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Axminster at Harewood: Ethical Debate

Harewood House has an axminster carpet

Debate entitled: “What are the challenges of applying conservation ethics while balancing historical authenticity with aesthetic appearance?”

Chaired by: Professor Ann Sumner (Historic Collections Advisor at Harewood House)

Panel:

  • Caroline Carr-Whitworth (CC), (Collections Curator, Art for English Heritage)
  • Dr Crosby Stevens (CS), (Textile Conservator)
  • Dr Chrissie Freeth (CF), (Tapestry Weaver)
  • Frances Hartog (FH), (Senior Textile Conservator at the V&A)

Panel asked by Ann Sumner (AS) for initial thoughts and comments regarding the debate question*:

 *All following quotes are not verbatim but a summary of the most interesting and relevant points

Caroline Carr-Whitworth (CCW): (Talking about Brodsworth Hall’s conservation display) Current building works have allowed us to concentrate on conservation issues and particularly problems that have been caused by the works, as well as the building’s lack of maintenance over time that has led to water and light damage to the carpets etc.

  • Brodsworth have implemented a whole series of interpretation throughout the House, making use of boards that are currently up to protect objects against the building work. Differences between the interpretations at Brodsworth to Harewood: they are showing a carpet fragment from the store which had a pier table stood over it for many years so that the bit of the carpet underneath has retained a lot of its earlier (not necessarily original) colour.
  • Because Brodsworth has very faded 19th century interiors and it is perhaps difficult for people to understand the vibrancy of those interiors when first furnished, this fragment on display helps people to understand the colours as they would once have looked. The other picture shows another fragment of a carpet border that was trapped underneath a sculpture plinth which has also been put on display.
  • All the carpets at Brodsworth have been frozen washed, they also have carpets that have been chopped up and have had sticky tape stuck to the back of them etc. and these fragments on display for the first time communicate to visitors the type of conservation issues Brodsworth are dealing with. A very close parallel can be drawn between this and Harewood, where the carpet has been turned upside down to admit to the problems it has. It is good to highlight issues and involve the public in them.

AS: And it is also about engagement with audiences and what brings them in to a relationship with the carpet. The panel talked earlier at lunch about how people will look much differently at a painting or a piece of furniture to a carpet and I think it really helps with engagement to be able to talk about some conservation issues, things that might not have occurred to the public.

Dr Crosby Stevens (CS):

  • I went to the ICON conference recently and one thing that came up was the notion of encouraging visitors and going on a journey with them towards a greater historic literacy so that we can have more nuanced thinking about authenticity or originality. These discussions can then be opened up to the public and people will have more subtle views of what they are looking at and that can help us with decision making.

Frances Hartog (FH):

  • My overwhelming thought is that it is fantastic to find carpets that were woven for the original design of the room and are still there. What is extraordinary about these carpets is that they have survived. But they are organic, so they will deteriorate and whatever you do, whether you decide to restore or conserve, that aging process and the deterioration process will carry on.
  • You can slow it down by hopefully a couple of hundred years or so with good care but it just would seem an enormous shame to roll them up and put them into storage because to educate the public, they really enjoy seeing something that is original and these are real rarities. There are very few Axminsters still in existence in the original interiors they were woven for, so I feel that is their unique importance.

Dr Chrissie Freeth (CF):

  • Initially I thought of course its repairs have to stay, they are its honourable scars and part of its story, but then the more I found out about the carpet and the damage those repairs are doing to it I realised that, as they are threatening its longevity, there is a really strong case for it to come out. I would come and visit these carpets as an artist and craftsperson, to come and see the handiwork of my craft ancestors, to see what they have done, as it is their way of communicating with us and what they have left behind for us, a dialogue. If you were to have a replica that is a very different conversation that one would be having with very different people and for me that would be of much less value.
  • With regards to a project with the Stirling tapestries, whilst one tapestry was being woven behind the scenes in the studio another was being woven full-time in front of the public, full-time for people to watch and it had a huge public engagement impact and I think that is something that should be thought about here.
  • We have talked about authenticity and the weavers of the Stirling tapestries would argue that the authenticity lay in the experience of the makers because they were basically using the same techniques that were used to make the original tapestries, but with these carpets that would be quite different because presumably their making has moved on quite considerably from hand-weaving to machinery. Whilst there may be an argument for spending resources on making reproductions , would this not also be a great opportunity to invite some artists to come and reinterpret the room and carpets and come up with some more contemporary designs to be made rather than reweaving what is already there.

AS: We are certainly thinking about and have planned some contemporary responses. We’ve mentioned a couple of times now the question of historic repairs, can I ask you Crosby to say a little about this whole question of whether we actually remove historic repairs to reduce further physical and structural damage to the carpet, and what your experience was of actually finding out more about these historical repairs as we moved the carpet. The carpet was moved for the first time in twenty years and it really was a major undertaking for all of us in the department. It did very much reveal some fascinating background information to the history of the carpet and the repairs in particular.

 CS:

  • The main thing to say about the repairs is that if you take time to look at the carpet in detail you begin to realise that there are an awful lot of them. Some blend in quite well and some stand out, particularly that bright yellow yarn which in patches is very obvious. The less obvious ones just cover a very large amount of the carpet and it isn’t clear without further analysis how many of them are covering over original knots and how many of them are covering over holes. Any conservation treatment has to be very sensitive to what it is you are conserving. Are the repairs important? There is also the question of stability and characterisation of the carpet, which is a multi-layered object.
  • It is not at all unusual when you begin to look at textiles that you end up having different textures and different yarns from different periods.

AS: Caroline do you have any further thoughts about repairs and how you have treated them in your experience?

CCW:

  • At Brodsworth we have tended to take a very gentle approach in order to keep the whole history of the object. Whilst there have been a couple of cases, particularly with wall silks, in which if the later repairs are causing damage we have removed them, generally we have taken the approach of saying we are conserving the whole history of the object and interiors.
  • I wondered whether maybe the public can take a bit of inconsistencies, as long as the House is honest in explaining what it is they are looking at. It needs to be explained more, perhaps it is already by guides.

AS: We have introduced a carpet talk this year a few times a week with the hope that we particularly emphasise the context of these carpets. We have been really encouraged by the number of people taking the time to write comments in the visitor’s book and questionnaire. We are very pleased with the public engagement so far and feel we would like to emphasise the carpets a lot more. We also had an interesting day at Chatsworth learning about how they approach and interpret their carpets. It is early days but we are moving forward. Frances do you have any comments about this whole question of repairs and the different approaches in the museum setting to a country house?

  • FH: It isn’t entirely different because there are still the physical aspects of the carpet you are conserving but also why you are conserving it, and presumably it is for its aesthetic value. But there has to be a balance. I have never worked on a carpet where there has been a strict rule regarding how the conservation will go, as you need a very thorough survey and to decide what is damaging and what isn’t and if it isn’t, why are you removing it, is it aesthetically unacceptable. You can’t make fast rules and say you are going to remove all the repairs if they don’t all need removing. You have to think twice about whether you are going to solubilise them or can you just do it mechanically.
  • It is very difficult at the beginning of a project to stand back from the carpet and say exactly how you are going to treat it. The biggest problem with this particular carpet is its size, which makes it very logistically challenging. It is enormous and fragile.

CS:

  • I have only done an overview and started to look at individual areas in order to look towards a conservation map, but it is a big step in the work and decision making. There are a limited number of options to what we can maybe do. The key to its conservation depends on use. Is it going to be walked on a little or a lot or not at all, because there will be future damages to take into account. There will also be huge budgeting and financial considerations.

AS: This is perhaps why replica carpets have been suggested, not in the YDR where we wouldn’t anticipate walking on the carpet but maybe in the Music Room. There are aesthetic reasons why a replica might sound an interesting idea and how one would produce it would also be interesting. Crosby would you like to say anything about how a replica could be used? There is the question of would you want to go so far as to roll a carpet regularly and have it in store.

  • CS: The practicalities of rolling a very large delicate carpet are huge. You could conserve the carpet to whatever level and then roll and store it, or you could conserve it minimally, but either way it is very fragile and the process of actually rolling it is very tricky and difficult. It would need to be thought through very carefully how often you would intend to roll and unroll, where you would put it to be stored and the effects to the carpets. A good example is Axminster at Brodsworth which has a replica in the main entrance hall.

CCW:

  • But the original in store has so many holes in it and hasn’t been conserved because of its size. It has been rolled up for many years without being checked, which raises issues of why are we even keeping it in the store? But it is the original to the House.

CS:

  • You almost reduce their meaning by taking them out of the room because they are part of that decoration.

AS: We don’t have the right storage facilities and are currently looking for an option in which the carpet would return to the room and we would roll it as informed. There has to be a balance. We didn’t move it for twenty years but then how can you find out about its condition and record it if it isn’t moved? For a long-term solution we are looking at wanting to maintain the originals in those rooms. What would you say about the mapping process? It’s incredibly important to record all aspects of conservation.

CS:

  • You need to get to know the object extremely well and understand every part of it. Whether that is by drawing or computer programs etc.

AS: This is also fertile ground for contemporary practitioners to respond as part of that mapping process. Do you have any specific examples of works in which you have responded to in situ works and have engaged with visitors?

CF:

  • At East Riddleston there was a tapestry loom at the end of the corridor to which the public were very welcome to come very close and engage with what was going on. The item that was woven and subsequently hung in the area where it was woven was very much a response to the property, the research and the history of the House and the people who lived there as well as the very large textile collection on display. Historic houses are such a rich vein for artists and craftspeople to draw from.

INTERACTION WITH THE PUBLIC

AS: I am now going to throw over to the public to ask any questions they might have as a result of what we have spoken about.

Public: Have you done any dye-analysis on the carpets?

AS: No but that is certainly an area we are going to look into feeding back from this debate. It is clearly an important part of our mapping to include some dye analysis because we want to give as much help to the workshops as we can, as there are only a limited number that can consider conserving a carpet this size.

FH: But the dye analysis will be a nightmare with the repair. It’s very interesting historically to know what dyes were used but are you going to clean the carpets and how? Do you need analysis to introduce a wet treatment or do you just need to test them to find out whether they’re fugitive? You would tend to use synthetic dyes with repairs because natural dyes tend to fade quite strongly at the beginning and then as they age the fading becomes slower, whereas modern synthetic dyes tend to fade more slowly across in a straighter line, so the idea is that if you match the colours with the synthetic dyes now the fading should be more consistent. And they are light stable and wet stable so don’t cause a reaction.

AS: We’ve talked a lot about authenticity as well and what that really means. I do think we need to have a dialogue with the public to really engage them so that they understand what the principles are you’re actually using to ‘restore’ a room in a country house because there are many different criteria’s. To maintain those criteria’s along the whole of the house can be very difficult.

CCW: That’s exactly the question. If you think the public want to see how it was originally you have to remove that aged carpet and do what you think is a replica. At Brodsworth we have wondered whether we can digitally work out what the colours would have been but even that is incredibly difficult to do. You could maybe value and display your faded original with an interpretation through clever computer design or eyemats over the top etc. other ways of doing it other than replica.

CCW: I have to say that with our Study Day and this debate the main aim is to raise the profile of carpets and get visitors to appreciate them in their room setting, so that people aren’t surprised that they are rolled back and there is a barrier across because they understand that you are going to destroy them by walking on them.

CF: I think the general public understand even with their own carpets that they are precious and are easily damaged and need proper care whatever their age

AS: The hope is that with museum care and our conservation strategy here we wouldn’t want to walk on the carpets but external cases such as filming might happen, and these need to be looked at in your plan for the future.

CS: House-keeping staff may need to get over the carpets to other objects, or there might be functions in the room too.

AS: There are so many different levels but we want to have a management plan for the future that understands these as being major works of art in their own right. Our attitude has been to not touch them because we were told twenty years ago they were incredibly vulnerable and not to do anything with them, but that’s not actually a solution to the issue. You have to address the issue.

Public: Is cost a factor in this and how does the production of a replica compare to the cost of conservation work?

AS: Costs are absolutely key; we are an educational trust with museum accreditation and designated collections. We are very much looking to have a conservation project and when the replica was included in part of an original discussion about the carpets it was really a very expensive option, not a cheap option, assuming it would be woven to relatively authentic standards. If  you are going to get a replica one issue is that you have to think carefully about the original authentic object and where that is going to be stored, because once it is rolled it is probably going to be there for a very long time. Possibly having a replica is not really a financial decision but trying to understand what the right thing to do is as part of a consultation process. Asking peers within the profession is very important for us as well.

AS: Could I now have some concluding thoughts from the panel?

FH: My concluding thought was if you did roll them up and put them into storage, in reality would they ever be seen again and I think the horrible truth is probably not and then you think well, why have we got them?

CF: It’s a really good opportunity for some really exciting things and I do have to say I feel that what you’ve done as far as putting today together and also the questionnaire has been a really exemplary approach to tackling this question.

CS: For me I just want to say how much I have enjoyed looking at little areas of the carpet in detail and I think that is something you could light people up with: the detail, the precision of how they are made, exactly how the individual motifs are shaped, getting them to look closely at the carpet.

CCW: I think carpets are absolutely fascinating and not just the 18th century ones. I would want to hope you are looking at the carpets throughout Harewood including the 19th century ones and what evidence there might be in inventories etc. for bedrooms and servants quarters and whether through that you get a better picture of what was going on through the whole house and what you are doing in those rooms. I wonder whether the question of these two carpets needs to be put in that wider context of both the research of the whole house but also the conservation management and the presentation of it. To me you are zoning in on one thing when there are overarching questions.

AS: That is an interesting concluding moment, that what we hope to be doing going forward is a more holistic approach to our curation within the house, particularly around the carpets. It is undoubtedly true that we have been excited by the developments in Axminster and by the Yorkshire Year of the Textile and this has driven us forward to look at these two carpets particularly because we knew they were in need of attention but we have been looking at them in isolation.

Going forward we hope to produce a small booklet which will help our visitors look at other carpets in the house as well. How we engage our visitors by looking at the wording of our questions in the questionnaire, how to help people fully understand the conservation process and how we are going to be looking at workshops in the future and other engagement areas is really important.

Having a dialogue with craftspeople today and understanding just how inspiring our carpets can be is also so important. We have found just how fascinated the public are by the whole repair process. There is a huge amount of research for us to do going forward and we would really like to thank you all very much for attending and taking part in this debate.

Way Forward:

Harewood conducted a survey about the way forward for the Yellow Drawing Room carpet. Results showed that 53% felt conversation was the best route to take, 20% replica, 13% restore, 14% leave as it is. In total of 1577 responded between April to end of October 2016.

Natures Carpet:

natures-carpet-at-harewood

At the beginning of September we invited the artist Sue Lawty to lead on a family friendly workshop in response to the multi-coloured patterns of the original carpets as part of the Yorkshire Year of the Textile programme.

Our gardening team went foraging for leaves and flowers which had been separated by type and colour into different bags showing an extraordinary variety of colours.  All through the day families with young children and adults came and worked with Sue on the boards that had been put outside the Visitor Information centre. We had photographs of the carpets pinned up which provided inspiration and a starting point for everyone. There were no instructions that it had to be done this way as Sue encouraged everyone to make their own response be working on one little bit, and together, over the day, we made a beautiful carpet of flowers and leaves to create “Nature’s Carpet”.

Sir Cliff Richard, Just Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll, UK 2017 Tour

Visit Harewood to see Cliff Richard in concert
Legendary Singer To Play A Series Of Fully Seated Outdoor Concerts In Intimate Arenas Built Especially For Sir Cliff And His Fans

Support Act To Be Announced

To celebrate the release of his incredible new album “Just…Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll“, the UK’s most successful hit-maker, Cliff Richard, will be heading out on a summer tour of the UK’s most beautiful castles and historic locations in 2017 for a series of fully seated outdoor concerts in fabulous intimate arenas, built especially for Cliff Richard and his fans. Tickets will go on general sale on Monday 14th November from www.livenation.co.uk.

Cliff has returned to his roots to record an album of his favourite songs from the golden era of rock ‘n’ roll. These include Cliff’s renditions of seminal tracks such as Roll Over Beethoven, Great Balls of Fire, Sweet Little Sixteen and his very own debut single, Move It. The album also features a duet with fellow idol Elvis Presley on Blue Suede Shoes. This has been a career long dream of Cliff’s, which now becomes reality. The new release follows the huge success of his last studio album, ‘The Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Songbook’ in 2013, and the celebratory ’75 at 75 – 75 Career Spanning Hits’ in 2015.

Cliff released his debut single Move It in August 1958. It is credited with being the first British rock ‘n’ roll hit, bringing what had previously been an American genre across the Atlantic, for the first time. ‘Just… Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll’ will, astonishingly, be his 102nd album.

The ‘Just Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour’ will stop by the following UK venues through June and July 2017:

SIR CLIFF RICHARD
JUST FABULOUS ROCK ‘n’ ROLL
UK 2017 TOUR
With support to be announced

JUNE

Saturday 17thEastnor Castle, Herefordshire
Sunday 18th Stansted Park, Hampshire
Wednesday 21st Walcot Hall, Shropshire
Thursday 22nd Catton Hall, Derbyshire
Saturday 24th Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire
Sunday 25th Euston Hall, Suffolk
Wednesday 28th Harewood House, Leeds
Thursday 29th Open Air Theatre, Scarborough

JULY

Saturday 1st Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich London
Sunday 2nd Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich London

Tickets go on-sale at 10am on Monday 14th November (subject to per-ticket charge plus order processing fee) and are available from www.livenation.co.uk. Please note, Harewood House will not be selling tickets. All sales will be arranged via www.livenation.co.uk.

For more information head to CLIFFRICHARD.ORG

Early Autumn in Harewood’s Gardens

Views of the Terrace garden at Harewood House in Leeds

A note from Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener, Harewood House Trust

The gardens team at Harewood are responsible for maintaining over 100 acres of beautiful Grade 1 listed gardens, grounds and woodlands. From the elaborate colour schemes, flower borders and fountains on the Victorian terrace gardens, to the naturalistic planting around the lakeside and in the Himalayan garden, the team and I work extremely hard to ensure that every space is not only looking its best, but also being planned and developed to eventually reach its full potential.

The Victorian parterre, on the south front of the house, is the jewel-in-the-crown among Harewood’s well-known gardens. With over a mile of box hedging clipped into an intricate pattern and filled with thousands of seasonal plants and bulbs, this formal garden takes a great deal of precision and care to maintain. At this time of year, Tom and Harry, the terrace gardeners, are busy pruning, dead-heading and weeding, as well as implementing a programme of turf improvements in preparation for the winter months. The tall hornbeam hedges have been clipped and, in the coming few weeks, we will start lifting and dividing tender plants in the herbaceous borders, moving them to other parts of the gardens and making way for the planting of thousands of tulips.

The Archery Border, situated at the foot of the terrace wall, is in its prime at this time of year. The south facing aspect coupled with the 15ft high sandstone wall provides the right environment for growing a range of exotic and tender plants. The hot colour scheme for late summer interest includes Mediterranean and tropical plants, and is a bold and vibrant display. We’ve just a visit from two gardeners from Kew who have written to me describing the Archery Border as being still “amazing!” at this time of year. The twelve-foot-high giant Dahlia (D. imperialis), flowering gingers, red hot pokers and Mexican sunflowers, as well as the ‘Devil’s Tobacco’ (Lobelia tupa) are all making the most the mild conditions of early autumn.

Visit Yorkshire to enjoy gardens at Harewood

The bridge was added in 2006 to increase paths through the garden and offering new views of the area.

The Himalayan Garden is one of my personal favourites; I have spent more than twenty years researching Chines and Himalayan plants and sympathetically developing this charming and tranquil garden. Helen, the gardener who maintains this area, is busy weeding the primula glades ready for new planting to be incorporated for spring colour. These boggy areas are being enriched annually, and with the candelabra primulas in late May and early June creating a vivid carpet of colour alongside the waterfall and stream, it’s a wonderfully vibrant display, which I would recommend visiting every year.

Harewood House has an popular walled garden

Beyond the formal gardens, Harewood is also home to an historic Walled Garden. It may not be widely known that the Walled Garden was in fact one of the first structures Edwin Lascelles had built when setting about constructing the Harewood you see today. Built in stages from 1755, a couple of years before the first stones were laid for the house, the warm red brick walls are worlds away from the formal Terraces many of our visitors are so familiar with.

At the time, the Walled Garden, with its double-brick ‘hot’ walls, was cutting edge cultivation technology. The desire to have soft fruits and exotic foods out of season, which was at the height of Victorian fashion at county houses like Harewood, which would host lavish dinners with grapes, figs, and melons normally only grown in warmer, European climates.

The enclosed space with high walls acts perfectly as a suntrap, literally! The south-western angle of Harewood’s Walled Garden captures the sun’s rays, warming the soil quickly to create perfect growing conditions for fruit, vegetables and flowers. They also act as protection from wildlife such as deer, and as a visual barrier between the designed landscape and the functionally arranged spaces necessary for intensive production.

Spanning an acre of land, the Walled Garden currently houses twelve plots and a fruit orchard, all of which is maintained by Jen, our gardener, along with Tom, our new horticulture apprentice from Askham Bryan College. The mixed flowers and vegetable beds create a strong visual impact as you arrive through the old wooden door.

An authentic Walled Garden at Harewood

Cabbages are grown in the Walled Garden at Harewood

This year, the harvest has been particularly good. The warm weather has created a long growing season, and with high soil temperatures has supported bountiful yields of such things as potatoes and brassicas.

Before Harewood closes to the public on October 30th, visitors should come and see the beautiful dahlias in full bloom and enjoy the wonderful orchard bearing autumnal fruits. The late tender and hardy perennials are looking great too.

Across the entire gardens, we are also turning our attention towards our spring bulb planting schemes. It’s a huge undertaking each year which is made possible with the help of many of our garden volunteers. I am busy designing new tulip schemes for the Terrace, daffodil glades along the lakeside and bluebells for the woodlands.

Maintaining this wonderful space is a real privilege and one that we enjoy sharing with our visitors. We hope that you can join us and enjoy the last of the autumnal summer sun.

Nature’s Carpet

natures-carpet-at-harewood

Last Saturday morning I stood with the artist, Sue Lawty, and our Educational Manager, Zoe, looking with amazement at the wonderful arrange of flowers, leaves, twigs and things I don’t even have a name for, that had been collected for the Nature’s Carpet workshop.

As part of the Yorkshire Year of the Textile, Sue Lawty had been invited to run a creative event, responding to our Axminster carpets. If you have visited the house, you will have seen these carpets, one in the Yellow Drawing Room and the other in the Music Room. The pattern in each carpet reflects the ceiling of the room and they are extremely rare – one of only a handful still remaining in their original country house settings.

Harewood House Trust is currently working on raising funds to pay for one of these carpets to be conserved and we have been talking to our visitors about this all year. Both carpets are in a very fragile state, but the Yellow Drawing Room carpet is even more urgently requiring care and attention; it’s an expensive and complicated procedure. Just moving the carpets is difficult because of their size and fragility requiring eight people and hours of time.

The workshop provided a fun and creative way to raise the profile of the Yellow Drawing Room carpet, but also created an opportunity to make something amazing in a day! Our gardening team went foraging for leaves and flowers which were separated by type and colour into different bags. Even though autumn hasn’t waved its magic paintbrush over the landscape just yet, the variety of colours was quite extraordinary and made me realise that the landscape is far from just being `green`.

All through the day families with young children and adults who just wanted to get creative came and worked with Sue to build a multi-coloured pattern that echoes some of the beautiful patterns of the original carpet. We had photographs of the Axminster carpets pinned up which provided inspiration and a starting point. There was no instruction that it `had to be done this way` as Sue encouraged everyone to make their own response by working on one little bit, and together, over the day, we made a beautiful `Nature’s Carpet`.

Nicola Stephenson, Exhibitions and Projects Producer

Sue Lawty is an artist who uses unconventional materials to make contemporary artworks, including tapestries and carpets made from stone. Her work is exhibited internationally and she was Artist in Residence at the V & A Museum, London in 2005.

Thousands set for Brownlee Tri 2016

Harewood House is a great place to visit

Thousands of triathletes, young and old will descend on Harewood House, Leeds this Saturday for Alistair and Jonny Brownlee’s fourth annual triathlon.

The Olympic triathlon gold and silver medallists will join over 1500 registered participants and a crowd of 5000 spectators at the spectacular Harewood Estate.

In addition to taking part in the Sprint, Super Sprint or Relay, the Brownlee Brothers encourage participants to bring along their friends and family and enjoy the Entertainment Village.

Speaking upon returning home after finishing runner-up in the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Championships in dramatic fashion, Olympic silver medallist Jonny Brownlee said,

“With just days to go until the big day we can’t wait for the event to start. It’s always a great way to end the season and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone there.”

Double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee said,

“Brownlee Tri is a fantastic family day and we hope to see as many of you as possible at Harewood House on Saturday. We wish everyone taking part the very best of luck!”

After months of build-up, the event is nearly upon us. This year’s route includes a fantastic open water swim with pontoon entry and exit, a traffic-free closed road cycle and a new off-road run, covering trails that the Brownlee brothers train on.

The Brownlee Tri will also have a packed Entertainment Village offering sports activities, a variety of delicious catering and refreshment outlets, music, stands and retail. Described as the “perfect balance of a family day out and sporting event” and “an amazing first triathlon”, the Brownlee Tri offers something for everyone.

The event also features a free Brownlee Foundation Kids’ Duathlon delivered by the British Triathlon Trust for children of all ages, offering the perfect introduction to the sport.

Find out more information at www.brownleetri.com or head to Harewood House on Saturday 24 September to be a part of it. Car parking is £5 per car with registration and the Entertainment Village opening at 8.00am.