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Chris Ridgway
Dr Chris Ridgway
I have been at Castle Howard since 1984 and over this period have lectured both nationally and internationally on Castle Howard's magnificent collections and fascinating history. I continue to be as passionate about Castle Howard's unique story and rich archive today as I was over 30 years ago and have published works on its collections, architecture, landscape and history.

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Sat 27th June 2020
Tags: Gardens, Landscape, History
Following some routine maintenance & cleaning, the Atlas Fountain is back up and running. The South Parterre at Castle Howard has been dominated by this massive piece of Victorian sculpture and engineering for nearly 170 years. To this day, visitors enjoy the spectacle of mu...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Fri 29th May 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection, Estate, Brideshead
Seventy-five years ago, in May 1945, just three weeks after VE Day, Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited was published. Little did anyone, including the author, know how it would turn into an enduring classic – the novel has not been out of print since then....

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Fri 15th May 2020
Tags: 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....

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Thu 7th May 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection, Estate
On VE Day, 8th May 1945, Castle Howard, like countless homes, places emerged from six long years of conflict. During these years the building had been ravaged by fire, the Howards had suffered family bereavements, and the house was occupied by a girls school that had been ev...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Fri 24th April 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection
The long roll-call of staff who have worked at Castle Howard over the centuries includes figures whose occupations and tasks have hardly changed despite the advent of modern technologies. Alongside cooks, cleaners, and caretakers another figure found in old records with a co...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Tue 21st April 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection, Estate
How can Castle Howard, begun in 1699, possibly have a Tudor tale to tell? The building didn’t exist in the 16th century, although its predecessor Henderskelfe Castle was standing in this corner of Yorkshire then. ...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Thu 16th April 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection
Many members of the Howard Family have made it into the history books for many different reasons; military heroes, suffrage campaigners, politicians, the list goes on. When digging a little deeper, you discover other family members who were lesser known but who's lives were ...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Fri 10th April 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection, Estate
Ray Wood is one of Castle Howard’s hidden glories. An ancient woodland that was first recorded in the Domesday Book, it has played host to a number of adventures in past centuries. Today it still retains an air of mystery as Dr Ridgway explains....

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Mon 6th April 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection
The Howard Family is one of high prestige, prominence and significance when it comes to looking at the history of the British Aristocracy, but from where did the power originate? Why were the Howards so important? Who were they? Dr Ridgway answers questions about the origina...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Fri 3rd April 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection
We receive many a question from visitors everyday about everything and anything to do with the House and Estate. We thought it was about time we asked our Curators for some answers, so this blog from our Curator, Dr Ridgway, looks at one of our most asked questions... Just h...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Mon 30th March 2020
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection
The last time Castle Howard was forced to close its doors in time of national emergency was in 1939. Within days of the outbreak of war the military had requisitioned part of the estate and visitors arriving by car were turned away at a checkpoint by the Obelisk. However Cas...

By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Tue 6th February 2018
Tags: Curatorial, History, Collection
On 6th February 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed by Parliament, and was a major reform of the electoral system in Great Britain. This act not only ensured that practically all men had the right to vote, but also extended the vote to women over thirty and ...
Obelisk Pond
By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Mon 6th February 2017
Tags: Restoration, Conservation, Estate
The recent excavation work on the Obelisk Ponds, which straddle the Castle Howard Avenue, is part of a large restoration project focused on the Avenue and grant-aided by Natural England....
Jenna Coleman as Victoria
By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Fri 9th September 2016
Tags: Curatorial, History, Victoria, Filming
In the autumn of 2015 Queen Victoria came to Castle Howard - in the form of Jenna Coleman that is. But Victoria’s presence at Castle Howard in 2015 was a remarkable instance of déjà vu, for way back in 1850 the real Victoria came to stay. ...
The golden dome
By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Mon 15th August 2016
Tags: Curator, Restoration, Conservation
Since ancient times the important features of grand buildings have often been finished in gold, and Castle Howard’s dome has always been gilded - its gleaming appearance visible in 18th-century paintings of the building....
By Dr Chris Ridgway  //  Mon 11th July 2016
Tags: Curator, History, House, Collections
In the autumn of 1738 Henry Howard, 4th Earl of Carlisle, swapped the grey skies of Yorkshire for the translucent beauty of Venice, as he embarked on his second Grand Tour to Italy. Earlier in the year he had inherited Castle Howard, following the death of his father, Charl...