Set in a 1,000-acre (405-hectare) estate in the rolling
Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the iconic
Castle Howard is one of England's best-loved stately homes. It was
built for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, who commissioned his friend Sir
John Vanbrugh to design the stately home. Vanbrugh had no previous
experience as an architect or designer - in fact, he was best known
as a playwright.
To help with the huge task facing him, Vanbrugh hired Nicholas
Hawksmoor, an assistant of Christopher Wren. Between them, they
designed the breathtaking Baroque building, including its famous
dome, which was surprisingly only a last-minute addition after
construction had begun. The main house was built between 1699 and
1712, and has been continuously inhabited by the Howard family ever
since; the Hon. Simon Howard currently lives here.