Family affair at the Macmillan Brownlee Tri!

Harewood House hosts sports events

Over 1000 participants and 4000 spectators attended the Macmillan Brownlee Tri at Harewood House on Sunday (21st September 2014). Alistair and Jonny led rival teams in the Sprint Relay, and even younger brother Ed Brownlee had a team! Alistair completed the 750m swim one second ahead of his younger brother, (00:09:33 and 00:09:34), but Jonny’s cyclist Ross Needham opened up a gap and then runner Stewart Randall stormed home, clocking an impressive 00:24:33 for the 5.5km run to deliver victory for Team Jonny.

Swimmers in the lake at Harewood House near Leeds

Speaking about the event, Alistair Brownlee said: “It was an absolutely brilliant day for all the family at a spectacular venue. Obviously Jonny and I compete alongside all the time but it’s not often we get to race Ed and our Uncles Chris and Simon! Thanks to the spectators, volunteers and Macmillan supporters for making such a special atmosphere.”

Jonny Brownlee added: “We founded the Brownlee Tri to encourage people to take up the sport we love, so I was really pleased that more 350 people completed their first triathlon today. Over 250 kids took part in British Triathlon Trust’s Duathlon too, so there’s a promising new generation of young triathletes. We’re grateful to everyone who came and we hope to see you all next year!”

Runners at Harewood House in Yorkshire

Fraternal rivalry has driven Alistair and Jonny to the very heights of triathlon, and another pair of siblings impressed at Harewood.

The female event was dominated by Johanna Spannagl, 21, who completed the Sprint distance event in 01:28:50 – more than four minutes clear of second place. As Johanna was being presented with her prize, a Boardman Team carbon bike, younger brother Bernie, 18, was already out on the course.

Cycling at Harewood House in Yorkshire

A tight Youth & Junior Super-Sprint race saw Bernie Spannagl and Sam Wardle complete the swim and bike section neck and neck. In a move reminiscent of the Brownlees’ winning tactic, Bernie pushed hard on the run to win the race in 00:43:31, a margin of 34 seconds. A family double was complete, and the whispers began – could the Spannagl siblings be the next Brownlee brothers?

For the full list of results:

Brownlees announce free kids’ duathlon

Brownlee Triathlon

The Brownlee brothers are pleased to announce there will be a free Kids’ Duathlon at the Macmillan Brownlee Tri, delivered by British Triathlon Trust. Children of all ages can try out running, cycling and transitions at Harewood House on Sunday 21st September.

Forming part of a busy Entertainment Village, the duathlon will consist of two 150m run loops, a transition area and a 400m bike loop. The number of laps can be adjusted depending on the participant’s age, allowing small children to simply try out a run and cycle while teens take on a 600m run, a 1600m cycle and a final 300m sprint.

Speaking about the announcement, Alistair Brownlee said: “Jonny and I would not be triathletes without our parents encouraging us to be active. We hope lots of mums and dads bring their sons and daughters to Harewood House to try out the Kids’ Duathlon!”

Younger brother Jonny added: “I have always been spurred on by racing my brother, so I would love to see plenty of siblings taking part in the duathlon. First and foremost we want kids to enjoy exercising and being outside.”

The Kids’ Duathlon is free to enter and there is no need to register: simply turn up and take part.  For more information visit and look out for updates through Twitter @Brownleetri or

Harewood announces plans to mark the First World War Centenary

Harewood House has a interesting history with WW1

One of 70 gift boxes held at Harewood which were sent to troops in WW1

In September 1914, a seventeen year old Princess requested a meeting with some of the most influential figures of the day including the Duke of Devonshire and the Prime Minister, Hergert Asquith. The new display at Harewood, which coincides with this meeting 100 years on, tells the story of how the young Princess Mary was able to raise significant funds to produce and deliver gifts to all the soldiers, sailors and nurses on the front line. This amounted to 2.5 million people! It’s a fascinating piece of social history which combines factual accounts from the trenches with the aspirations of the Royal family.

David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood said: “My grandmother had a very strong sense of public duty, never more evident than when, aged just 17, she raised £31,000 by public appeal (the equivalent of over £3m today) to send these gift boxes to every serving soldier for the first Christmas of the war in 1914.

She became very involved with the war effort, later forming her own Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) to help provide field nursing services and visiting the front herself immediately after the war ended in 1918. Other famous 1st World War VAD nurses include Agatha Christie, Amelia Earhart (the first woman to fly the Atlantic) and the explorer Freya Stark.

These boxes, for tobacco or sweets, are still a poignant and very personal memento of a terrible war, carried by many hundreds of thousands of soldiers as they went into battle.”

The gift boxes took the form of a 5-inch, embossed brass tin which included luxury items such as tobacco. As the scheme progressed the list of contents began to develop and more unusual items such as bullet-cased pencils and spices were added. The display includes several complete examples of the gift boxes alongside personal correspondences and photographs from soldiers, original sketches used to manufacture the boxes and paintings of Princess Mary before, during and after the First World War. The exhibition is housed on the State Floor in rooms which were previously part of the Princess Royal’s private apartments.

In 1922, shortly after the end of WW1, Princess Mary married Henry Lascelles, the 6th Earl of Harewood. They moved to Harewood in 1930 and Harewood House Trust is now custodian of many of her personal belongings.

Visit the exhibition on the State Floor at Harewood.

Harewood is Top of the Tourist Tweets

@harewoodhouse on twitter

After an historic summer with Le Tour shining the spotlight on the county, Welcome to Yorkshire can reveal the tourist attractions generating the most social conversation on Twitter within the county over the last 12 months.

With increasing numbers of people using social media to prepare and share their holiday experiences, new research reveals an insight into those places in Yorkshire that people have been talking about the most.

Malton-based theme park and zoo, Flamingoland, was the number one ranked attraction according to the research which was conducted from August 2013 to August 2014, with York Minster second and the National Railway Museum third. Whitby Abbey, Harewood House, Beningbrough Hall and Gardens, Eureka!, Xscape Castleford, Clifford’s Tower and Cliffe Castle Museum made up the top 10.

Recent analysis of Twitter conversation* shows that  71 % of its users Tweet about their holiday whilst away, with half of users sharing their photos on Twitter and 46% of people using it to find local information.

Alexis Guntrip, Harewood’s Marketing Manager said: “We’re thrilled that Harewood is generating so much chatter! Our followers have grown by 17% in the last six months and it’s thanks to our visitors, who regularly share their Harewood experience on Twitter that the conversations are making such a positive impact.”

The news comes on the back of latest research from VisitBritain which showed Yorkshire had a record-breaking summer in 2013, welcoming 168,000 holiday visits during the July, August and September – a year-on-year rise of 37.7% and a record high for holiday visits to the county during this three-month period. This increase represents a faster rate of growth than summer holiday visits to London, which saw a 26% uplift.

Below are the top 10 attractions that are creating the most conversation on Twitter**:

1. Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo – @flamingolanduk

2. York Minster – @York_Minster

3. National Railway Museum – @RailwayMuseum

4. Whitby Abbey – @WhitbyAbbey

5. Harewood House – @HarewoodHouse

6. Beningbrough Hall & Gardens – @NTBeningbrough

7. Eureka! The Museum for Children – @eurekamuseum

8. Xscape Castleford – @xscapeyorkshire

9. Clifford’s Tower

10. Cliffe Castle Museum – @BradfordMuseums

Welcome to Yorkshire

The Antiques Fair at Harewood

Harewood hosts the annual Antiques Fair

Millions of people saw how magnificent the outside of Harewood House looked at Le Grand Départ of the Tour de France in July. Now visitors have the chance to see inside and visit the sumptuous State Rooms when they attend The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood. The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood is being held in association with Knight Frank’s Harrogate office and opens in The Marquee, Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS17 9LQ from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 September 2014. This is an unmissable event for collectors, interior decorators and first time buyers.

“We have moved the timing of this event to coincide with Harewood House, one of the Treasure Houses of England, being open to the public,” said Ingrid Nilson, director of The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited. “We are most grateful to the Harewood House Trust and are working with the team there to create an even better experience. They have generously agreed that visitors to The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood can also benefit from a special deal to visit Harewood House with its Robert Adam interiors and works by such masters as JMW Turner, Thomas Chippendale, Joshua Reynolds and El Greco and its magnificent Sèvres porcelain exhibition in the State Rooms.”

Harewood House is the family seat of the Earl and Countess of Harewood. The 7th Earl of Harewood was a great music enthusiast and was particularly involved in opera, so may well have appreciated the 1920 oil painting ‘The Palace of the Queen of Voluptuousness’, a design by Maurice Denis (1870-1943) for the first scene of the first act of Vincent D’Indy’s opera ‘La Legende de Saint Christophe’ for which Maurice Denis designed the sets and costumes in 1920, which David Powell Fine Art is offering for £26,000.

Silver specialist Jack Shaw & Co from Ilkley is bringing a tempting selection of their best stock, including a George III York silver cruet set stand with ‘bright cut’ decoration to the platform and five original cut glass bottles by James Barber, 1812, selling for £2,250.

Penny Corah and Rosie Manning are bringing a French platinum, cabouchon, ruby and diamond ring, c1910 with wonderful workmanship and a superb Victorian butterfly brooch with emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds, with a price tag of £4,600. Other jewellers at the fair, including Anderson Jones and T Robert, cannot fail to entice.

Beautiful 19th century English antique porcelain and pottery from Carolyn Stoddart-Scott includes a Spode pottery floral two-handled footbath, pattern no 938, c1835, £1,145 and a set of ten Chamberlain Worcester porcelain crested soup plates, c1810, selling for £2,600. Other English ceramics on her stand include Ridgway, Coalport, Mason’s Ironstone, Copeland, Minton, Wedgewood and Doulton.

Yorkshire’s T.L. Phelps celebrates 30 years of fine furniture restoration this year. Tim Phelps’ attendance adds another dimension to the fair. His clients include such luminaries as English Heritage and the National Trust, stately homes and a host of antiques trade and private clients. He will be on hand to discuss visitors’ requirements and offer advice.

Harewood House is well known for its magnificent Chippendale furniture, the largest collection in private hands. Furniture exhibitor, Freshfords Fine Antiques from Bath is bringing a George III Chippendale period carved mahogany serpentine concertina action games table, c1760, priced at £11,850. Other pieces include an elegant George III mahogany serpentine window seat in the French Hepplewhite style, c1785, £7,650 and a George III Hepplewhite period satinwood veneered bonheur du jour by Gillows of Lancaster and London, c1785, £16,500. Regency furniture from S&S Timms Antiques includes a pair of Regency mahogany D shaped card tables with satinwood banded and inlaid decoration, English, c1790, £18,800, a mahogany window seat hall bench, English, c1830, £5,500 and late 19th century burr walnut kidney shaped side cupboard with ebonised and marquetry inlay, English, c1880, £3,250. M&N Oriental Rugs are showing their finest silk and wool carpets and rugs, the perfect foil for antique furniture.

Country oak furniture specialist Peter Bunting has a number of 16th and early 17th century carved stone heads from manor house doors or windows, priced from £1,200. Odyssey of Southport deals in antiquities and is bringing a rare Iron Age carved stone head of the mask type, probably made by the Iceni tribe, before AD 61, POA. This Celtic moustachioed piece is larger than life size and fashioned from a flat slab of stone.

First time exhibitor Marais Fine Arts from Guernsey specialises in 20th and 21st century modern and contemporary British and South African art, including ‘Cecilia Street after the Rain’ by David Botha (1921- 1995), oil on canvas laid down on board, 19.5 x 29.5 inches, 1978, selling for £19,500. Cambridge Fine Art has paintings by a number of northern artists including William Mellor, (1851-1931) and William Hemsley, RBA (1819-1893) and Ashleigh House Fine Art returns with a collection of Victorian paintings. Chester based Baron Fine Art’s selection of watercolours, oil paintings and drawings includes ‘River Wharfe’ by Donald McIntyre (b 1923), acrylic on board, priced at £7,900; contemporary Yorkshire artist Richard Firth’s large oil of ‘Brittania Vigilant & Satania Racing off Cowes’, £16,000, and the smaller ‘The America’s Cup 1930 Lipton’s Last Challenge’, £3,950. York Minster was the favourite subject of York topographer George Fall (1848-1925). Fall studied at York School of Drawing and taught at Selby. His views of York are selling for £450 each.

The fair is supported by Wilson Mitchell & Co Ltd, a partner practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, whose advisers will be on hand to talk to interested visitors at the fair.