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Arriving at Castle Howard
Chris Ridgway
By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Fri 15th May 2020
Curatorial, History, Collection, Estate
In this personal reflection Curator Dr Chris Ridgway ponders the impact and significance of the famous Castle Howard Avenue, and tries to recapture the experience of seeing it for the first time, and what it has meant on subsequent journeys.

For many people arriving at Castle Howard is so familiar that it is very hard to recapture the sensation of surprise and amazement the first time one travelled along the tree-lined Avenue, particularly on the approach south from York. Although it is a challenge, I often find myself trying to recall that first moment forty years ago; in fact I was not coming to Castle Howard, the road was simply the route to my destination north in the Vale of Pickering. I was not expecting an extraordinary sequence of architectural features to appear unannounced in the early evening light.

I wonder if my experience then and now is the same for others, who might have come across Castle Howard by chance, or who have set off with the intention of visiting the house, having seen images of it and learnt something of its history beforehand.