STAFF at Castle Howard are asking if this is the county’s longest goodbye card.

Boasting 40,000 signatures, the 120- metre-long fond farewell to the seventh Earl of Carlisle, a much-loved West Riding MP who lost his seat in the 1841 General Election, will be unveiled at the Ryedale stately home from Saturday to Monday, August 23 to 25.

Visitors will be able to catch a rare glimpse into the past when the dedication to George Howard goes on display in the Long Gallery; giving an insight into this politician and eminent Victorian.

It’s hard to imagine a political figure of today commanding such affection, but Castle Howard’s Victorian owner was respected and admired by all who knew him. Dr Christopher Ridgway, curator at Castle Howard , said: “In 1841 the West Riding was England’s biggest constituency, encompassing urban manufacturing districts and rural areas such as the Yorkshire Dales.”