Known to film buffs as the fictional Brideshead in both television and film adaptations of Evelyn Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited', Castle Howard, the magnificent stately home in Yorkshire was built for Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle mostly between 1699 and 1712. Designed by John Vanbrugh, later the architect of Blenheim Palace, and assisted by the experienced Nicholas Hawksmoor, Castle Howard was the first private house in England to be endowed with a grand dome which crowns the lavish Baroque structure. The grounds are equally impressive with formal gardens, woodland,fountains and lakes setting off two further major buildings: the Temple of the Four Winds, and the Mausoleum built by Hawksmoor in which the 3rd Earl is now interred.
The sumptuous interiors are decorated with frescoes, tapestries, and sculpture, while paintings by such artists as Holbein, Gainsborough, and Canaletto adorn the walls. The core of the picture collection was built up by the 3rd, 4th and 5th Earls during the 18th century, notably during their travels in Italy on the Grand Tour, although some of the works were later sold or destroyed by fire in 1940. Valuable later additions were made by George, 9th Earl of Carlisle and the last with this title to live at Castle Howard. An accomplished painter, he counted Burne-Jones and William Morris among his friends, and the works in the collection by Lord Leighton, G.F.Watts and Walter Crane amongst others are due to his patronage.
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