A view of Castle Howard was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1789, no. 558 and it would appear that the present watercolour was one of a series of views executed by Nicholson, which vary slightly in the disposition of the figures. Another view of Castle Howard by Nicholson was sold Christie's, London, 24 March 1987, lot 75 (£1,760).
Castle Howard is the seat of the Earls of Carlisle. The present building was begun by Charles, 3rd Earl of Carlisle, from designs by Sir John Vanburgh and work on the house started in 1700. The famous dome, depicted in the present view was not in the original plans, but was finished in 1706. Castle Howard itself was still unfinished on the third Earl's death in 1738 and work was continued under the direction of Sir Thomas Robinson, the fourth Earl's son-in-law.