Howick Hall Visitor Centre
How the Garden & Arboretum have evolved
After restoration work had been completed on the original entrance hall of Howick Hall we created a Visitor Centre where detailed information about Howick Hall Gardens & Arboretum is displayed.
Colin Williams from Williams Design Associates in Corbridge has designed the Visitor Centre and all the interpretation panels which tell the story of how the gardens and arboretum have gently evolved through generations of passionate gardeners and plantsmen. The displays include some fascinating history about family members’ contributions to the gardens; interesting facts about unusual trees and plants growing at Howick; and tales from plant hunting expeditions abroad.
The centrepiece is a beautifully hand-drawn illustrative map depicting the key features of Howick Estate. This was created by Sarah Farooqi and prints and greetings cards of sections of the map are available to buy from the Admission Kiosk. You can find out more about Sarah’s work by visiting her website at www.sarahfarooqi.co.uk
The Chinese Room and Old Dining Room were restored in 2019.
The main purpose is to give our visitors somewhere to relax in either before or after their tour.
All the restoration work was carried out by local contractors under the supervision of Colin Williams (who also designed the Visitor Centre).
The Chinese Room used to be the Breakfast Room before the War and became the Dining Room after 1945.
Originally painted a pale yellow; we have now reproduced the hand painted Chinese wallpaper from the landing on the 1st floor of the Hall.
A Grand Piano, a Bosendorfer, recently restored by Chantrey Pianos in Oxford stands within the room. It apparently has a rare 19th century ‘Viennese action’ of interest to the very musical.
Together with the piano stool, they have been given to us by Lord and Lady Howick’s son-in-law, Marcus Laithwaite, who inherited both items from his parents.
The Old Dining Room is the only room restored by Sir Herbert Baker to exactly what it was before the 1926 fire and is therefore the only internal link to the 1776 building.
Its use changed from the main living room in 1925 to the Dining Room until 1945.
Various family portraits hang in this room, a guide to which can be found within.
Function and Event Hire – both our Chinese Room and the Old Dining Room can be hired for private events or functions, from a small family celebration to an intimate wedding, from conferences to large banquets, all options can be catered for – please see our function page or contact the Estate Office on 01665 577285 for further details or to book a viewing.
We look forward to sharing your special celebration with us.