The Harewood Estate owes its existence to the merger of Harewood Castle and GawThorpe Estate to form its current size, However not its current splendour. The land and estate was purchased from its previous owner by Henry Lascelles in 1738, after they became wealthy off of the purchasing of plantations in the west indies. In 1759 son of Henry, Edwin Lascelles decided to replace the original manor (Gawthorpe Hall) with a purpose built manor which was to be called Harewood House. Edwin initially employed John Carr to architecturally design the manor, John Carr was considered to be the leading architect in the north of England hailing from Wakefield and having extensive experience designing other manor houses. Harewood House was completed in 1771 with a venetian architectural style called Palladian following the architectural stylings of a venetian architect (Andrea palladio) from the 1500’s. The landscaping of the estate was designed by Lancelot Brown, one of the most famous English style landscape gardeners. The house’s architecture then remained untouched until the 1840’s when Sir Charles Barry was employed to increase the accommodation size of Harewood House, he accomplished this by adding second storeys to each of the wings with extra bedrooms inside, this covered the owner Viscount Henry’s need of extra accommodation for his thirteen children and assumedly extra guests.
In 1929 a few years after the marriage of Henry Lascelles and princess Mary the couple moved to Harewood House as their main residence. Bringing a permanent royal presence to the area. During the Second World War the house served as a residential convalescent hospital providing spaces for rest and recuperation for short term illnesses and since 1947 the dower house on the outskirts of the estate has been leased out for use as a private school.
Harewood House in the modern day is a Grade One listed building and the house itself continues to be the family seat of the Lascelles family and home to David Lascelles (who is 64th in line to the throne). Currently the day to day running of the house and grounds have been transferred into trust ownership being managed by the Harewood House Trust with the grounds and house being open to the public for visitations most of the year. With its Himalayan gardens, collection of Italian renaissance paintings and an educational bird garden, Harewood House is an ode to the old parts of Yorkshire that all of us can enjoy in its current form.
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