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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Tributes paid to wife of north Cumbrian castle owner

Moving tributes have been paid to Elizabeth Howard, the wife of the owner of Cumbria’s historic Naworth Castle.

Mrs Howard died on Sunday at her home surrounded by her family following a battle with cancer. She was 56.

She was married to Philip Howard, the owner of the stately home near Brampton – which dates back to the early 14th century and was home to the Dacre and Howard families.

Mrs Howard’s friends have paid tributes to her ahead of her funeral today.

The Rev Rod Allon-Smith, of Lanercost Priory Church, said: “It is a very sad, premature death and that is always tragic.

“Elizabeth had been diagnosed for 18 months and showed extraordinary strength and character through that period.

“She also displayed a real acceptance that this was her path, as well as a peace when, medically, things didn’t look good.

“Elizabeth had a great deal of friends in the area. She was a very genuine and kind person and had a great sense of humour and was very realistic [about her illness].”

David Moorat, chairman of Brampton parish council, who lost his wife Jennifer to lung cancer in 2004, served with Mr Howard on the authority.

He said: “I knew Elizabeth for some time and I was a regular visitor to the castle.

“It’s remarkable because when my wife was in the terminal stages of cancer, Philip and his wife very kindly invited me to spend as much time as I liked walking around the grounds.

“Elizabeth was immensely supportive and I have nothing but praise for her. She was such a lovely lady.

“I am immensely sad for Philip as he must be going through such a tough time.

“No-one ever really knows what it is like for someone else [in that situation] but Elizabeth is a great loss.”

Mike Mitchelson, close friend and neighbour and Carlisle city councillor for Brampton, added: “It is such a tragic loss. Elizabeth was a kind person and always had time for people. She was a real family person and my thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

The funeral service is due to be held at Lanercost Priory at 1.30pm. Donations can be made to the Eden Valley Hospice via Brampton undertaker Ian Blair.

Mr Howard, the second son of the 12th Earl of Carlisle, purchased Naworth Castle from his father in 1994. He married Elizabeth in 1992.

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