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Purposeful Development Vision

Castle Howard is developing an ambitious but necessary long-term masterplan for the 9,000-acre Estate to help restore its world-famous heritage and revive its neighbouring rural communities.

Against a background of rising restoration costs, the impact of COVID-19, the climate and biodiversity emergencies, and a lack of rural housing and services, 2022 represents a watershed moment in the Estate’s long history.

There is now an exciting and nationally important opportunity to redefine the role that an Estate like Castle Howard can play in rural regeneration.

Done correctly, it has the potential to become a blueprint for others to follow with Purposeful Development acting as a catalyst to solving the challenges faced by rural communities such as sustainability, housing and community services. The plan will also respond to a range of current environmental issues by evolving the way the Estate approaches land management.

The Castle Howard Masterplan is being developed around three key purposes, Restore, Regenerate and Revive, underpinned by a significant amount of research, analysis and expertise to help ensure its successful delivery. The key purposes are summarised below:

Restore – Safeguarding the long-term survival of this world-class heritage site by restoring it for the enjoyment of current and future generations and in doing so becoming a national centre of excellence and training hub for the crafts and skills vital in preserving and interpreting historic assets. Castle Howard intends to breathe new life into heritage buildings repurposing them for enterprises including additional overnight accommodation and recreational facilities.
Regenerate - Castle Howard has a long history of working with nature and is committed to the continued evolution of its land management practices to protect and regenerate the biodiversity of the Howardian Hills. Improving soil health and water management are key elements of the new land management approach whilst also expanding access to green spaces for public health, wellbeing and education.
Revive – Castle Howard will set a new standard in what we call ‘Purposeful Development’, which will play a key role in reviving neighbouring rural communities. This will include providing purposefully designed, sustainable housing and services and facilitating additional enterprises, employment and connectivity to help transform villages into thriving places for people to live, work and play. Castle Howard will invest in an additional range of experiences to attract, inform, and inspire visitors and further increase their contribution into the local economy.

Every pound raised by the Estate’s Purposeful Development and expanded business enterprises will be reinvested into the conservation of the buildings, land and further enhancing local communities. The ambition is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem with a cyclical economy that will endure for generations to come.

As the plans are progressed more information will be made available here for people to share and engage with.



Castle Howard Facts

  • Castle Howard welcomes over 270,000 visitors each year
  • 9,000 acre estate with over 2500 acres of woodland in Howardian Hills AONB
  • It has 1 in 5 of the Grade 1 and 2* listed buildings in Ryedale.
  • There is an estimated £50m restoration deficit
  • Castle Howard places business with over 1,000 local suppliers and businesses
  • The Estate directly employs over 120 local people