The best country houses in Yorkshire

18th July 2017

External view of Harewood House including statue of Orpheus

The county of Yorkshire is one of the UK’s most popular destinations for many reasons. From the beautiful scenery of the Dales to the historic holiday towns of Whitby and Scarborough, there is almost no end to the places and activities you can enjoy on a visit to Britain’s largest county.

Being such a vast and historically significant area, it should come as no surprise that Yorkshire is also home to a wide range of suitably large and unique country houses, all of which have their own fascinating story to tell.

View of Brodsworth Hall from garden

We were fortunate enough to speak to David Ross, the editor of Britain Express - one of the web’s largest sources of information regarding the UK’s heritage – about what he thinks are some of Yorkshire’s finest stately homes. Take a look below at his summaries of what visitors can expect to enjoy at a selection of the county’s most fascinating houses.

 

Harewood House

Harewood House from gardens

Harewood House near Leeds is home to the queen's first cousin, the Earl of Harewood. The house displays exquisite Robert Adam interiors, a rich collection of Chippendale furniture, fine porcelain and outstanding art pieces, from Italian Renaissance masterpieces to Turner watercolours.

 

Castle Howard

View of Castle Howard from gardens

“Near the city of York is Castle Howard, one of the premier stately homes of England. Castle Howard is a Baroque masterpiece, more palace than house, built by Sir John Vanbrugh for Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle, from 1699. The extraordinary central dome is an  architectural wonder. The house is surrounded by one of the very first English landscape gardens, dotted with classical temples and follies.

 

Brodsworth Hall

Brodsworth Hall interior

“Then there is Brodsworth Hall, one of the best examples of an unaltered Victorian country house in England."

Brodsworth, managed since 1990 by English Heritage, was built in the mid-19th Century and remains impressively unspoilt to this day. As you can see from the above picture, the interior of the hall is characterised by its elegant furniture and ornate decoration, whilst the lovely pleasure gardens have now been restored to their original Victorian beauty.

 

Burton Agness Hall

View of Burton Agnes Hall from gardens

“…and Burton Agnes Hall near Driffield, a Jacobean jewel of red brick that has been called 'the perfect English house'.”

One of the oldest and most quintessential of country houses in the area, Burton Agnes was completed in 1610 and is rightly regarded as a regional – even national – treasure. In fact, Simon Jenkins’s ‘England’s Thousand Best Houses’ ranks Burton Agnes Hall in the top 20, in the company of such iconic homes as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

There are literally dozens more historic houses throughout Yorkshire, many of which are open to the public at various points in the year, either for general admission or specific events and functions. If you are planning a stay at accommodation near Robin Hood’s Bay or elsewhere in ‘God’s own country’ this summer, consider putting aside a day or two to explore a handful of them – it will certainly be time well spent!

Image Credits: John Robinson, Amanda Slater, Elliott Brown, Michael D Beckwith, happymillermanRick Ligthelm