15th April 2013
The castle in the grounds of Harewood House was built in the 14th century by William de Aldburgh. The castle was still inhabited in 1630 but was in ruins by the time of the English Civil War. When the trees are bare the castle can be clearly seen from Harewood Bank.
William Morris’s love of medieval art and architecture inspired his work, throughout his life. Until 1877 there existed no legal protection for ancient buildings, no matter what their merit; it was a matter for the individual vicar or landowner to decide.
To remedy this situation, William Morris, John Ruskin, Philip Webb and other members of the PreRaphaelite Movement decided to found the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877. The SPAB was founded out of the concern that many buildings were being damaged as a result of overzealous “restorations”. As a result legislation was eventually passed which protected such buildings and formed the basis of the modern conservation movement.