After I showed you what I saw at my two visits to the Downton Abbey exhibition in West Palm Beach, Florida, I thought I'd feature this week my actual visit to the house that stars as the title character: Highclere Castle. It was September, 2014.
Above the main entrance (and reportedly in the dining room) is the family motto of the Earls of Carnarvon: UNG IE SERUIRAY, which (again reportedly) is Norman/French for 'Only One I Serve.' Suitably problematic to interpret?? Which ONE?
The facilities, including luncheon area and tempting shops, supply all your needs.
In the distance, the legendary source of British wealth, the ubiquitous sheep. Also required for the landscapes of Capability Brown, who laid out this park in 1770-71.
Another requirement of Brown's designs, a typical folly, a faux-ruin known as Jackdaw's Castle. Below, the house from Jackdaw's Castle.
Views of the lovely walled garden full of early roses.
We toured the main floor of Highclere Castle, seeing many of the rooms used to film Downton Abbey. Since no interior pictures were allowed (WHY??), I have appended a few selections from internet sources. On the HC site you can take a 360-degree tour and even download an app with all the information.
The main hall in which the family often gathers in the series.
The Dining Room.
Cora, Lady Grantham, and the Dowager Countess in Cora's boudoir.
In its present form, Highclere Castle was designed by Sir Charles Berry (1795-1860), the architect of the Houses of Parliament and constructed in the (neo) Jacobean style in the There is much more of interest in the history of Highclere Castle. Enjoy their website at
Victoria Hinshaw, Author