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Meet the Bloggers

Head of Gardens
Having worked in the beautiful Castle Howard gardens for several years, in 2016 I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to manage the walled garden and am now implementing changes to improve the visitor experience and increase the year round botanical interest.

Head of Gardens & Landscape

Alastair oversees a team of fantastic Gardeners, managing Castle Howard's Gardens and immediate Landscape.

Working in all weathers, from the height of summer to the depths of winter, Alastair and his team work tirelessly to ensure Castle Howard remains 'a place like no other' for all to enjoy. 

Written by Maria Ellis

Our Farm Shop provides an amazing range of produce from both the Castle Howard Estate and the local area. From fruit and veg, meat, cheese and other deli delights to bread, wines, spirits, coffees, speciality soft drinks and gifts.

Our expert team are always on hand to offer advice, and our friendly butchers will prepare the perfects cuts from the estate and our local partner farmers.

We pride ourselves on championing award winning Yorkshire produce and love sharing this with our visitors.

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.

I joined the Castle Howard Curatorial team as Assistant Curator in March 2017.

With an undergraduate degree in Classical Civilisation and a Masters in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, I am passionate about the history of country houses, their collections, and the people who have lived here. I love to discover new things about the past, and to find interesting ways to tell these stories to our visitors today.
Castle Howard
Castle Howard
From time to time we'll invite a guest to contribute to our blog; this might be a travel writer, outdoor enthusiast or a heritage specialist.


I joined Castle Howard in 2013 having previously worked in the marketing teams of large
corporate businesses. At Castle Howard I am responsible for our digital communications, including our social media channels and the website so I am always discovering new and exciting things that are going on across the estate. I  also work closely with local press as well as production crews for any filming taking place; filming days are always long but are never’s great to see the final pieces on screen and think “I was there!”


I have been a gardener at Castle Howard since 2009 having left a stressful target driven job in a prison as a drug/alcohol counsellor. At 35, I changed careers and decided to follow my real passion for the great outdoors, going back to college to study horticulture.  Horticulture is about long term projects; we plant for the future.

Maria Ellis
Forestry & Estate
Since joining Castle Howard in 2016 as Forestry and Estate Administrator I have been able to learn all about the Estate’s fascinating woodlands, from the timber industry to tree health and seed harvesting. With a background in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, I have a keen interest in working with and writing about nature which my role at Castle Howard allows me to indulge!
Mark Chapman
Building Services
As building services coordinator I oversee the day to day maintenance, repairs and conservation across the estate; from the main house and monuments to our let property. I work closely with a highly skilled team of workmen and specialist contractors where needed.
Nick Cooke
I first came to Castle Howard in September 1975 on a year’s placement from University. I worked mainly in Ray Wood, clearing areas and planting many of the first trees to go into the collection. I came back in 1977 after I had qualified and worked in the Tree Nursery where I stayed until 2003 when I became Forestry Manager. My main roles are managing the commercial woodlands and all trees across the estate, organising and carrying out planting contracts, overseeing local log delivery business and managing the Tree Nursery.

Garden Centre
I relocated from Wiltshire to Yorkshire in 2013 to take up my role as Garden Centre Manager here at Castle Howard. I previously worked for Country Homes & Gardens in Salisbury as well as other family owned nurseries with great reputations. I studied horticulture at the Lancashire College of Agriculture and Horticulture and am pleased to be back to my roots and focussing on horticulture again.