Harewood House Part 1

In early October I attended a conference in Leeds. The conference was called “Thackeray in Time”, and I presented a paper on “Mocking Nostalgia: W.M. Thackeray, Richard Doyle, and The Newcomes” (yes, Dicky Doyle again!) (that’s not going to be my last paper on Doyle: at least two more will follow next year). I basically discussed the relevance of remembered history in The Newcomes and how the text and the illustrations deal with, and comment on, nostalgia. Thanks to the research I’ve done for my novels, I was able to present new findings and insights into the novel (authors do make better scholars *g*).

I had reserved the day before the conference for a bit of sightseeing, and as the weather was simply FANTASTIC (it was hot! in autumn!! in Yorkshire!!!), I decided to leave the city and look at Harewood House, a grand estate near Leeds.

The bus dropped me off in front of the entrance to the estate:

And then I walked down the drive.

And I walked …

… and walked …

(pretty meadows to the left)


… and walked …

… and walked …

… and walked …

(Oh look! Pretty neo-gothic church to the right!)


… and walked …

… and walked …

(more pretty meadows on the left)


… and walked …

… and walked some more (which definitely drove home the sheer vastness of such large estates) (and if that’s not great research I don’t know what is!) before I finally reached the house itself:

It was built in the 1760s for Edwin Lascelles. John Carr designed most of the outside of the house, while Robert Adam (then a relatively young Scottish architect trying to establish himself in London) designed most of the inside. The famous Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown worked on the landscape garden, and Thomas Chippendale on the furniture and furnishings throughout the house (whew, that reads like a Who’s Who of 18th-century architects and designers, doesn’t it?).

Edwin’s cousin and heir became the 1st Earl of Harewood in 1812, and his grandson, the 3rd earl, married Louisa Thynne, who had great plans for Harewood. She ordered a reconstruction of the house, enlarging the building and adding a grand terrace to the south side. For this, she chose one of the star architects of the Victorian Age, Charles Barry, who had designed the new Houses of Parliament.

The next picture shows a smallish formal garden at the east side of the house:

And here we have another bit of formal garden at the south side:

Turn right, and this path then leads you to what Louisa must have considered the crowning glory of the house: the south terrace! (To be continued …)

2 thoughts on “Harewood House Part 1

  1. Sandra Schwab

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t go inside the house (which, judging from the guidebook I bought, is even more awesome than the outside!), but the grounds the alone simply blew me away. Sooooo beautiful! (And sooooo many geese! Very Nils Holgerson.)

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