Carlton Towers

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Carlton Towers
18th Duke of Norfolk Allan Warren.jpg
18th Duke of Norfolk outside Carlton Towers, by Allan Warren
Location North Yorkshire, England
Area 250 acre estate
Built 1600s
Architect Edward Welby Pugin
Architectural style(s) Victorian Gothic
Owner Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk

Carlton Towers is a Grade I listed Victorian gothic country house in Carlton (between Selby and Snaith), North Yorkshire, England.

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.[1][2][3][4]

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 Thomas Stapleton claimed the abeyant barony of Beaumont and in 1840 his great-nephew and successor, Miles Thomas Stapleton, was called to the peerage as the 8th Baron Beaumont. Lord Beaumont restyled the house in the fashionable gothic manner in 1842.[1][2][5]

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.[1][2]

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.[1][2]

In popular culture[edit]

Carlton Towers, prepared for demolition (February 2010)

The house was used as the location of "Hetton Abbey" for the 1988 film version of Evelyn Waugh's novel A Handful of Dust.[2] 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.[6][7]

The South Australian Film Corporation also used the house in the film Like Minds (2006), starring Toni Collette.[2] The TV series Micawber starring David Jason used the house for filming.[2] And the TV show, The Darling Buds of May used the house as well in their show, (Carlton Towers appeared as Château Brest in one of the episodes where the family was on holiday in France).[2]

The character played by Bernard Cribbins in the 1967 film Casino Royale was named "Carlton Towers, CFO".[8] Carlton Towers was also the name of several blocks of highrise council flats in the Little London area of Leeds. The flats were demolished in February 2010 as part of a major housing regeneration project.[9]

See also[edit]


  • Colvin, Howard (1995) Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 0-14-020652-3
  • Sayer, Michael (1993) The Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing) ISBN 0-85-955197-0


  1. ^ a b c d Sir Thomas Ingilby and John Foster. "Carlton Towers Yorkshire" (PDF). Ingilby History. Photographed by Mr Grahame E. Davidson on 29 July 2002 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h HHA. "Carlton Towers". Historic Houses Association. Retrieved 8 October 2014. Carlton Towers has belonged to the ancestors of the Duke of Norfolk since the Norman Conquest. 
  3. ^ "Carlton Towers, Carlton". British Listed Buildings. English Heritage Building ID: 326453 
  4. ^ "History of Carlton Towers". BBC. 1986. Map of the area from 1986 and 2011 
  5. ^ "History of the house and family". Carlton Towers. 
  6. ^ HHA (15 April 2012). "Carlton Towers is on TV". Historic Houses Association. 
  7. ^ "The Guest Wing". Radio Times. Episode guide 
  8. ^ Matthew Newton. "Casino Royale". MJ Newton. 
  9. ^ "Massive machine takes first bite of high rise". Leeds City Council. 15 February 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°42′24″N 1°01′03″W / 53.706589°N 1.017471°W / 53.706589; -1.017471