Cover image for The building of Castle Howard
The building of Castle Howard
Saumarez Smith, Charles.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
221 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
Rewrite of author's Ph. D. thesis.
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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NA7625.C26 S28 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This book is the first complete study of the circumstances which led to the building of Castle Howard, one of the greatest and best-known English country houses. It describes how and why Charles Howard, third earl of Carlisle, decided to build it; how the architect Sir John Vanbrugh received his first commission; how the building was paid for and where the money came from; what the original interiors looked like; how the gardens and park were laid out; and the decision taken to build the first classical mausoleum in England, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. It relates the physical appearance of the architecture to the hopes, desires and personalities of those involved in the building and makes it possible to look at the house in the way that it was intended to be seen by visitors in the eighteenth century. The Building of Castle Howard should appeal to anyone who is interested in eighteenth-century architecture, in the history of gardens, in country houses, and in a historical detective story of a house which Sir John Vanbrugh was determined should be 'the top seat and garden of England.'

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Saumarez-Smith, assistant keeper at the Victoria and Albert Musuem, has compiled the first exhaustive study of this extravagant early 17th-century Yorkshire country house, built by Charles Howard, third Earl of Carlisle. Archival material from 28 repositories, including family papers at Castle Howard, support Saumarez-Smith's thesis that political aspirations induced Howard to build the lavish structure. The author also addresses the roles of architects Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor and the castle's innovative landscape design, decor, and furnishings. One chapter is devoted to Hawksmoor's Mausoleum, which Smith places ``among the great architectural buildings in England.'' Conscientious notes and bibliography cite sources, including manuscripts. Black-and-white photographs, plans, and drawings enhance the text. Essential for academic and architecture collections.-- Christine Whittington, Pennsylvania State Univ., College Station (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 The Patron Early Life Family Origins Political Career Court Architecture Taste Formation Cultural Geography
2 The Architect Architectural Commission Visual Sources Early Projects Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor Design Analysis
3 The House Building Construction Sources of Income Financial Difficulties Economic Implications
4 The Interior Textile Furnishings Painted Decoration Iconographic Interpretations Furniture and Fittings Life Style
5 The Garden Early Planting RaywoodRediviva Estate Improvement Architectural Parterre Garden Buildings Landscape Interpretation Literary Classicism
6 The Mausoleum Original Idea Rational Theology Classical Antecedents Burlingtonians Intervention Aesthetic Result
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