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A Tribute to Michael Howells

On the passing of acclaimed production designer and art director Michael Howells, whose decades-long career spanned fashion, film and theatre, Harewood House Trust pays tribute to an incredible individual who created an enchanting Christmas experience at Harewood House in 2017. In addition to messages of condolence from the staff at the Trust, Lord Harewood adds;

“Diane and I were very sad to hear of the death of Michael Howells. I knew him by reputation from my time working in TV and then we both got to know him more personally when he designed our magical Victorian Christmas at Harewood last year. His inventiveness, creativity and personal warmth and charm will be sorely missed.”

David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood


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The Booksellers of Harewood

Bookshop Volunteers

Jane Marriott, Director, Harewood House Trust , presents a cake to volunteer Gill Lord to celebrate the landmark moment.

Over £100,000 has been raised through the sale of second-hand books by the volunteers of Harewood House Trust.

Since the second-hand bookshop opened on site seven years ago, the volunteer booksellers have created an impressive catalogue and collection of books, for all interests and with an average price tag of £1. Every penny of the money they have raised goes back into the work of the charity to protect and promote its three collections of the House, the Gardens and the Bird Garden.

Says Mary, volunteer, “I was one of the pioneers. I helped set up the bookshop and I still enjoy working here now.”

Another volunteer, Paddy, said “I am part of the Bookshop and House team and I enjoy the fact that we come together to share something.”

Jane Marriot, Trust Director, raised a glass to the Booksellers and said “This is an incredible achievement. Your work here is supporting everything that Harewood does as a charity in education and conservation. It is a very tangible contribution to this wonderful organisation.”
The bookshop volunteers also work across different ares of the Trust and are part of a 200-strong group who make a positive contribution to the workings of the charity at Harewood.

To help the Bookshop Volunteers reach their next £100,000, visit the Bookshop and buy or donate a book. All donations of books are grateful received , especially children’s picture books.

To keep up to date with behind the scenes stories, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Harewood House Launches a Victorian Christmas

Victorian Christmas at Harewood

Harewood House is pleased to announce a special five-week Christmas season, A Victorian Christmas, which will see the house and grounds open during the festive period for the first time in five years. To celebrate the new series of ITV’s Victoria, which is filmed on location at Harewood House, the show’s award-winning creative director, Michael Howells, will create a magical Christmas experience giving visitors the opportunity to explore the house in full Victorian splendour.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Christmas was not regarded as a significant event. However, in 1848, the Illustrated London News published a drawing of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree. The trend was adopted by the British people and by the end of the nineteenth century Christmas in the UK had become the major annual celebration it is today, with trees, homemade decorations, Christmas cards and gifts.

In celebration of the Victorians’ love of Christmas, the event will give visitors an insight into the ways the Victorians created and informed the Christmas traditions we enjoy today, including Christmas dinner, carol singing, the Christmas tree and present giving. Storytelling will be at the heart of the event with inspiration being taken from Harewood’s own archives and collections.

Display highlights will include loans from Ilkley Toy Museum including Victorian board games, dolls houses, toy soldiers and rare dolls from the era. Additionally, visitors will have the rare opportunity of exploring the award-winning gardens, which although usually closed throughout the winter months, will be open until 3:30pm daily.

Harewood’s magnificent State Floor, which is one of the principal locations for Victoria, will be beautifully dressed with visually stunning Victorian decorations, while ‘below stairs’, in the kitchens, visitors will get a sense of the hustle and bustle of a stately country house, with a cornucopia of traditional Christmas foods being prepared.

As well as the festive dressing, visitors will be able to enjoy a series of events and activities including wreath making, twilight tours, floristry workshops and Fireside Father Christmas.

Jane Marriott, Director of Harewood House Trust said, “2017 has been a positive year for Harewood House Trust. We have had a fantastic response from visitors to our Victorian Harewood season so extending this into an immersive Christmas event is really exciting. We are thrilled to be opening the house for Christmas and to be working with Michael Howells on the project.”

Michael Howells said, “I’m delighted to be working with Harewood House Trust for this event. Harewood has been an incredible place to work filming Victoria for the last two years and has provided us with some fantastic inspiration. It’s a special place, filled with history and wonderful stories to tell.”

Harewood House Sees Visitors Increase Following ITV Victoria Series and Successful Exhibitions

ITV's Victoria filmed at Harewood House

As series 2 of ITV’s blockbuster drama Victoria airs, Harewood House Trust announces increased visitors numbers following the successful Victorian Harewood exhibitions inspired by the production which used Harewood as a key location. The major exhibitions have seen historically accurate costumes from the programme displayed in the house alongside personal objects owned by Queen Victoria.

Jane Marriott, Director of Harewood House Trust said: “2017 has been a fantastic year for Harewood House Trust. As a charity, we have a responsibility to preserve and protect Harewood and its collections; filming is an important revenue stream which helps this work continue.

To capitalise on the Victoria production, we have shaped our season around Harewood’s Victorian history; costumes from Victoria have been on display including the famous coronation gown worn by Jenna Coleman who plays Victoria in the programme. Alongside the stunning costumes, personal items owned by Queen Victoria, Charlotte Canning, Queen Victoria’s lady-in-waiting, and Lady Louisa, 3rd Countess of Harewood, have been displayed adding real authenticity to the exhibitions in the house.”

“The response has been incredibly positive and we have seen visitors to Harewood significantly increase compared to the same period last year.”

Harewood House has been transformed into Buckingham Palace for both series 1 and 2 of the programme. Many of the opulent rooms on the State Floor, the famous kitchens Below Stairs as well as exteriors of the house and parts of the Estate have been used in the production.

Jane Marriott said, “We are looking forward to series 2 and seeing Harewood on screen once again. We hope to see more visitors coming to Harewood before the Victoria costume exhibition and the Victorian Harewood displays close on 29th October.”

Jane Marriott said, “Watch out for our announcement this autumn for our new Christmas season extending our celebration of all things Victorian.”

Filming at Harewood House, 2nd – 5th August

Victoria ITV

As you may know, Harewood House has been used as a major set for ITV’s flagship period drama “Victoria”. Throughout the first series, the production saw Harewood transformed into Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace. The programme was viewed by over 7 million people here in Britain and has also been broadcast in over 100 countries worldwide. Series two is currently being filmed across Yorkshire and on the 2nd – 5th August, Harewood will once again become Buckingham Palace. This will cause some changes to visitor access to the House and grounds.

To allow the film crew to transform Harewood House into Buckingham Palace, we will close Below Stairs between 2nd – 5th August.  Part of the Terrace, Terrace Cafe and Terrace Gallery will be closed on 2nd, 3rd and 4th August but will reopen on the 5th August. Please note on 3rd August, no access to the Terrace will be possible.

To ensure that you can enjoy all of the House, we will be opening the State Floor to all visitors between 2nd – 5th August at no additional cost. This will allow you to see the magnificent rooms and the Victorian Harewood exhibitions.

Filming generates vital income for Harewood and it makes a significant difference to the charity. We would like to thank all our visitors in advance for their patience and we hope that you enjoy seeing the House being used by a large film production like “Victoria”.