Duty Calls

The Country House in Time of War

March 2013 – October 2014

Duty Calls: The Country House in Time of War looked at the impact of various conflicts on nine of Yorkshire’s major country houses, and the experiences of their occupants and wider communities, from the perspectives of owners, servants, tenants and estate workers.

From March 2013 until October 2014 a series of interlinked exhibitions, trails and activities highlighted and explored each house’s own particular experiences, collections and stories. Through photographs, paintings, memorabilia and a rich selection of letters, journals, and estate papers, Duty Calls told the story of how these estates and their communities faced the hardships of war across three centuries.

The Duty Calls exhibition at Castle Howard continued throughout 2015. A Gift from a Nation at Harewood House from 3 April until 1 November 2015 told the story of Princess Mary’s gift boxes, sent to troops during the First World War.

Copies of Duty Calls, Castle Howard and the Great War can be purchased from Castle Howard at £10.00.

Boynton Hall, East Yorkshire

The First World War and other Yorkshire houses

In addition to the various exhibitions, publications and activities relating to Duty Calls, the project aims to begin to compile a gazetteer of other houses in Yorkshire, not necessarily open to the public, which also have significant stories to tell concerning the First World War.

Throughout the commemorative period of 2014-1018 this section of the website will be added to periodically, as and when contributors present short illustrated summaries of specific houses and families.

Houses involved in the Duty Calls project

Beningbrough Hall, York

Brodsworth Hall, Doncaster

Castle Howard, North Yorkshire

Fairfax House, York

Kiplin Hall, Richmond

Lotherton Hall, Leeds

Newby Hall, Ripon

Nostell Priory, Wakefield

Sewerby Hall, Bridlington