When Edwin Lascelles commissioned the building of Harewood House in 1759, he wanted only the best; his architect was John Carr of York, the interiors were designed by the celebrated Robert Adam, the furniture crafted by master-cabinet maker, Thomas Chippendale and the landscape shaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. The vision of these talented people can still be witnessed today, with magnificent State Rooms and grand sweeping views across the serpentine lake and rolling hills.
Harewood is now one of the ten Treasure Houses of England and the family home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Harewood. It has always been a living, changing place, reflecting the views, tastes and lifestyles of its inhabitants. It has been an 18th century gentleman’s country house, a Victorian family home, a Royal Household, a wartime convalescent home and is now a major tourist destination. These days it is run as an educational charitable trust, for the public benefit, making the House and its extraordinary collections accessible to as wide a range of people as possible. In July 2014 it will become host to the world’s greatest annual sporting event, the Tour de France, when the peloton glides down the drive and past the front of the house.
Throughout the generations, the Lascelles family have been passionate patrons of the arts, commissioning new talent, inspiring originality and collecting masterpieces from around the world. This tradition continues today with Harewood Contemporary, a programme of temporary exhibitions which take place in the Terrace Gallery, State Rooms and Grounds. A particularly exciting programme is being developed for 2014, celebrating the very best of France and Yorkshire. You can find out more on the Harewood website, or read an unbiased verdict here.