DiCamillo Companion
England

Howsham Hall

  • House & Family History: Howsham is the focus of the Curse of Kirkham, which has it origins in 1610, when Sir William Bamburgh built the House using stone and timber from nearby Kirkham Priory, destroyed by Henry VIII in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The plundering of the stone and building material was considered a sacrilege and a curse was supposedly put on Howsham and its owners in perpetuity. According to the curse, "All male heirs of the estate will perish and true happiness will never come to that family or its successors." Interestingly, Bamburgh, and the next four families to live at Howsham were unable to produce surviving male heirs. In 1956 Howsham was purchased by John Knock, who saved it from demolition. Mr. Knock began an independent boys' school in 1958, which operated until 2007, when it was closed due to declining enrollment. In August 2009 Howsham was listed for sale for £6 million – only the fourth time in 400 years it has come up for sale.

  • Architect: John Carr

    Date: 1770s
    Designed: Refurbishment for Nathaniel Cholmley
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Peter Atkinson

    Date: 1770s
    Designed: Refurbishment for Nathaniel Cholmley
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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  • John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. V, 1822.

    Country Life: XVII, 450, 1905. LXXVIII, 194, 220, 1935.

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • Past Seat / Home of: Sir William Bamburgh, 16th century. Sir John Wentworth, 18th century. Nathaniel Cholmley, 18th century. Strickland family. Knock family, 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No