The house was designed by Edward Welby Pugin and stands in a 250 acre estate and is the Yorkshire home of the 18th Duke of Norfolk but, since 1991, has been lived in, and run, by Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard and his family. Lord Gerald is a younger brother of the current Duke of Norfolk. Although the family still live in part of the house, it is now largely used for wedding receptions and similar events.
It is known that there has been a house on the site from at least the 14th century, but nothing visible remains and there is no documentary record.
In the 1600s the estate belonged to Sir Miles Stapleton who died in 1705, leaving it to his nephew Nicholas Errington of Ponteland, Northumberland, who took the name of Stapleton. Nicholas' grandson, Thomas Stapleton, succeeded in 1750 and in 1765 improved the house and estate, commissioning Thomas White to landscape the park and Thomas Atkinson of York to add the East Wing. Thomas was a keen breeder and trainer of horses and with Sir Thomas Gascoigne won the St. Leger Stakes in 1778 with Hollandaise and in his own right the following year with Tommy. In 1795 he laid claim to the dormant barony of Beaumont and in 1840 his great-nephew and succeesor, Miles Thomas Stapleton, was created the 8th Lord Beaumont. Baron Beaumont restyled the house in the fashionable gothic manner in 1842.
His son Henry, 9th Baron Beaumont, undertook large scale renovation of the house and was forced to sell much of the land to pay for it. On his early death from pneumonia in 1892 Carlton Towers and the barony passed to his brother Miles, an officer in the British Army, who married the wealthy heiress Ethel Tempest of Broughton Hall. He was killed in a shooting accident only three years later and was succeeded by his infant daughter, Mona, who married Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop, heir to the Dukedom of Norfolk.
Lady Beaumont owned Carlton until 1970. During the Second World War the house was used as an auxiliary military hospital but was afterwards restored to its original condition. Her eldest son, Major-General Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, inherited both the Beaumont and Howard of Glossop baronies (and in 1975 also succeeded his cousin as 17th Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshal of England). The house is now occupied by his second son Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard and his family.
In popular culture
The house was used as the location of "Hetton Abbey" for the 1988 film version of Evelyn Waugh's novel A Handful of Dust. It (along with Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard and his young family) was featured on The Guest Wing, a television programme shown on Sky Atlantic in Great Britain in April and May, 2012.
The character played by Bernard Cribbins in the 1967 film Casino Royale was named "Carlton Towers, CFO" as an in-joke. Carlton Towers is also the name of several blocks of highrise council flats in the Little London area of Leeds. However, these are currently being abandoned as homes and residents are being moved out.[when?]
- Arundel Castle in Sussex, which is the main seat of the Dukes of Norfolk
- Norfolk House, the former London residence of the Dukes of Norfolk
- "Carlton Towers-A Detailed History". Retrieved 2013-02-03.