The Curatorial Department assumes responsibility for the management and safeguarding of the Collections at Castle Howard. Responsibilities also include management of the archives, facilitating research projects and disseminating information about Castle Howard and its history. To book a lecture or tour please call 01653 648621, or for other curatorial enquires please call 01653 648444.
Castle Howard currently supports a number of major research projects dealing with various aspects of the history of the family, house, collections and grounds. Research is focused around the extensive archives that are held at Castle Howard.
Castle Howard is part of the Yorkshire Country House Partnership, a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project jointly pioneered by the University of York and the Country Houses of Yorkshire.
The aim of this venture is to bring together various areas of curatorial and academic expertise, and to embark on a programme of structured research into the country houses of the region, investigating their history, their collections and their archives. The topics for research could extend to many different aspects of houses in Yorkshire, and research projects of varying scales are continually under review.
In 2004 the Yorkshire Country House Partnership launched its first collaborative project, examining the theme of women in the Yorkshire country house. A series of exhibitions entitled Maids & Mistresses were held across the seven houses, accompanied by free exhibition guides, with generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A separate book of essays was published and an international conference was jointly hosted by the University of York and Castle Howard.
This project was seen as marking the first step in a long-term collaborative partnership between the University of York and the Yorkshire Country Houses, and the research generated is expected to have many different outcomes, whether scholarly, educational or more directly related to the needs of particular houses.
For further information on the Yorkshire Country House Partnership and current projects please see www.ychp.org.uk.
- Brodsworth Hall/ English Heritage
- Burton Constable Foundation
- Castle Howard
- Harewood House Trust
- Lotherton Hall
- Nostell Priory/National Trust
- Temple Newsam House
- University of York
- Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies
- Department of Archaeology
- Department of Art History
- Department of English
- Department of History
A full bibliography is available on request and this information includes:
- Gardens and Grounds
- The House - Interiors and General
- Sale Catalogues
- Unpublished Dissertations and Theses
- Pre-1900 Publications
Castle Howard Archives
The Castle Howard Archives are a private archive belonging to the Howard family. They are supervised by the Curator and the Assistant Curator. The Archives are open to established scholars and other researchers by appointment only.
- All enquiries must be addressed in writing to the Curator, stating clearly the object of study and any personal qualifications held. All applications to visit are at the discretion of the Hon Simon Howard and the Curator.
- Applications must be made at least six weeks in advance of the requested date of visit.
- The papers held within the archive date primarily from the building of Castle Howard in 1699 and are concerned with the history of the estate, the house and the family
- There are some papers relating to land holdings outside of Yorkshire and Howard estates in the north of England.
- A copy of the index for the Castle Howard Archives is available for consultation at the National Register of Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Tel: 020 8876 3444. All researchers are strongly advised to consult this document in advance of any application to visit Castle Howard.
- There is also a summary description of the holdings in the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts publication, Principal Family and Estate Collections: Family Names A-K, Guides to Sources for British History (London: HMSO, 1996)
Access is not allowed to un-catalogued material or to fragile items.
- All researchers must supply a letter of reference, and upon arrival they will be asked to read and sign a copy of the "Regulations for Research at Castle Howard". The following categories of researchers are recognised:
- Full-time students working on a thesis or dissertation. Normally access is allowed on condition that a copy of the completed thesis/dissertation is given to the Archives. An element of the reading charge will also be levied depending on the demands made on the Archives.
- Academic researchers and other scholars working towards a publication. There is a requirement that one copy of the publication is given to the Archives.
- Genealogists. Due to limited staff resources, commitments to existing research programmes with visiting scholars and researchers and to the major in-house cataloguing projects, Castle Howard is not normally able to accommodate applications to visit by genealogical researchers. Only in the most exceptional circumstances might it be possible for genealogists to visit.
- Photocopying of any materials is always at the discretion of the Curator. A charge will be made for photocopying. Copyright of all material is retained by Castle Howard Estate Ltd. Application for permission to publish material from the Archives should be made in writing to the Curator, Castle Howard, Castle Howard Estate Limited, York, YO60 7DA.
Curatorial Lectures & Tours
The Department offers a range of lectures, tours, or study-days, which can be provided upon request for visiting groups whether they have a general interest or more specialist fields of study. For more information please call 01653 648621.
The following lectures are available:
- The Building of Castle Howard.
- A House is a Living Machine: Life and Architecture Inside Vanbrugh's Mansion.
- Stones, Ashes, and Visitors: A History of Castle Howard.
- Restoration at Castle Howard: Principles, Achievements and Challenges.
- From Faberge to French Fries: Castle Howard in the Modern World.
- "Uncommon and Entirely Different": 300 Years of Garden History at Castle Howard.
- The Castle Howard Walled Garden: Ornament and Produce.
- A Different Kind of Planting: Sculpture and Monuments in the Gardens at Castle Howard.
- Restoring the Lakes and Fountains at Castle Howard.
- The Development and Restoration of the Landscape at Castle Howard.
- A Funerary Landscape: Hawksmoor's Mausoleum at Castle Howard.
- "Gathered by Amateurs": 300 Years of Collecting at Castle Howard.
- The Book-Collecting Earls of Carlisle.
- Pre-Raphaelite Invaders: Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, and the Howard Family.
- Scratching at the Surface: The Hidden Lives of the Women of Castle Howard.
In addition to lectures and study-days the Curatorial Department offers guided tours to the Mausoleum.
Curator's Mausoleum Tour
The Castle Howard Mausoleum is still the private burial place of the Howard family. The Hon. Simon Howard is happy to permit groups with a special interest to visit the Mausoleum by prior appointment. All requests must be made in writing and all visits to the Mausoleum have to be made in the company of a member of the Castle Howard staff.
It is sometimes possible to accommodate visits at weekends but normally visits should take place between Monday and Friday. A limited number of days per year are available for these visits, so please do not be disappointed if your group cannot be accommodated.
The group rate is £22.00 per person which includes entry to the house and grounds, plus a guided tour to the Mausoleum in the company of the Curator. The minimum number for a group is 12 people and the maximum that can comfortably be accommodated is 30. However, please enquire if the group is larger than 30.
The walk to the Mausoleum is approximately one mile in each direction and the terrain is uneven in parts. The entire tour takes approximately 2 hours. Visitors are advised to wear sensible footwear.
Please be aware that the Mausoleum is not normally open to the public, the structure is not fully secure and the steps can be slippery. Great care must be exercised when visiting the building. Hard hats will be supplied and these must be worn at all times while at the Mausoleum. Photography is permitted for private use only.
Castle Howard does not accept responsibility for any injury at the Mausoleum. If you are in any doubt we advise you not to undertake this tour.
For more information please call 01653 648621