#MyPemberley: Castle Howard

Suzan Lauder's Pemberley

from A Most Handsome Gentleman

There’ is no visit to Pemberley for Elizabeth Bennet and the Gardiners in my three Meryton Press published books (Alias Thomas Bennet, Letter from Ramsgate, and A Most Handsome Gentleman). Due to plot twists, Elizabeth and Darcy fall in love early, so in my novels, she’s never been able to gasp as they stop on a rise to take in the first views of Mr. Darcy’s home in Derbyshire. She falls in love with him despite that fact! Yet, without a doubt, even before Elizabeth likes Mr. Darcy, she’s curious about Pemberley—just as she is about Mr. Darcy himself.

Now, if Mr. Darcy were to describe his home to her, he would say with a great deal of pride that Pemberley is a grand home without being too artificially fine. The soft golden tones of the locally mined stone are at one with the natural landscape of lakes and forests, among other lovely features. As one approaches from the front, the environs are more natural than the large formal gardens behind the mansion. There’s a bubbling little stream feeding a lake where Darcy likes to swim. That is, except for late summer when the weeds have taken it over. Thus, the Pemberley lake is a little like Elizabeth’s relative Mr. Collins in A Most Handsome Gentleman: beautiful at the surface, but a tangle if you dare to look deeply enough.

Of course, as curious as Elizabeth is about Mr. Darcy and Pemberley, she would never admit it to anyone, not even Jane. For the time being, she’s determined to continue to dislike him, no matter how expressive she finds his chocolate eyes.


  • Several lakes fed by streams
  • A bridge that looks as if it wants to fly
  • Secretive walls with formal gates at the entrances
  • The magical Atlas Fountain
  • A great obelisk and several fine commemorative statues
  • An amusing box hedge maze
  • Temples for shelter from the rain
  • A chapel with a gilded stone lacework ceiling
  • A 127 acre arboretum
  • Five villages, including Lambton and Kympton

Fact Sheet

The fictional setting is Derbyshire. The actual building is in Yorkshire.

Property Name: Castle Howard, seat of the Earl of Carlisle and former home of the Earl of Sandwich.

Location: Yorkshire, 15 miles from York.

Architectural style: Baroque and Palladian (early 1800s addition)

Built: 1699

Size: 145 rooms on 13,000 acres

Fun facts:

  • Not a true castle, Castle Howard is an English country house erected on the site of a former castle.
  • The Atlas Fountain is not Regency. Its steam engine-pumped jets came to life in 1853, but we can imagine it was real in 1811!
  • The exterior was “Brideshead” in the series Brideshead Revisited.
  • Interiors of the manor house, including the great hall (above), were used for Pemberley in the movie Death Comes to Pemberley.

For more information, visit https://www.castlehoward.co.uk/

Photos from Wikipedia; permission to use with credit: By Pdwojdacz, John Nicholson, Tilman2007, Peter Astbury, mdbeckwith, chris 論.

Spend more time in this Pemberley in

A Most Handsome Gentleman

3 Responses

  1. Glynis

    This is a beautiful house and worthy to be Pemberley if necessary. However I would still have to go with Chatsworth or Lyme Park. The former actually being in Derbyshire and the latter only a few minutes beyond the Derbyshire border.
    I love both these houses and have visited both several times although mostly Lyme Park as I have always lived close by.
    Saying that I loved your photos especially the fountain and the impressive hallway so thank you.

  2. Jan Hahn

    An impressive Pemberley! Enjoyed your post, Suzan. Glad you mentioned Brideshead Revisited. That will stop me from wondering where I had seen this house before.

  3. Suzan Lauder

    When I was in AHA chat one day, the Chat Chits were sharing pictures of National Trust homes and other lovely pieces of architecture from the UK. The rear facade and formal gardens of this one struck me, and I noted to myself that if I ever needed to reference pictures to write room descriptions for Pemberley, I could return to this, so I bookmarked the site. Then when Zorylee was asking for us to go crazy with our imaginations to find our Pemberley for this series, it came to mind. It’s not my sole version of Pemberley, but it is certainly a help for the imagination! I was impressed that it had already been chosen as such for “Death Comes to Pemberley.”