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In Focus

Reflecting on the roots of Harewood’s history – Black History Month

 

Borthwick_Archive

If you have visited Harewood recently, you will hopefully have enjoyed this beautiful house and its fascinating and elaborate decoration and collections.

But you should also have learnt that the ground that Harewood House was built on, was bought by Henry Lascelles in 1738, using money from the West Indian sugar trade. This is where his family had accrued a considerable sum of money from all different parts of the trade, from owning plantations to shipping and storage too.

Most of our knowledge about Henry Lascelles’ story is based on research undertaken by the University of York during 2007, the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade and a year when Harewood House Trust aimed to raise awareness of Harewood’s past, particularly with the presentation of the grand scale production of Carnival Messiah. The Borthwick Institute for Archives is the specialist archive service of the University of York and is one of the biggest archive repositories outside London. It is here where the Lascelles Slavery Archive is held.

It is thanks to the Borthwick that Harewood House Trust and indeed the Lascelles family, have a better understanding of its history. A vast process of conserving and digitising many of the papers dealing with the business affairs of Henry and his partners has been undertaken, so that these can be accessible by the public online and available for research.

Most of the documents in the archive relate to business transactions linked to the slave trade, such as foreclosures on mortgages, acquisitions of property, wills, bonds and expenditures such as shipping of sugar and other cargoes.

The Lascelles Slavery Archive documents part of the history of slavery in the Caribbean throughout the 18th century. Black History Month is a poignant moment to look again at Harewood’s history and to continue to talk openly about this moment in time.
Harewood House Trust has an ongoing relationship with the Borthwick Institute and its students and is continues to look at the ways in which the charity tells visitors about the origins of its own story.

Find out more about the Borthwick Institute and follow @HarewoodHouse to keep up to date on stories and more.

5 questions with Dan Maycock from Great British Food Festival

Great British Food Festival at HarewoodWe’re counting down to the Great British Food Festival, here’s a quick chat with Daniel Maycock from the Festival.

When was the Food Festival set up?
We started in 2011 and have now done over 50 food and drink festivals around the UK. This will be our 5th year at Harewood.

What are the highlights for you?
I love the Men V Food Challenges and am looking forward to seeing the BBQ demo stage this year…I also love a good brownie!

Is there a ‘hot trend’ in food and drink at the moment?
Gin is still massive as are the craft beers. Hot food – people are going for more veggie and vegan options, and last year in the heat it was lighter options like salads and wraps rather than burgers or pies.

If you could invite three people to share a meal with, who would they be and why?
– Great Question! I think I’d have to say Gordon Ramsay, and get him to cook – to see if his cooking backed up how good he thinks he is!
– Pep Guardiola? I’m a big Man City fan so it would be great to talk to him about his time at City and elsewhere.
– Struggling for a 3rd….maybe James Cordon, as he could bring some humour to the night and seems like a nice fella!

What’s your go-to comfort food?
I love a good French stick and some nice cheese…!

Find out more about what’s taking place across the weekend and entry tickets. Free for Members.

Five Garden Facts about Harewood

As National Gardening Week enters full flow, here are Five Facts about the gardens at Harewood House:

  1. There are over 100 acres of gardens at Harewood, set within the landscape created by Capability Brown.
  2. 5,000 hours are spent cutting the grass in Harewood’s gardens and park between April and October.
  3. The Himalayan Garden is home to more than 50 kinds of rhododendron, which are at the best between May and July.
  4. The Walled Garden is the oldest garden at Harewood. It was already under construction in 1759 when building began on Harewood House
  5. More than 20,000 plants and bulbs are planted every year in the Parterre, on the lower level of the Terrace Garden.

There’s always something new to discover in the gardens at Harewood, as they change from one season to the next, and new growth gets underway. For further information about volunteering or getting involved, email volunteer@harewood.org