Blog

2014 Thank You

As Harewood House and gardens close for the winter months, we wanted to thank you for playing your part in what has been an extraordinary year. We have produced five art exhibitions, hosted three car shows, a food festival, an antiques fair, a dog show, a music festival, an outdoor theatre performance, seventeen talks, tour and workshops and three sporting events. Le Grand Depart was naturally a huge highlight along with the historic visit from their Royal Highnesses William, Kate and Harry. We would like to thank you for being part of our 2014 year.

Harewood Prepares for 2015

During closed season, we will be undertaking some significant capital projects. One such project will see the historic House connected to a new state-of-the-art biomass heating system located within the Estate. The Georgian building will be taken firmly into 2015 with a fully sustainable heating system which will reduce energy consumption, fire risk and save vital funds which can go back into preserving the building and art works.

Inside the House, the collections will undergo a deep clean. Scaffolding will be erected in the State Rooms allowing our expert team to clean chandeliers and paintings as well as make repairs where necessary. Harewood House Trust was set up to maintain and develop the collections for the public benefit and your membership or ticket goes towards this essential goal. It really does make a difference.

In the gardens, the grounds team will prune the trees, enrich planting on the Terrace and they plan to introduce a range of hardy-herbaceous perennials. 2015 will also see HRH Princess Mary’s rock garden revamped by replanting alpine plants including lilies, blue poppies and fox tail lilies.

Thank you once again for being part of a historic year at Harewood and we look forward to welcoming you back in April 2015 with more exciting things to come.

Terrace at sunrise in October credit Harewood House Trust

Autumn Highlights in the Gardens at Harewood

October plant borders at Harewood House in Yorkshire

With hundreds of acres of rolling landscape adorned with stately trees and framed by mixed woodlands, the grounds at Harewood are well-known for their spectacular autumn colour. But look a little closer, beyond its misty valleys and sylvan slopes – into the gardens – and you’ll be rewarded with an array of hidden gems to discover at Harewood this autumn.

Bejewelled with exotic plants, the Terrace flower borders are a sight to behold as they drip with colour during late summer and autumn. Just when some of the more traditional summer flowers begin to fade, the rich hues of more tender subjects, such as dahlias and salvias, burst onto the scene, adding drama and verve to complement the more muted, velvety tones of such autumn stalwarts as asters and sedums.

Red Hot Pokers in the gardens at Harewood House in Yorkshire

A walk along the Archery Border reveals a whole host of trees and shrubs from all over the world. These provide a framework of ornate leaves and stems, through which, is woven a tapestry of hot colours as displayed by such plants as stately red hot pokers, ornamental gingers and devil’s tobacco.
Notes from Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener

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: http://www.brownleetri.com/north/race-details-2/race-results.html

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 www.brownleetri.com and look out for updates through Twitter @Brownleetri or www.facebook.com/brownleetriathlon

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.