Happy in Harewood

Friday 4th September 2015

Today we said farewell to Cambridge and its students and bikes and travelled north on the M1 to York and the city of Harrogate stopping off at the beautiful Georgian home of Harewood on the way.  Harewood is the ancestral home for 300 years of the Lascelles Family and their descendants are still the Earls of Harewood and live in the house today.

Harewood in York; the exterior of the South Face and formal terraced gardens.

Harewood in York; the exterior of the South Face and formal terraced gardens.

Harewood exterior of north face as you arrive

Harewood exterior of north face as you arrive

View of Harewood as you drive up to the front door literally before passing on to the carpark

View of Harewood as you drive up to the front door literally before passing on to the carpark

View of Harewood from the churchyard of All Saints Church on the Estate

View of Harewood from the churchyard of All Saints Church on the Estate

Harewood was built in the C17th by architects John Carr and Robert Adam with Adam playing the key role creating a beautifully balanced Georgian Building with ceilings in his typical restrained and delicate style. The furniture is all by Chippendale and designed specifically for the house. The grounds are vintage Capability Brown and the major additions in the C19th by Sir Charles Barry have been very sympathetically aligned with Adam’s original work.

Herbaceous borders on the south face of Harewood

Herbaceous borders on the south face of Harewood

garden view at Harewood

garden view at Harewood

cyclamens and Lime trees in Harewood garden

cyclamens and Lime trees in Harewood garden

Orpheus statue in terraced garden at Harewood

Orpheus statue in terraced garden at Harewood

Harewood terraced garden

Harewood terraced garden

View to the south from Harewood

View to the south from Harewood

This is a place of wonderful planning with an amazing bird park of rare birds, terraced formal gardens, a glorious deer park and vast lawns, parkland, arboretum and forest, a large lake, children’s playgrounds, a second hand bookshop, tea shops and restaurants, and an early C15th estate church on the property.

The house has a vast art collection including  two works by Turner who came there to paint and works by both Jacobo and Giovanni Bellini.

Turner Harewood Castle ruin in 1798

Turner: Harewood Castle ruin in 1798

Giovanni Bellini Madonna and Child Harewood long gallery

Giovanni Bellini Madonna and Child Harewood long gallery

Jacobo Bellini Madonna and child and donor

Jacobo Bellini Madonna and child and donor

Harewood holds a massive  collection of fine books especially on art history, theology and gardening spread over four large rooms,

Harewood library Harewood library 2 Harewood library 3books books and more books at Harewood

And again!

And again!

There are many unique collections such as Meissen porcelain of a particular period and owls.

Part of Meissen porcelain collection

Part of Meissen porcelain collection

Sevres clock

Sevres clock

A feature of this house is that one of the Lady Lascelles was Mary the third daughter of George V and his wife Mary.   This royal connection is evident in many gatherings at the house and there is a photographic trail of some interest. In particular during World War 1 Mary launched an appeal to send every British soldier and sailor a Christmas gift which was extraordinarily successful and went out to many thousands of English servicemen.

Wartime photo of Mary Lascelles, third daughter of George V and his wife Mary. He shown with her Christmas gift boxes for British sailors and soldiers in WW!

Wartime photo of Mary Lascelles, third daughter of George V and his wife Mary. He shown with her Christmas gift boxes for British sailors and soldiers in WW!

A feature of the house is the purpose designed furniture produced by Chippendale

Chippendale cabinet

Chippendale cabinet

Chinese theme in Mary Lascelles bedroom

Chinese theme in Mary Lascelles bedroom

Princess Mary's bedroom

Princess Mary’s bedroom

Harewood State bedroom

Harewood State bedroom

Harewood another Chippendale cabinet

Harewood another Chippendale cabinet

A defining feature of the house is the ceiling work by Robert Adam. Josiah Wedgwood is said to have been influenced by Adam’s designs in his porcelain work.  Four ceilings below.

Harewood ceiling 1 Harewood ceiling 2 Harewood ceiling 5 Harewood ceiling 6

Harewood ceiling 8 Harewood long room gallery

The Long Gallery on the right has a stunning art collection on display

We have seen many stately homes on this trip and previously but the uniform excellence of Harewood is hard to beat.  There is a living warmth in the house which is magnified by the presence of the work of many current artists including Jacob Epstein as well as the personal work of the previous Earl who was a film director and manager of events including the Edinburgh Music Festival. Everything is artistically and elegantly presented and nothing is over the top. There is no doubt that the elegance of Chippendale furniture and the calming effects of Adam’s design work make a huge impact on this house.

Jacob Epstein's

Jacob Epstein’s “Adam”…not to everyone’s taste but this huge statue sits front and centre as you enter the front door of Harewood.

Sitting room used currently by the young Earl and his family

Sitting room set up as it was when the 7th Earl liked it but with modern artwork

The late 7th Earl of Harewood and his second wife who still lives upstairs at 91. She is an Australian former model and violist and apparently still checks out the house each day before visitors are let in.

The late 7th Earl of Harewood and his second wife who still lives upstairs at 89. She is an Australian, former model and violinist Patricia “Bambi” Lascelles and apparently still checks out the house each day before visitors are let in.

The Church of All Saints was built in 1410 by the Aldburgh family of the former Harewood Castle and contains ancient tombs of the Gascoigne family. It was remodelled in “Gothic style with stained glass windows in 1863. It is still consecrated but it is no longer used on a regular basis.

Harewood All Saints Church exterior. The Church is on the estate and still consecrated but not used regularly

Harewood All Saints Church exterior. The Church is on the estate and still consecrated but not used regularly

All Saints Harewood nave to sanctuary; the church was built in 1403 and is still consecrated but not regularly used.

All Saints Harewood nave to sanctuary; the church was built in 1410

beautiful stone pulpit in All Saints Harewood on the Harewood estate

beautiful C19th  stone pulpit in All Saints Harewood on the Harewood estate

Harewood church font Harewood church tombs

stone Norman font and tombs of Gascoigne family dating to 1410

All Saints Harewood side view and graveyard

All Saints Harewood side view and graveyard

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