The house from "Morris's Views of Seats," circa 1875.
The 2nd Earl Grey from "Cassell's Illustrated History of England," 1896.
A cup of Earl Grey tea
Earlier Houses: An earlier tower house on the site was demolished in 1780.
House & Family History: Earl Grey tea, or "Earl Grey's mixture," is named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, prime minister in the 1830s and author of the famous Reform Bill of 1832. According to Grey family legend, the tea was blended with bergamot by a Chinese man for Lord Grey specifically to counteract the lime in the water at Howick Hall. Lady Grey later used the new blend to entertain in London, where it became so popular she was asked if the tea could be sold to others (Twinings began to sell Earl Grey tea in the 19th century). A 2010 survey found that a significant minority of people in Britain associate drinking Earl Grey tea as an upper class pastime. A fire destroyed the interior of Howick Hall in 1926, after which the house was rebuilt in 1928 to the designs of Herbert Baker, famous for his rebuilding of the Bank of England in the 1920s and 30s. Baker altered Howick's north façade by adding a portico above the front hall to make the house smaller; he also added a rotunda that links the front and back of the house on the ground floor. After the death of the 5th Earl Grey in 1963, the Grey family decamped from Howick. The 5th Earl's grandson, Charles Baring, 2nd Baron Howick, later moved in and converted the west wing into a home, where he and his family live today.
Garden & Outbuildings: Charles Evelyn Baring, 2nd Baron Howick, a noted horticulturist and plant collector, was the creator, in the late 20th century, of the Howick Arboretum, which houses one of the largest collections of wild origin plants in Britain.
House Listed: Grade II*
Park Listed: Grade II
Current Seat / Home of: Charles Evelyn Baring, 2nd Baron Howick of Glendale, grandson of the 5th Earl Grey; Grey family here since 1319.
Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir Henry Grey, 1st Bt., until 1749. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, 1784-1807; Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, 1807-45; Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey, 1845-94; Albert Henry George Grey, 4th Earl Grey, 1894-1917; Charles Robert Grey, 5th Earl Grey, 1917-63.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
Ownership Details: Owned by Howick Trustees Limited and operated as Howick Hall Gardens & Arboretum. The Grey family live in the west wing.
House Open to Public: Limited Access to House - Grounds Open to Public
Historic Houses Member: No