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Inside Carlton Towers, the stately home that looks like Hogwarts and overlooks a huge power station

At first glance, Carlton Towers looks more like a Cambridge college than a family home. The imposing Victorian stately pile, with its clock tower and a series of grand rooms – the Venetian drawing room, card room, and picture gallery – stands apart from the other properties in nearby Selby, North Yorkshire.

Its owners, on the other hand, couldn’t be more down to earth. Lord and Lady Gerald Fitzalan-Howard – Gerald and Emma to their friends – have lived at Carlton for 26 years. Inside, dogs run about: there are three, Frank and the Fonz, both black labradors, and Sprout, a Jack Russell. Family pictures, jumpers and newspapers ­litter the entrance hall and kitchen.

Lord Gerald, 56, is the younger…