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Harewood House Develops Exciting New Film Tourism Offer

Visit Harewood House to see ITV's Victoria costume

To coincide with English Tourism Week (25th March – 2nd April 2017), Harewood House in Yorkshire will launch an exciting series of exhibitions hoping to capitalise on the increasing demand from visitors to see film and TV locations.

Harewood House was used as a major set for ITV’s blockbuster series ‘Victoria’ and the exhibition, titled Victorian Harewood, will present an impressive collection of costumes from series one, including the iconic Coronation dress worn by actress Jenna Coleman who plays Queen Victoria. Visitors will also be able to see many of the rooms used in the series which transformed Harewood House into Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.

‘Victoria’ has been broadcast in over 100 countries around the world, and the impact on Harewood House’s visitor figures will become clear after Harewood opens on 24th March 2017. With series two of ‘Victoria’ currently being filmed at Harewood House, David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood and fourth generation grandson of Queen Victoria, commented:

“There are always new stories to tell about Harewood and the success of ITV’s ‘Victoria’ gives us the chance to bring that era here to life – something we’ve never really done before. It’s great to be able to link a successful TV show with our own history in this way and I hope it will bring new audiences as well as giving something different for our faithful and much valued members.”

As part of Victorian Harewood, personal objects, letters and archive material from Harewood’s collection including Queen Victoria’s writing set, a pocket watch given to Victoria for her birthday from her mother and a rare book of etchings made by Victoria and Albert will be shown.

The exhibition also includes a fascinating, contemporary response by modern-day artists. The Empire Line presents contemporary photography by Gavin Fernandes, using fashion photography to look at narratives of race, culture, history and the Victorian Empire.

In addition, a selection of 21st century re-interpretations of the Victorian bust from artist Kathy Dalwood’s Secret Society series will be displayed in the China Room. Instead of sculpting in clay or stone the busts are made by direct casting from real things and found objects which are collaged together, moulded and cast in plaster.

For more information visit: www.harewood.org

Collection of etchings by Victoria and Albert go on public display for the first time

Personal etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the subject of a ground-breaking privacy court case brought by the royal couple against a journalist in 1848.

Visit Yorkshire to see rare Victorian works at Harewood House

A book of etchings belonging to Harewood House will go on display for the first time in a major exhibition titled ‘Victorian Harewood’ (24 March – 29 October 2017). The exhibition features costumes from the ITV blockbuster series ‘Victoria’, which used Harewood House as a location standing in for both Buckingham and Kensington Palaces.

Visit Harrogate to see art made by Queen Victoria at Harewood House

Gifted to Princess Mary (daughter of King George V and wife to the 6th Earl of Harewood) on her wedding day from a descendant of Prince Albert’s private secretary, the book of 75 personal etchings of the royal couple’s children, pets, and each other, feature handwritten annotations by HRH Queen Victoria. It will go on display alongside beautiful objects owned by Queen Victoria including her pocket watch and writing set.

We spent a delightful, peaceful morning – singing after breakfast, and etching together”.
Queen Victoria, Friday 28th August, 1840.

Victoria and Albert were taught to paint by legendary artists Edwin Landseer and George Hayter. In 1848 Jasper Judge, a reporter, got hold of copies of the etchings via a print maker in London and threatened to publish them.

Visit Leeds to see art works by Victoria and Albert at Harewood

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria immediately sought legal advice and launched lawsuits and injunctions attempting to ban the display and protect his family’s privacy. These actions led to the first super injunction taking place; the Prince and Queen were successful and the display and never took place. Seen as the first injunction of its kind to protect the privacy and image of a high profile person, the actions of Victoria and Albert are now familiar in today’s celebrity world.

After the case, Barrister Sir J. Knight Bruce, noted that the printmaker’s actions had been “an intrusion not alone in breach of conventional rules, but offensive to that inbred sense of propriety natural to every man – if, intrusion indeed, fitly describes a sordid spying into the privacy of domestic life – into the home (a word hitherto scared among us)”. The case remains a defining judgement in the development of the law of copyright.

Professor Ann Sumner, Historic Collections Advisor at Harewood House explains, “This book of etchings is incredibly rare. It is a beautiful and personal collection by the royal couple who were known for protecting their privacy. It shows a beautiful insight not only into the private lives of Victoria and Albert and their family, but also the real talent that they both had for art.”

Your Photographs

Each year we are privileged to see your wonderful images of Harewood. From striking landscapes and penguins to quiet picnics and big events, your images are a part of Harewood’s history. If you would like to share your images with us our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter are perfect places.

Winter in the Bird Garden and Farm

Harewood House in Yorkshire has a bird garden and farm After a very busy summer season and the late rush of Autumn Glory during the October half term, it has suddenly become very quiet in the Bird Garden and Farm. Zucchini and Zebedee the alpacas have moved to a field on the Estate to give their enclosure on Farm a break. The pygmy goats have also moved with them.

Despite the lack of visitors and Farm animals, the workload has not decreased as we have now entered the busy closed season where we have begun our winter projects. This starts off with clearing all the leaves which have fallen onto the paths, paddocks and even in the penguin pool! No small task.

Several of the aviary sheds and roofs are being repaired or maintained and two aviaries are being completely replaced. We are going to extend the farm animal paddocks onto the South Front which is the large field below the Terrace to allow the farm animals extra room, the rabbits and guinea pigs will be getting new larger outdoor pens and the Chilean flamingos will be getting a new lakeside fence. All in all, there is much work to be done this winter!

If you visited us in the summer holidays you would have met our two young donkeys Lady and Max, who are our two most recent arrivals to the Farm. Since arriving they have settled in well and have become very friendly (although much of that is down to food I suspect!), allowing us to groom them, put them into head collars and lift their front feet for cleaning. We are still working on the back feet!

Another big character you might have already met is Molly our Moluccan cockatoo. Molly is actually a boy, but was originally thought to be female by his owners who very kindly donated him to the Bird Garden earlier in the year. He can be found in the aviary opposite the donkeys where he keeps visitors highly entertained by imitating their laughter and talking to them, as well as showing off his salmon coloured crest.

This year we have had a reasonably good breeding season with another Palm cockatoo chick fledging in October. This species is part of a European wide breeding programme and Harewood Bird Garden is one of the few collections that is successfully breeding them, a fact we are very proud of. It’s down the skill and care that the team and I provide which makes this possible.

The Eurasian eagle owl chicks are now are now the same size as mum and dad and I am currently in the process of finding new homes for the three of them. This species is in fact one of the world’s largest owls with a wing span up to 188cm (6ft 2 in)!

Our pair of brown lorys also laid their first eggs this year and although the chick sadly did not survive it was a promising start for them.

We will have a few new arrivals in the Bird Garden for the upcoming season including two Satyr tragopan, a Nepalese pheasant that will go into our Himalayan aviaries, a female Bali starling which his critically endangered will also be on show. We’re happy to report she has already paired up with our male. I hope to bring in a few more new species in the New Year.

As a licenced zoo, Harewood has a responsibility to support research, education and conservation. Earlier this year we have welcomed two students from Leeds University who carried out a study on the Humboldt penguin colony. They studied the bird’s behaviour and then introduced feeding puzzles containing the penguin’s favourite food (sprats) to assess their foraging capabilities and whether birds learned these skills from one another. They have now finished their study and we are eagerly awaiting the write up and subsequent findings.

Olivier Nesengimana, a Rwandan vet visited Harewood Bird Garden in August and gave our visitors, staff and volunteers an inspiring talk on his project ‘Saving Rwanda’s Crowned Cranes’. We have recently started supporting this project which aims to rescue crowned cranes that have been illegally poached from their native habitat in Rwanda and then rehabilitate them back into the wild. It truly is a fascinating and humbling project. To hear about how one man has made it his mission to conserve and protect this majestic bird is something we will never forget. His drive and determination to motivate the Rwandan people and the authorities is immensely inspiring and we look forward to supporting this project further in 2017.

We hope to team up with Leeds University again and look at other ideas that might help Olivier in his work, such as eco-tourism trips to see wild cranes in Rwanda. Olivier was recently in London for the prestigious Tusk Conservation Awards for which he was a nominee. The event is highly regarded in this field and was attended by the likes of Prince William and Sir David Attenborough. A justified accolade for this project.

Harewood’s Electricity Story

Visit Yorkshire to see rare Georgian chandliers
Science and technology are not topics typically associated with historic houses or their inhabitants. They are often well known for their fine furnishings and great works of art, but it is perhaps quite unusual, and unexpected, to think of them as thriving hubs of technological advancement.

New research undertaken at the University of Leeds has focused on the unique relationship between country houses and the history of innovation and experimentation. With inhabitants who could often afford to invest financially and socially in new and somewhat mysterious technologies, country houses became some of the earliest venues for the installation of electrical appliances. They also exposed its householders (sometimes reluctantly) to the enormous social change and development that these innovations brought with them.

Visit Yorkshire to see Chippendale lights at Harewood

Harewood House Trust, in collaboration with Dr Michael Kay from the University of Leeds, has recently been awarded a grant of £5000 from The Culture Capital Exchange to research and explore the little known story of electrification at Harewood House. Initial research has established a basic timeline of electrification and has already revealed some fascinating stories: from the intriguing routine of Harewood’s Lamp Man to the curious practice of employing electricians to ‘stand by’ during dinner parties.

The first phase of the House’s electrification took place in 1901, commissioned by the 5th Earl of Harewood. Archival evidence shows that there was seemingly fierce competition between early electrical contractors to obtain the job, and the merits and weaknesses of utilising hydropower was carefully considered. The installation of electricity was continued in the early 1930s when the 6th Earl of Harewood and his wife, Princess Mary, moved into Harewood House. The Princess Royal made a specific request for electric lighting in her new dressing room along with other modern conveniences, such as the installation of a lift and the purchase of a Hoover vacuum cleaner was made.

Dr Kay’s interesting research will inform a number of workshop events at Harewood House and the University of Leeds, featuring a short drama performance exploring the story of electrification from the perspective of staff and servants.

Visit Yorkshire to see Below Stairs in the House at Harewood

Join us on the 21 August at Harewood for a day of illuminating activities that will explore the theme of electricity within the House.  You will be able to try your hand at making cup and string telephones in our crafts activity, and also have a go at a new technology trail. Our family friendly drama performance, taking place in the Steward’s Room, will be followed by an opportunity talk to the characters and ask them questions. Participants will then be able to handle some early electrical equipment with Dr Kay and Harewood staff. There will also be a special display of Harewood’s historic light fittings and related archival documentation, both Below Stairs and on the State Floor, as well as a 10 minute Discovery Talk focusing on Dr Kay’s research.

Similar workshops will also be taking place at the University of Leeds on 11 August for Year 5 and 6 pupils from the IntoUniversity charity‘s summer educational programme, and 11 September as part of the Heritage Open Days programme.