+44 (0)113 218 1010

[javascript protected email address]



Harewood Biennial 2024: Craft Spotlight Series

Harewood Biennial 2024: Create/Elevate celebrates the power of craft to inspire and bring people together to imagine new worlds. It introduces the work of sixteen British and international artists, designers and collectives, including four new commissions, which are presented across Harewood House and its Gardens.

As part of Biennial season, we’d also like to share the hidden craft stories of Harewood and take a look into the vibrant world of art and craft through the eyes of our dedicated staff, volunteers and Members.

Each individual we feature is a testament to the transformative power of creativity and the positive impact it can have on our lives and communities.

Through their stories, we hope to inspire you to find your own creative spark.

We’re also hosting a range of workshops from brush and broom making to silk scarf dying, embroidery and beer tasting.

Link to take you to August workshops

Craft Spotlight Series #1: Julie Cross

Julie is an award-winning artist living in Yorkshire, and a member of our Visitor Experience team. She is a figurative, expressionist painter who focuses upon female figures and faces to highlight some of the essentials of human existence.

We are overwhelmed by her talent and wanted to share how her creative journey began – it’s a surprising story!

NFU Mutual Agents to support Harewood’s new safari experience

Claire Cox, Head of Development, and Rachel Crewes, CEO of Harewood House Trust, with Samantha Webster and Caroline Pullich, Partners at NFU Mutual.

NFU Mutual Agents and their staff at the Boston Spa & Harrogate agency recently nominated local charity Harewood House Trust, to receive a donation of £6,509 from NFU Mutual’s national £1.92million ‘Agency Giving Fund’.

The leading rural insurer launched this fund, now in its fifth year, to help local frontline charities across the country. The Agency Giving Fund forms part of NFU Mutual’s £3.25m funding pledge for both local and national charities in 2024, to assist with the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and to help tackle the impact of the rising cost of living.

To ensure these donations reach all corners of the UK and are directed to where they’re needed most, all NFU Mutual Agencies, with more than 280 offices nationwide, have been given the opportunity to nominate local charities to receive a share of the fund.

The UK charity sector has faced unprecedented challenges due to the combined impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis. Harewood House Trust is an independent educational charity as is amongst those that have been affected.

Thanks to the support of NFU Mutual and the Harewood Estate, Harewood House Trust will launch a new nature safari experience sharing fabulous views over the lake, woodlands and parkland.

Young girl and adult looking at the wildlife below the bridge in the Himalayan Garden

Young girl and adult looking at the wildlife below the bridge in the Himalayan Garden, Tom Arber

The funding will go towards providing transport and opening up access to hard-to-reach areas, giving visitors a chance to spot some of the incredible array of wildlife. Harewood is home to amphibians, butterflies, and insects, not to mention the large population of red kites and deer who call Harewood their home. This initiative will ensure that more people can experience the natural beauty and diverse species that thrive in these areas.

Caroline Pullich, Managing Partner at NFU Mutual Boston Spa Agency covering Yorkshire, said: “We’re extremely proud to have nominated Harewood House Trust for this donation and are delighted to be able to support the vital contribution they make to our community. NFU Mutual’s Agency Giving Fund was first created in 2020 in response to the pandemic, and this ongoing support is helping to change lives, providing both emergency support and building long-term resilience.”

Claire Cox, Head of Development at Harewood House Trust, added: “We are so grateful to the Boston Spa & Harrogate Agency of NFU Mutual, for nominating us for a donation from the NFU Mutual Agency Giving Fund. Thanks to this support, we can provide safari transport that will enable visitors and school groups to easily explore more of the landscape. This will also benefit those audiences in receipt of Universal or Pension Credit and other benefits who are using our new £2 day ticket. The safari will be an opportunity for everyone to learn about the incredible natural environment at Harewood and what we are doing to protect it for future generations.”

Harewood House Trust welcomes the creation of the ‘Heirs of Slavery’ group

Harewood House Trust welcomes the creation of the Heirs of Slavery group, which includes David Lascelles, the Earl of Harewood, and other people whose ancestors profited from transatlantic slavery.

Harewood House Trust is an independent educational charitable trust established in 1986.  The Trust works to maintain and develop Harewood House, Gardens and Grounds, the historic home of the Lascelles family, for the public’s benefit. The charity, which is also an accredited museum, uses all the funds raised from visitor admission to keep the site open, to engage with Harewood’s local communities and to run a diverse programme of exhibitions and events, which are enjoyed by over 250,000 people every year. Given that Harewood House was built using profits from the Transatlantic trade in enslaved people, this programme has for a long time strived to open up conversations about this history and its ongoing impact around the world. Harewood House Trust welcomes the Heirs of Slavery’s statement and hopes that the group’s creation will continue to progress these conversations.

Since the charity’s creation, Harewood House Trust has maintained links with the Lascelles family. This has included generous donations from the family and working collaboratively with them on several projects. Harewood House Trust is grateful for their support of the charity’s projects and looks forward to further collaborations in future. The Trust will continue its work to be open about Harewood’s history; to make Harewood a welcoming, inclusive place for all; and to raise awareness of the local, national and global movements that seek restorative justice for enslaved people and their descendants.

These projects include:

  • The Trust’s Open History series highlights the site’s past with the exhibition Bertie Robinson: The Footman from St Vincent and Black History walks with Leeds-based Heritage Corner.
  • In the Missing Portraits series, the Trust is creating exhibitions to accompany portraits of Black sitters, commissioned by the Earl and Countess of Harewood to diversify the House’s historic art collection. The first portrait is of Leeds community activist and founder of Leeds Carnival Arthur France and the second will be of the actor and writer David Harewood, whose ancestors were enslaved on Lascelles plantations.
  • In 2007 Harewood hosted a wide range of events to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade. The highlight was performances of Carnival Messiah in a big top near Harewood House. Carnival Messiah is inspired by the music of Handel’s Messiah, performed Caribbean Carnival style and featuring Carnival performers from Britain and from Trinidad.

A full list of Harewood House Trust’s projects that engage with the site’s history can be found here.

Harewood House … in gingerbread form

Currently situated centre stage in the Old Kitchen is a most beautiful Gingerbread Harewood House, made and iced by one of our Garden Volunteers Klara. For this blog, we sit down with Klara and ask her about volunteering at Harewood and how her interest in gingerbread began.

When did you make and ice your first gingerbread?
I grew up in Hungary. Since I was a child, making gingerbread has been a part of my life. It is a Christmas tradition in our country to make and decorate gingerbread cookies, we call “mézeskalacs”.

How did you learn your craft?
At first, I learned my craft from my mother. Later, I developed my own style and various recipes, including gluten free, diary free and vegan. Over the years I adjusted my collections to meet the country-specific trend where I had been living. However, I have never lost my own style that makes my work unique and recognizable. I have a quality-oriented mindset, that comes from my background as a chemical engineer working in quality management and also as a certificated botanical artist.

How did you hear about volunteering at Harewood ?
I moved to Yorkshire in 2021 and I was looking for a volunteer gardening opportunity and I saw an advertisement for a Volunteer Open Afternoon in the Walled Garden when I first visited Harewood.

What is it you enjoy most about volunteering with the garden team?

The Garden team (staff and volunteers) are all very friendly and welcoming. We learn so much from the professional gardeners.

We work in a very warm environment, in beautiful surroundings, where everyone is very enthusiastic about our work and at the end of the day, when we see the results of our efforts, we feel very proud.

How did you start to make the Harewood gingerbread House ?
I researched the floorplan, took many photos and then simplified the House, retaining its main characteristics. In total, it took about 2 weeks to complete the project.

What icing do you find most satisfying or do you enjoy doing most?
I like the simple traditional designs, but my favourite is creating gingerbreads where I can use my own imagination and design. It is most satisfying when I see the magic of a plain gingerbread transformed through my icing. I especially like doing 3D creations such as houses, Easter eggs, boxes, etc.

What would you like to do in the future?
I hope that I will have more opportunities in the UK to introduce my gingerbread artwork to more people and share my love of this beautiful craft.


Klara’s Gingerbread on Facebook

The Ferry at Harewood

Why isn’t the Ferry running?

Harewood’s Ferry made its maiden voyage in June 2018 and has carried thousands of Harewood visitors every week between the Bird Garden, Bothy and Walled Garden.
In May 2022, the water level in the Lake started to decrease due to low rainfall throughout winter and spring. In June the water level reached a point where the Ferry ran aground and could no longer run. The mud banking you can see around the Lake has not been seen since the Lake was last drained many decades ago.

When will it be operating again?

Unless the weather for the remaining half of the year features a consistent and heavy amount of rain, it is unlikely that the water level will reach a point where we can operate the Ferry again until 2023.
Harewood House Trust, the charity that looks after this site, and the Harewood Estate are working with the Environment Agency and Leeds City Council to ensure the health and wellbeing of Harewood’s wildlife that rely on the Lake. The Trust and Estate are also looking at the Lake’s infrastructure to help plan and mitigate against the impact of climate change, including prolonged periods of dry weather.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.