Great Houses, Estates & Gardens of Yorkshire

This tour is currently sold out.

The ICAA is pleased to partner with Classical Excursions to present this special tour of Yorkshire led by architectural historian Oliver Gerrish. The tour begins and ends in London, and includes exclusive curatorial tours of stately homes throughout the region. Participants will have the unique opportunity to enjoy private dinners and luncheons at some of the area's greatest houses, while meeting architects along the way.

Oliver Gerrish is an architectural historian who holds a Masters degree in Architectural History from the University of Cambridge. For over a decade, he was actively involved with historical architectural charity, The Georgian Group, for who he re-founded and successfully led the Young Georgians from 2002 through 2016. He is a trustee of the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust and helped to found their Architecture Awards. Furthermore, he was one of the youngest feature writers for Country Life, and has written for The Georgian magazine and reviews for House and Garden and other magazines. He has also lectured internationally on subjects ranging from the masters of the Arts and Crafts to the role country houses play in the lives of younger people. He regularly organizes tours of historic buildings throughout Britain for private clients and charities.

This tour is arranged by Classical Excursions. Please note that a registration form and deposit must be submitted to Classical Excursions and a confirmation of receipt must be received from Classical Excursions in order to be considered registered for this program. Payment of the $500 donation to the ICAA prior to registration does not guarantee placement on the trip. To inquire about registration for this program, please contact Lani Summerville at [email protected] or 413-446-8728.

A fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this travel program. Please note that this donation is non-refundable except in the case that this travel program is cancelled by the organization. All travel program participants have the opportunity to receive a complimentary Individual level membership for one year to the ICAA.

Participants will enjoy a visit and private dinner at the Syon House, which sits on a 200-acre park bordering the Thames and is just to the west of London in the Borough of Hounslow. The house is the residence of the 12th Duke of Northumberland, and the origins of the property date to 1415, with the house's exterior erected in 1547. The interiors we see today were rebuilt by architect Robert Adam from 1767 to 1775.

This tour includes a visit to Danby Hall, parts of which date back to the 1500's. The Hall was significantly altered in 1850 by architect Joseph Hansom. Participants will also enjoy a private lunch at Danby.

This program includes a visit and exclusive dinner at the privately owned Constable Burton Hall in North Yorkshire. The architect John Carr was commissioned to design the Palladian style house in 1768 for the 7th Baronet, Sir Marmaduke Wyvill.

This program features a visit to the Thirsk Hall and Sculpture Garden. The house, still a private residence, was designed by architect John Carr in 1723. The sculpture garden, which sits on 20 acres of walled gardens, was opened in 2021.

The tour features an exclusive visit to Duncombe Park, which enjoys a commanding position above the Rye River and adjacent North York Moors National Park, where participants will receive a private tour of the house as it is not open to the public. The house was originally completed in 1713 by architect William Wakefield and has been twice remodeled, first in 1843 by architect Charles Barry, and in 1895 following a fire by 1895.

Participants will enjoy a private tour and dinner at Castle Howard, one of the most renown houses in England. The creation of Castle Howard began in 1699 with plans by architect John Vanbrugh and wasn't completed until 1811, and the house remains a private residence. Architect Nicholas Hawksmoor designed a number of the structures in the gardens, including the Pyramid (1728), the Mausoleum (1729-40), the Carrmire Gate (1730). The house is best known for having played the backdrop for the 1970s blockbuster series, "Brideshead Revisited."

This tour includes a visit to Birdsall House. This property was acquired by the Sotheby family from the church in 1540 following the dissolution of the monasteries, when they built a small Tudor home. In 1719, Thomas Willoughby, a younger son of the 1st Lord Middleton, was traveling over the Yorkshire Wolds when he lost his way in a heavy snowstorm. He sought shelter and followed a light he saw in the distance which led him to Birdsall House. The Sotheby’s gave Thomas shelter for the night and introduced him to Elizabeth, their daughter and only child; the pair fell in love, marrying the same year. It has been the home of the Willoughby’s ever since. A new wing to the house was added in 1775 with State Rooms, the Oval Room, and a Ballroom.

The tour includes a visit to Burton Agnes Hall and Garden, which was built between 1598 and 1610 by Sir Henry Griffith, and has remained in the same family for over 400 years. The house is home to the magnificent Chinese Room, which features 18th-century lacquered wall panels as well as furniture and porcelain bought and commissioned over generations by the Griffith family.

The tour will include a tour of Ripley Castle, a 14th century house built of coursed square stone. The house has been passed down through branches of the Ingleby family since 1309. There was a major rebuild of Ripley Caste from 1783-86 lead by William Belwood. The house remained a private residence.

Participants will enjoy afternoon tea at Ribston Hall with its owners. Ribston Hall is a 17th century mansion located on the banks of River Nidd. The house is two-stories with an impressive fifteen bay entrance façade. This private estate has been in the same family since 1836.

Participants will enjoy a private dinner in the Orangery at Newby Hall, a country house beside the River Ure in Skelton-on-Ure. The house was built in the 1690's to the design of Sir Christopher Wren, and was later enlarged and adapted by architect John Carr and subsequently Robert Adam. The estate has been in the same family since 1748.

Participants will enjoy a visit and private lunch at Branham Park with its owners. The house, which remains a private residence, was built in 1698 with the influence of Robert Berson's Grand Tour of Italy in 1697 and the Palladian manner, though the architect remains unknown and the Gothic temple was built in the 18th century.

This tour features a visit to Harewood House, which was designed by architect John Carr and built between 1759 and 1771 for Edwin Lascelles, 1st Baron Harewood. Architect Robert Adam mostly designed the interiors, with some alterations to exterior elements, and in the 1840’s, architect Charles Barry made further alterations and additions to the house. The landscape, which covers over 1,000 acres, was designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. The house and family history of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s as featured in the 2019 film of Downtown Abbey.

This program includes a tour of Fairfax House, a Georgian townhouse in York. The house was built in the 1740's for a local merchant and in 1759 it was purchased by Charles Gregory Fairfax, 9th Viscount of Fairfax of Emley. The interiors were remodeled by architect John Carr. The famous Swiss-Italian stuccoist Giuseppe Cortese, who worked in the north of England between the 1720s and 1770s, is believed to have been responsible for devising and executing this remarkable series of elaborately decorated and visually complex ceilings. The center-piece of the townhouse’s impressive decorative scheme, is found on the ceiling of the Grand Staircase. In the early 20th century, part of the property became a dance hall and part became a cinema. In the early 1980’s the house was taken over by the York Civic Trust, which undertook a full renovation of this remarkable urban house. The house has again been furnished with a fine collection of Georgian furniture and clocks.

What’s included

  • One night stay at the No. 11 Cadogan Gardens, a Relais & Chateaux Boutique hotel compromised of four Victorian Era town houses, in Chelsea, in close proximity to Sloane Square.
  • Five night stay at Middlethorpe Hall in Bishopthorpe, York. Originally built in 1699, it has been a hotel since the 1980’s and is a property of the National Trust and managed by Historic House Hotels.
  • Visit and private dinner at Syon House, west of London in the Borough of Hounslow.
  • Tour and private lunch at Danby Hall in Yorkshire.
  • A private dinner at the privately owned Constable Burton Hall, located in North Yorkshire.
  • Visit to Thrisk Hall and Sculpture Garden which encompasses 20 acres of walled gardens.
  • An exclusive visit to the Duncombe Park House.
  • Private dinner and tour of Castle Howard, which continues to be a private residence.
  • Afternoon tea and visit with the owners of Ribston Hall, in Great Ribston, North Yorkshire.
  • Private Dinner in the Orangery at Newby Hall.
  • A visit and private lunch at Branham Park, which remains a private residence, with the house's owners.
  • Tour of Harewood House, which was designed by architect John Carr and built between 1759 and 1771.
  • Visit to Birdsall House, in North Yorkshire.
  • Tour of Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens, home to the beautiful Chinese Room which features 18th century lacquered wall panels as well as furniture and porcelain bought and commissioned over generations by the Griffith family.
  • A visit to Ripley Castle, a 14th century course square stone house which remains a private residence.
  • A tour of Fairfax House, a Georgian townhouse in York built in 1740's and was fully renovated in the 1980's after being taken over by the York Civic Trust.

Harewood House

Castle Howard

Syon House (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Christian SW)

Duncombe Park (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Kognos)

Harewood House (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Raymond Knapman)

Burton Agnes Hall (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Andy Beecroft)

Fairfax House (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Malcolmx15)

Ripley Castle (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Mark Anderson)

Single Occupancy
October 2 - 9, 2023
Double Occupancy
October 2 - 9, 2023


How do I register for an ICAA travel program?

If you would like to register, you may contact the travel operator organizing the program. Please note that a $500 donation per person to the ICAA is required in order to participate in each travel program.

What does the required $500 donation fund?

Your $500 donation helps to further the ICAA’s goal of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts by supporting its varied educational programs, including continuing education courses, college workshops, the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture, New Heights, and many more.

Am I required to pay a $500 donation for each travel program I register for?

Yes, a donation of $500 to the ICAA is required for each travel program you register for. The donation is required for each person attending a tour.

How do I make my $500 donation to the ICAA?

You can make your $500 donation to the ICAA online, or you can download, complete, and mail this form to the ICAA. You can alternatively fax a copy to 212-730-9649. You may also call 212-730-9646 x109 or email [email protected] to make a donation. Donations must be made separately from the registration fee.

Do I have to be a member of the ICAA to participate in an ICAA travel program?

No, membership is not required to attend an ICAA travel program. However, complimentary Individual membership to the ICAA is included with your $500 required donation.

I don’t see the full itinerary for the tour I am interested in. When will it be released?

For full itinerary and more information, contact [email protected], 860-926-4895. Due to the exclusive nature of our tours, some private locations or visits may be omitted from the ICAA's website.

What kinds of trips does the ICAA offer?

Over the past several years, the ICAA has travelled to destinations including Paris; Andalusia; Atlanta; Barbados; South Africa; Chicago; the Netherlands and Belgium; Scotland; the French Riviera; Morocco; the Italian Lake Region; Charlottesville; Naples; and New Delhi, among many other locations. The ICAA is always looking to diversify its travel offerings. If you have a suggestion or location you would like to see added, please email [email protected].