“ Castle Howard has been my family’s home since it was built over 300 years ago and we have been welcoming film & television crews since the 1960s. The interiors lend themselves perfectly to any number of productions with grand spaces, beautiful architecture, rich colours in every room, cellars and different types of corridors. As well as the house interiors, there are the grounds and wider estate which offer views across the beautiful Yorkshire countryside with lakes, temples and follies providing endless opportunities to capture great shots. ”

Simon Howard

Architectural History

Built in the 18th century for the third Earl of Carlisle, Castle Howard was the first architectural project of Sir John Vanbrugh. Taking over 100 years to complete the house is a mixture of Baroque and Palladian styles. The East Wing and Central Block were completed during Vanbrugh’s lifetime to his original design; however the West Wing was added later in the contrasting Palladian style giving Castle Howard its unique mixture of architectural features. The house is surmounted with a dramatic masonry Dome, the first of its kind to crown a private residence in England. The Temple of the Four Winds is an 18th-century pavilion set in the grounds of Castle Howard and is modelled in part on Palladio’s Villa Rotondo in Vicenza.

Architectural Features

Built from sandstone, the exterior of the house is bristling with exuberant carved decoration. The Great Dome is crowned with gold leaf presenting a vast and dramatic spectacle. Internally the grand staircase is flooded with natural light from a skylight containing 74 panes of glass. The suite of Bedrooms and Dressing Rooms are richly furnished with lavish fabrics and wallpapers. The Antique Passage is lined with busts, statues and urns and leads into the Great Hall, the crowning masterpiece of Vanbrugh’s design. Columns filled with carved decorations rise in the four corners, two large arches open to reveal the walls and staircases beyond, a balcony traverses the upper level and above is the lantern and gallery with light flooding in from eight windows. The South Front of the house is more than 300 ft long and the open doorways between rooms present a spectacular enfilade along the house before you arrive into the 160 ft Long Gallery which includes chandeliers and marble busts. The Chapel has an eclectic interior embracing pre-Raphaelite, Aesthetic and Arts & Crafts styles with a high, coiffed ceiling, huge fluted columns gilded and painted in rich colours, as well as frescoes. Edward Burne Jones designed the stained glass. In the grounds, Castle Howard has one of the finest collections of lead statues in the British Isles and the Atlas Fountain, carved from Portland stone sits as the centrepiece of the South Parterre. The Mausoleum, situated nearly a mile from the house rises 90 ft into the air and is supported by a colonnade of 20 pillars. The interior is adorned with carved decorations including cherubims’ heads.

Filming Attributes

Castle Howard is easily accessible from the A64, the main trunk road from Leeds and York. Just 15 miles outside of York, there are excellent rail links from London and plenty of hotels for crew and cast. There is a large car park and plenty of additional space for a number of production units. The family and staff are helpful and flexible and all requests will be considered and accommodated where possible, including the use of hot works, animals and night shoots. Heavy plant machinery such as cherry pickers can be used on site.


Special Considerations

  • Accommodate Unit Base
  • Animals Allowed
  • Hotworks
  • Night Shoots
  • Remote Area
  • Weekend Shoots


Set in a 10,000 acre estate with rolling hills, woodland, farmland, waterways, villages and a number of monuments. The 1000 acre parkland is a mixture of open parkland, woodland, formal gardens and a walled garden. There is a formal driveway with hard standing along the north front of the house and a hard gravelled driveway runs along the south front. There are good road links to the surrounding area and main routes such as the A64 and M1, and plenty of space for helicopters to land if needed. There are strong rail links from nearby York.

Crew and Relevant Links


Email: Hannah Cooke, Press & Communications Manager - hcooke@castlehoward.co.uk or Nancy at Heritage4Media: 07736 364722

Phone: Heritage4Media: 07736 364722

Website: http://www.castlehoward.co.uk/