A magnificent house with wonderful gardens. The Lascelles family claim to have arrived in England with William the Conqueror, during the Norman Conquest of England. The family had settled in Yorkshire by 1315 as the "de Lascelles". Prosperous members of the county gentry, the Lascelles served as members of parliament and held prominent military positions. In the late seventeenth century the family purchased plantations in the West Indies, and the income generated allowed Henry Lascelles to purchase the estate in 1738; his son, Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood, built the house between 1759 and 1771. Edwin initially employed the services of John Carr, an architect practising in the north of England and previously employed by a number of prominent Yorkshire families to design their new country houses. The foundations were laid in 1759, with the house being largely complete by 1765. The fashionable Robert Adam submitted designs for the interiors, which were approved in 1765. Adam made a number of minor alterations to Carr's designs for the exterior of the building, including internal courtyards. The house remained largely untouched until the 1840s when Sir Charles Barry was employed by Henry Lascelles, 3rd Earl of Harewood, the father of thirteen children, to increase the accommodation. Barry added second stories to each of the flanking wings to provide extra bedrooms, removed the south portico and created formal parterres and terraces. The landscape was designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown and spans 1,000 acres (400 ha) at Harewood.
Harewood Bird Garden is a home to over 30 types of bird from around the world. Visit, and you will see the rare Bali starling, flocks of charismatic parrots and cockatoos as well as the popular colony of Humboldt penguins. Explore the conservation status of the birds they care for, learn about their characteristics and what makes them unique. They have one of the worlds’ largest owl species and you can listen to the flocks of Zebra finches. In addition there is the Terrace, the Lakeside Garden, the Himalayan Garden and the Walled Garden. The Penguin Pool features Humboldt Penguins. New for 2016 is the Farm Experience where you can meet friendly alpacas, learn about the family of pygmy goats and see the pot bellied pigs enjoy a spot of lunch or cosy up to some giant rabbits.
Then there is Harewood Castle, a 12th-century stone hall house and courtyard fortress, located on the Harewood Estate and recently renovated, which can be seen through the trees. There are six steps up to the front door of Harewood House and a wheelchair lift is fitted on the right hand side of the steps. The wheelchair lift cannot take electric wheelchairs, an alternative courtesy, indoor wheelchair is available from the House Desk. House Desk staff will be happy to assist. House information is available in large print. The Below Stairs area is fully wheelchair accessible with the use of ramps and a wheelchair lift. Wheelchair access to the Terrace Gallery is via the Below Stairs entrance. The Bird Garden is sited on a natural slope. Paths are surfaced with asphalt and most have handrails. Regrettably, service dogs are not permitted in the Bird Garden but please enquire at the Information Centre for a member of staff to guide you around. Note: Visitors who choose to visit Harewood via bus gain admission for half price (applies to Harewood Freedom Tickets).
Location : Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG
Transport: Leeds (National Rail) then bus. Harrogate (National Rail) then bus. Bus routes : 36 to Harewood from Leeds and Harrogate. 923 from Otley to Tadcaster via Wetherby.
Opening Times : Daily 10:00 to 16:00 March 26 through October
Tickets : House + Gardens - Adult £14.50; Senior £13.50; Child/Student £7.50.
Tickets : Below Stairs + Gardens - Adult £10.50; Senior £9.50; Child/Student £6.50.
Tel: 0113 218 1010