Castle Howard to shine with a return to its golden age

VISITORS to Castle Howard have recently seen scaffolding covering the lantern which sits on top of the famous dome.

Making famous done shine

Now 1,000 sheets of 23.5 carat gold leaf are to be applied to the woodwork to give an unrivalled shine which will be seen for miles around.

The work can only be done in good weather to ensure that the gold leaf forms an effective shield against moisture – preserving the longevity of the cupola’s crown.

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“The lantern is the crowning glory which sits on top of Castle Howard’s dome,” said Nicholas Howard, who has commissioned the work.

“In the past, different materials and techniques have been used to give the lantern its golden hue, but experience shows that only high quality gold leaf provides the glistening finish that can be seen in 18th century paintings of the building.”

The gilding work will focus upon three sections – an apex finial which is just less than three metres high, the cornice and, below that, the lantern which has windows enabling the top of the dome to be a beacon by night as well as by day. The last time the dome was covered in gold leaf was in 1997 and before that in 1961,