Harewood House is known as one of the great and grand Treasure Houses of Britain, full of impressive tapestries, paintings and artefacts collected from around the world by the Lascelles family over several hundred years.
However, the countryside, beyond the formal gardens is worthy of a little exploration to meet the curious inhabitants.
Relatively new to visitors are Zebedee and Zucchini, two wonderful Alpacas. They have been living at Harewood for 3 years now, but it is only quite recently, due to Covid, that visitors have been able to take the animals for a walk in Harewood’s grounds. This experience, which lasts for 2 hours, gives visitors the opportunity to see parts of Harewood rarely seen by visitors. The animals are very peaceful and visitors have talked about their calming nature.
Harewood has been home to a deer park since the medieval era with three types of deer spread over 4000 acres of land. There are approximately 155 Red, 45 Fallow and 45 Roe. These numbers often increase when the calves are born around June. The deer have to be culled at regular intervals and the meat is often used in cooking at Muddy Boots, a cafe on the estate. This cafe is run by Eddie Lascelles, son of David Lascelles, the present owner.
At the moment there is a wonderful exhibition inside Harewood House of different Christmas Trees by different artists. One of the trees in the exhibition uses discarded antlers of deer from the estate – shown in the image below.
A few years ago I was walking around Harewood with friends when we spotted what looked like a wild boar. We telephoned the House to be told that there were no wild boars in the area. However, this animal continued to make an appearance and it turned out that Cyril, the black pig, is a pet of the Lascelles family. He lives a pretty much wild life roaming wherever he wants. He is often seen with the Highland Cows, foraging for what he can find. He has developed celebrity status and is quite responsive if you call his name. Look out for him next time you explore the estate.
To find out more about the Christmas Tree exhibition and visiting the estate visit Harewood House’s website.
Contributed by Joy Mitchell-Kardasz – Blue Badge Guide – https://yorkshiresbestguides.co.uk/project/joy-mitchell-kardasz/