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A Closer Look at Castle Howard

Join us at NEHGS, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, on the evening of Thursday, November 8 (visit to register) when Dr. Christopher Ridgway, curator at Castle Howard, will speak on the iconic stately English country house in North Yorkshire.

Its construction began in 1699, and has, for more than 300 years, been the private residence of the descendants of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. Castle Howard is one of Britain’s finest historic houses and gardens, and it has appeared in many television programs and films including "Brideshead Revisited."

Among the treasures of Castle Howard that Dr. Ridgway will speak about is the Morpeth Roll, a unique document, more than 1,370 feet long, comprised of 652 pieces of paper containing the signatures of over 160,000 people across Ireland in 1841. It was a parting gift for George Howard, Viscount Morpeth, when he left his post as Chief Secretary for Ireland. The Morpeth Roll is a genealogical gem that contains information that predates the Great Famine and substitutes for Irish censuses lost to the civil war.

Dr. Christopher Ridgway is a graduate of the University of York and has been curator at Castle Howard since 1985. He has lectured and published extensively on the history of Castle Howard and its collections, architecture, and landscape. He is Chair of the Yorkshire Country House Partnership, a collaborative research project between the University of York and the country houses of Yorkshire. He is Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He sits on the Lord Chancellor’s Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Research. His recent publications include The Morpeth Roll, Ireland Identified in 1841 (Four Courts Press, 2013), The Country House and the Great War: Irish and British Experiences (co-editor with Terence Dooley, Four Courts Press, 2016) and Women and the Country House (co-editor and contributor with Terence Dooley and Maeve O’Riordan, Four Courts Press, 2018).

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