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National Lottery Heritage Fund Supports Harewood

Harewood is delighted to have received just under £50,000 of National Lottery support to help sustain the Trust and fund crucial projects following the impact of Covid-19 on the heritage industry.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began, Harewood has, like many culture and visitor attractions, seen irreparable financial impact, with 14 weeks of unavoidable closure. The Trust now faces £1 million deficit this financial year. Despite major efforts to offset such losses, through encouraging Membership, launching bespoke premium events and tour opportunities, and launching an Appeal for the Harewood Bird Garden raising £8,000 generously donated by members of the public, the Trust is incapable of bridging such a gap without assistance.

Jane Marriott, Director of Harewood House Trust, said:
‘We are delighted to be the recipients of this crucial funding and thanks to National Lottery Players we can now move forwards with renewed positivity and vigour as we plan Harewood’s future and its vital place in our community just outside Leeds. The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s support has become a vital lifeline at this time in ensuring this country’s world-renowned heritage places, something we and all our colleagues are passionate about sustaining for everyone to enjoy for the future.’
The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector. The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
‘Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to
be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

‘Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Harewood during this uncertain time.’

Harewood House Trust plans to use part of this fund to launch a significant Member engagement and recruitment campaign, ensuring the Trust’s long-term future with sustainable, secure income whilst continuing to grow its community.

Celebrating Leeds United Success


Footballer Eddie Gray with David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood

On the celebration of Leeds United’s Championship Win and promotion to the Premier League, David Lascelles, Honorary President of Leeds United,

“Leeds United have been part of my life since my father first took me as a boy. I have early memories of an ageing but still majestic John Charles, a gangly centre-half called Jack Charlton and a teenage Billy Bremner scoring the winning goal against Liverpool. I’ve watched Don Revie’s great side dominate teams all over England and Europe and sat disbelievingly through the bizarre, wind-swept game when we beat Sheffield United 3-2 to become the last 1st Division Champions before the Premiership. I’ve cheered David O’Leary’s young tearaways overcoming the odds and Jermaine Beckford scoring a late winner to haul us out of the 3rd tier at last. And that’s just picking a few highlights.
“But I can’t say I’ve enjoyed anything more than this Leeds team, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds team, and the way they’ve played this season. Thrillingly exciting to watch at their best and full of character and fighting to the very end when things were going against them. What a team! What a manager! Thank you – I’m so proud of you all! Let’s take the Premiership by storm!
“Marching On Together!”
David Lascelles, Honorary President of Leeds United 2019-present.

Funding from Art Fund helps deliver Harewood At Home

Harewood_House ThanksGarden how-to’s from Trevor, Head Gardener of 20 years, behind the scenes tours of the Collections with curators and an insight into a day in the life of a Bird Keeper are just some of our content presented daily online as part of Harewood at Home.

As the gates to Harewood have remained closed over the past three months, the virtual doors were opened wide from the beginning of lockdown, with daily online content made possible through new funding from Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art.

To date, highlights have included podcasts with bird keepers, live creating sessions with plasticine model maker Jim Parkyn, a walking tour of the Himalayan Garden with the 8th Earl, David Lascelles, and video interviews with Rebecca Burton, Assistant Curator. Harewood has created hands-on learning and gardening tutorials and also used the charity as a platform to showcase contemporary artists and their work.

Emily Booker, Development Manager at Harewood said, “It’s great news that we received this additional and vital funding support at this time. Harewood is a charity, and as such we feel we have a duty to share the Collections at Harewood with the public. We’re working hard to create the best quality stories and insight online, and share this as far and wide as possible, to hopefully create some benefit for people at this difficult time. Grants like these enable us to reach more people in increasingly creative ways.”

The grant of £3,300 has been used to better equip the content team and charity with technology, enabling Harewood to work with external specialists for podcasts and film making and creating an opportunity to evaluate and adapt content to the audiences online.

There’s still plenty of content to come, as the House will remain closed once the garden reopens to the public early next month.

Keep up to date with Harewood on Social Media @HarewoodHouse

With grateful support from Art Fund.

Art Fund Support

VE Day – A Double Celebration for Harewood

Harewood_House_VE_day75 years ago today, the Allied Nations celebrated Victory in Europe Day, signaling the end of the Second World War.

For the village of Harewood, VE day was a double celebration, as it celebrated the return of George Viscount Lascelles, future 7th Earl of Harewood, arriving home following his imprisonment as a Prisoner of War. The village welcomed him back to Harewood with flags and ‘welcome home’ bunting. A newspaper reported the scene:

“The sun came out for his homecoming. The chestnuts were in flower. Every cottage window had it’s Union Jack; small ones fluttered from crannies in the stone walls. Children, some carrying prayer books as well as flags, began to hop about outside the gates almost an hour before Lord Lascelles and the Princess Royal were due…Eight year old Susanna FitzRoy (Queen Mary’s god-daughter) sat her pony like a little queen and threw her velvet red riding cap in the air when the car passed…. Estate workers and tenantry, many of whom had known [George] since he was a child and whom shared his parents’ anxiety, were delighted to hear him repeat that he felt very well…. It was a fitting climax to Harewood’s VE day”

George joined the Grenadier Guards in 1942 at the age of 19. On the battlefields of Italy he was shot and wounded on 18th June 1944 and captured by the Nazis. He was imprisoned in Oflag IV-C, better known as Colditz Castle, alongside other “Prominentes” or ‘celebrities’ as Hitler tagged them – all prisoners with illustrious Allied connections, that were earmarked as powerful bargaining chips.

In March 1945, Hitler signed George’s death warrant and SS commander Gottlob Berger was ordered to execute the Prominente. But realising the war was lost, Berger failed to carry out the sentence and released his prisoners to the Swiss.

In his memoirs, The Tongs and the Bones (1981), George writes about his experiences as a Prisoner of War, which involved a thwarted escape attempt, and describes the moment he was told of his release:

“General Berger told us that he thought the war was within a day or two of coming to its end; he disbelieved in keeping prisoners pointlessly, although it was his duty to tell us that he had received orders to shoot us. He was going to disobey those orders because he thought them futile and indeed criminal, and had made arrangements to hand us over to the Swiss, who were coming immediately to take us through the German lines and deliver us into Allied hands…Leaving in the mid-afternoon of the 4 May with a feeling of total exhilaration – like a child going to its first party – we somehow assumed we should go fast and be in Allied hands in a couple of hours. But it was not like that…. We motored on through the night until at first light the German troops by the side of the road told him they thought there were no more Germans in front. We put a Swiss flag on the front of the car and drove very slowly into no-man’s land…For perhaps a few miles we saw absolutely nothing. We were going very slowly and eventually we arrived at the American front line, with no fuss, and that was that.”

Watch this short conversation with Assistant Curator, Rebecca Burton, to see a different side to Harewood during wartime.

A significant year for flight – call out for Bird Garden stories

Harewood House in Yorkshire is a Bird ZooFifty-year-old flamingos, the first penguins in a country house and a passion and commitment for wildlife and conservation, the Bird Garden at Harewood is an accredited zoo and first opened to the public in spring 1970, then hailed in the press as ‘one of England’s most comprehensive collections of rare and exotic birds from all parts of the world.’

When Harewood reopens on 21 March, following three months of winter closure, it will be to celebrate 50 years of the Bird Garden, with new launches and exhibitions to be revealed across the House, grounds and gardens.

We’re calling out to visitors and local people from around the 1970 opening to get in contact now and share their memories and stories of one of visitors’ most loved areas of Harewood to this day.

The Bird Garden was originally opened by the 7th Earl and the Countess of Harewood, to provide a new attraction for visitors and celebrate their passion for wildlife and the protection of endangered species. At the time they were advised by Sir Peter Scott, the conservationist, ornithologist and founder of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trusts and also by Len Hill, celebrated ornithologist and founder of Birdland Park and Gardens.

It once housed 500 birds from 140 different species, including native Australian birds from the Countess’ home country, in addition to significant collections of birds from the Himalayas and South America. Today, Harewood is an accredited zoo and a member of BIAZA, the professional body representing the best zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland. It is home to approximately 300 birds from 56 different species, of which there are 17 managed international breeding and conservation programmes.

1970 was a significant year of flight – the year Concorde first flew supersonic; the first commercial passenger flight took place on a Jumbo Jet from New York to London and the Apollo 13 mission to the moon.

Jane Marriott, Director, Harewood House Trust, says “The Harewood Bird Garden is one of the best-loved parts of a visit to Harewood for many people, but what people may not know is that we are also an educational charity and the Bird Garden is an accredited zoo. At Harewood, we have a clear commitment to the care, conservation and biodiversity of many endangered bird species from around the world.

“In this 50th anniversary year, we would love to hear from anyone who might have visited in those early years, from when the Bird Garden opened in 1970. We’re sure there are many fascinating stories and memories, and hearing them will enable us to build the most complete picture of the impact of this part of Harewood’s past and its future and how zoos have developed from lovely displays of birds, into a very important place to care for our planet and wildlife.”

Harewood is asking people to send their stories to marketing@harewood.org

You can find out more about the Bird Garden here