Highclere Castle - The Real Downton Abbey
Lord Grantham's magnificent manor serves as the setting for the Downton Abbey drama. However, the actual Jacobethan mansion on the show is Highclere Castle, home to the 8th Earl of Carnarvon and his family. For all those who wondered to recreate or enjoy their favorite moments of the story, we have got you an opportunity to explore the real-life Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle.
In addition, Highclere Castle, the ancestral home of the Earls of Carnarvon, has a history that is second to none compared to the fictional episodes from the TV series. Since 1679 the present Earl family has lived on the estate.
The added benefit for the tourists is that Highclere Castle is open to the public during selected times of the year. Visiting the State Rooms, the Egyptian Exhibition, and the grounds and gardens of Highclere Castle are the three most important activities for visitors.
Let us now get started with the places, activities, or history that you can explore after getting into the Highclere Castle – The Real Downton Abbey.
What to explore at Highclere Castle?
The current Countess says that Highclere Castle has between 200 and 300 rooms. A few are private, although you can see the ground-floor grand salon and numerous bedrooms upstairs. The Egyptian Exhibition is located on the lower level of the stately residence.
The State Rooms of Highclere Castle have been meticulously refurbished, and the majority of them have indeed been used to shoot scenes for the Downton Abbey. Some of the rooms that you can check out are:
Here is a marble bust of the 2nd Earl of Carnarvon, a Gothic arch, and other ornamental details.
With a view of the grass from this modest but well-lit space, the Music Room is a pleasant place to spend time. It has a painted ceiling and tapestries in the Baroque style
Featuring 17th-century Spanish leather wall coverings, this beautiful Gothic-style central room is a must-see.
There is a formal dining table in the Dining Room, and a huge collection of artworks takes center stage. The big picture of Charles I by Anthony van Dyck is one of the most important works.
Over 5,000 books are housed in this two-room space. You will discover two significant pieces here: the Carlton House desk and a desk and chair set originally held by Napoleon.
Guests of Highclere Castle are permitted to use the gardens, lawns, and grounds surrounding the estate. For your visit, check out these renowned gardens and sites:
It is a bench near one of the great cedar trees where several people sat in various episodes, especially Lady Mary.
This is a picturesque garden that There's also a glasshouse and a white-flower-bordered border garden.
Earl Carnarvon went to Egypt frequently due to his deteriorating health; eventually, he became an amateur Egyptologist who gathered and purchased an immense trove of Egyptian artifacts. Entry to the Egyptian Exhibition (situated downstairs) requires going through a separate entrance, and tickets for that exhibit are sold separately from the State Rooms.
Some of the landmarks along the path of Highclere Castle are:
On the premises of the castle, there is a modest Gothic-style chapel and cemetery.
On this stroll, you will view the ruins of an Iron Age hill fort and the grave of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.
Milford Lake was initially developed by the 2nd Earl of Carnarvon and was later expanded by landscape gardener Jim Russell under the leadership of the 7th Earl. Beautiful flowers like rhododendrons and azaleas surround the lake.