‘Oh, Charles, don’t be such a tourist’, exploring the real Brideshead Revisited!

Brideshead Revisited is one of our all-time favourite novels and we can just imagine how young Charles Ryder, the narrator, must have felt when he first visited the Flyte family home.

The 1981 adaptation was filmed at Castle Howard, and it must have been the perfect location for Brideshead with its glorious dome and beautiful chapel.



Whilst the house is called ‘Castle’, it was not built as a fortified structure and the moniker actually refers to the ruined Henderskelfe Castle that originally stood on this land. The site came into the family after the marriage of the 4th Duke of Norfolk to Elizabeth Leyburne, the widow of the 4th Baron Dacre.

Walking around the grounds and house, taking lots of photos and finding inspiration, we couldn’t resist exclaiming to one another, ‘Oh, Charles, don’t be such a tourist’ (one of our favourite lines from Evelyn Waugh’s novel). We also imagined how glorious it would be to spend a day, tasting wine in the ‘Temple of the Four Winds’ as Sebastian and Charles did in that glorious Summer before the Second World War.


“Is the dome by Inigo Jones, too? It looks later.’
‘Oh, Charles, don’t be such a tourist. What does it matter when it was built, if it’s pretty?’
‘It’s the sort of thing I like to know.’
‘Oh dear, I thought I’d cured you of all that”.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Penguin Books, Chapter Four, Page 95