Harewood House in Leeds is one of the beautiful properties listed on Treasure Houses of England. Visiting the property a lovely way to spend a day whether you’re just strolling the picturesque grounds or exploring the grand house.
I really enjoyed visiting Harewood when we went to Leeds so I thought I would share the highlights of the property and rooms that I enjoyed most. A mini photo tour so to speak.
But first…a (very) brief history lesson!
Harewood House was originally built for the Lacelles family, plantation owners, whose fortune was made the mainly in the sugar trade and slavery.
The house also has a connection to the Royal Family. Mary, Princess Royal, and daughter to King George V and Queen Mary, lived at Harewood when she married Henry Lacelles, 6th Earl of Harewood in 1922.
As soon as you reach the entrance at Harewood you’re greeted with a spectacular arch that almost makes you feel like you’re looking at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Or maybe just the Wellington arch in London!
The grounds are massive and quite impressive. The 100 acre property is a painterly picture that was realized by Lancelot “Capability” Brown, a famous British landscape designer in his day. Brown was also involved the the design of about 170 other properties such as the gardens at Blenheim Palace, Wimbledon Park, Cardiff Castle.
His most recognizable work is probably at Highclere Castle, due to it being the location used to film the show Downton Abbey. His style of garden design was very different and much more relaxed than the formal styles of gardens in years before he grew to popularity.
His style was sweeping, natural looking landscapes that often included a serpentine lake, groupings of trees and a long, snaking drive way leading up to the property that allowed visitors to take in his handiwork along the way.
The Walled Garden
The property houses a walled garden that is a brief ferry ride across a small pond and it contains fruits, vegetables and flowers and music. Yes, music. It was in the orchard and it was very relaxing. It has inspired me to install it in my own garden in Pennsylvania. Research suggests that the vibrations in music helps to stimulate plant grown.
The Himalayan Garden
The Himalayan Garden opened in 2009, replacing the rock garden that was there previously. This garden has a secluded feeling to it and its easy to wander around in it getting lost in your own thoughts.
I found it interesting to learn that this stupa in the photo above is the only one of its kind in Europe.
A trickling waterfall provides the perfect backdrop for those who want to stop and meditate for a moment.
The terrace is a stunning example of a formal garden from the Victorian era. It’s built on two levels. The Parterre (upper level) has over 20,000 flowers planted in it, yearly. The best time to see this garden is at Spring but it was still gorgeous in July.
Harewood House was built in the 18th century and is a Grade 1 Listed Building that was designed by architects John Carr and Robert Adam. It was fascinating to walk through and see the lavishly decorated rooms.
Throughout the house there are gorgeous pieces of furniture created especially for it by Thomas Chippendale.
The Old Library
Out of the three libraries in the house, this one was my favorite. I loved the details on the ceiling and the lightness of the space.
The Main Library
The grand doorway in this library captured my heart.
The Spanish Library
To me, this felt most like a traditional library, with its rich wood bookcases and fireplace.
The State Dining Room
I liked this room particularly because of the fact that it wasn’t a dark and heavy space like some of the dining rooms in other homes I have visited.
This bed was the most expensive piece of furniture ever produced by Chippendale.
It has carved gilt and three mattresses. The bed has only been used twice.
The furniture in the East Bedroom was designed by Chippendale to coordinate with the wallpaper.
It never fails to amaze me how these properties remain in such good condition. I could have spent hours walking around taking in all of the details. And I always end up leaving with design ideas for my own home. Some styles just transcend time, I suppose.
I always love to see the areas below stairs in homes like these. Probably because of watching episodes of Downton Abbey. I can only imagine what it was like to work in one of these homes.
Although I’m sure it was hard to work in the kitchen in times of no air conditioning, I am slightly jealous of the sheer size of it. It had me missing my kitchen in Pennsylvania. My kitchen in London is tiny in comparison.
The Grand Finale
This exquisite piece of furniture is entitled The Diana and Minerva Commode. It is thought to be Thomas Chippendale’s finest work.
Built of mahogany, pine and oak woods, the commode has veneers made of satinwood from the West Indies and inlays of exotic woods. The roundels on each side portraying Diana and Minerva are made of ebony and ivory.
My picture doesn’t even do it justice. Its a stunning piece of furniture with intricate detail.
I hope you enjoyed this mini photo tour of Harewood. If you plan to visit England, I would highly recommend visiting the property if you’re going to be in the Leeds area.
Do you enjoy visiting historical properties? Which has been your favorite?
Thank you for reading! Cheers!