I adore historic houses; there is nothing I love more than having a spare couple of hours to delve into the histories of unique country manors, town houses or the small yet powerful dwellings of previous earthly occupants. I’ve visited a variety of houses around Yorkshire – a lot on numerous occasions – yet I was ashamed to have not visited Castle Howard in my adult memory. I had a spare weekend and decided to take the rural and scenic route to the Howardian Hills to visit Castle Howard at Christmas. The overall theme of the house and grounds is The Twelve Days of Christmas, with each room of the spacious, yet intimate, building representing each day of festivities.
I must be honest; I am not overly impressed by modern installations in historic spaces. I’ve seen some amazing ones – and I’ve also seen some average and confusing ones. Museum galleries and creative exhibitions do an amazing job of innovative designs, from audio, projections and interactive mediums yet for me, historic houses are like a freeze frame – they contain and reflect the cultural tastes, values and the stories of the inhabitants of a specific time and I feel that sometimes modern installations alongside authentic spaces sometimes loses that feel.
Castle Howard is an exception to this – the Christmas installation is honestly one of the most amazing and innovative designs I have ever seen. While each room represents a particular Christmas day of the song they also carry an individual theme. A masquerade theme embellished with feathers lies in the first bedroom while one dining room depicts a scene perfect for the sugar plum fairy. Yet each space is linked by a combination of traditional and original Christmas décor which illuminates the space without losing any of its everyday charm.
Here are some more photos!!!