My “excuse” to come to England in December! As a huge fan of “Downton Abbey” and of beautiful houses, I´ve had planned to visit this main character of the TV-show for a while and had put it on the list for spring 2018. But when I saw the opening dates for December and found a cheap plane ticket, I just decided to visit Great Britain once again this year. And since the show had wrapped in 2016 I have missed their Christmas Specials and needed some compensation.
Thanks to a little snow storm (and to be early) I had the garden all to myself. A lot of scenes happened on that bench..
Highclere Castle is the home of the Earls of Carnarvon and their family. In the 1830s the 3rd Earl commissioned the architect Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament, to remodel the original Georgian mansion, back then called “Highclere House” to the glorious mansion we see today.
It is in the Jacobethan style and faced in Bath stone, reflecting the Victorian revival of English architecture of the late 16th century and early 17th century, when Tudor architecture was being challenged by newly arrived Renaissance architecture influences. (Highclere Castle)
The family of the Earls of Carnarvon and Highclere Castle have an interesting and sometimes turbulent past. The 4th Earl drafted the British North America Act of 1867 which became the foundation for the nation Canada and the 5th Earl, George Herbert, not only was a passionate car driver and owner of racehorses but also helped discover the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. During World War I his wife Almina turned Highclere Castle into a hospital.
Today one can see Egyptian artefacts and
The Discovery Gallery in the cellars at Highclere explores the life and interests of the Earl of Carnarvon, his passion for cars, his talents as a pioneering photographer, his travels and leisure in Edwardian England.
Visitors can see what happened to the Castle and family during the Great War from 1914 to 1918. (Highclere Castle)
In the summertime different paths lead through the estate and to some of the follies, like the Dianatempel and the lakes, which I saw while driving by. But it was possible to visit some of the gardens around the house like the “Monk´s Garden” and the “Secret Garden”.
And for me, it was finally time to warm up again and visit the library, dining room, the saloon, the drawing room, the morning room (with a beautiful portrait of Lady Catherine) and some of the bedrooms in the first floor as well as the Egyptian exhibition in the former servants´ hall.
For more information about Highclere Castle, events and open days in 2018 visit their website and enjoy the peek into the like in one of these English mansions.