each shot had a funny sketch and an old guy singing “everyone’s a fruit and nut case”..remember? Well it was well-played and was probably a very famous old piece of music and yes I know I’m a classical heathen!


Now THAT is what I call a proper book case..I wander if he has any Sven Hassel or maybe some Dandy annuals?


We looked at this painting as both said “Ah ha.. been there done that..!” I felt the urge to tell anyone in earshot that we had walked round Rome last year and bought an ice cream right THERE…


I thought the small period rooms were a bit too cramped for my liking, there was so much to see as well as the Christmas decorations that it was hard to enjoy that bit. However the huge halls that opened up before me were magnificent, the paintings where fab, and just look at that wooden floor, no formica anywhere in this house! A wonderful exhibition is on at the moment celebrating the paintings and sketches of George Howard the 9th Earl of Carlisle. 1843 -1911. They were of his travels in Egypt and India. The colours and detail kept me in awe as I hovered around looking at each and every one of them, some had never been seen by the public before.


Not quite an oil painting I know..before you say so! But a nice picture all the same and the end of a good day out, now it was back to the pub in Sherrif Hutton for a pub lunch and some golden beverage.



3 Responses to Castle Howard

  1. Ian (fatha) Jones says:

    Excellent photos and another great write up as usual, a place to put into the must see folder. Good to see you both looking really well and it was easy to see how cold it was.


  2. Jill Burke says:

    One of my most favourite places to visit in the world! As a huge Brideshead Revisited (the series and not the dire film) its a place i have visited one more than one occasion and it always takes my breath away. Thank you for the lovely photos and a reminder of the good things in Yorkshire. I believe there are one or two 😉


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