Highclere Castle, United Kingdom

Highclere Park, Newbury, West Berkshire RG20 9RN, United Kingdom

Highclere Castle is a country house in the Jacobethan style, with a park designed by Capability Brown.  The 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire, England, United Kingdom, about 5 miles south of Newbury, Berkshire.  It is the country seat of the Earl of Carnarvon, a branch of the Anglo-welsh Herbert family.  Highclere Castle is the main filming location for the British television period drama Downtown Abbey.

The castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which was built on the foundations of the medieval palace of the Bishops of Winchester, who owned this estate from the 8th century.  The original site was recorded in the Domesday Book.   Since 1679, the castle has been home to the Carnarvon family.

In 1692, Robert Sawyer, a lawyer and college friend of Samuel Pepys, bequeathed a mansion at Highclere to his only daughter, Margaret, the first wife of the 8th Earl of Pembroke.  Their second son, Robert Sawyer Herbert, inherited Highclere, began its picture collection and created the garden temples.  His nephew and heir Henry Herbert was created Baron Porchester and 1st Earl of Carnarvon by George III.

By 2009, the castle was in dire need of major repair, with only the ground and first floors remaining usable.  Water damage had caused stonework to crumble and ceilings to collapse; at least 50 rooms were uninhabitable.  The 8th Earl and his family were living in a “modest cottage in the grounds”, he said his ancestors were responsible for the castle’s long term problems.  As of 2009, repairs needed for the entire estate were estimated to cost around £12 million, £1.8 million of which was urgently needed for just the castle.  As of late 2012, the Earl and Lady Carnarvon have stated that a dramatic increase in the number of paying visitors has allowed them to begin major repairs both on Highclere’s turrets and its interior.  The family attributes this increase in interest to the on-site filming of Downton Abbey.  The family now live in Highclere during the winter months, but return to their cottage in the summer, when the castle is open to the public.

There are various follies and eye-catchers on the estate.  To the east of the house is the Temple of Diana, erected before 1743 with Corinthian columns from Devonshire House in Piccadilly.  “Heaven’s Gate” is an eye-catcher about 18m high on Sidown Hill, built in 1749 by Hon.  Robert Sawyer Herbert.  Other 18th-century follies that can be found on the grounds of the estate include Jackdaw’s Castle and the Etruscan Temple.  The hybrid holly Ilex x altaclerensis (Highclere holly) was developed here in about 1835 by hybridising the Madeiran Ilex perado (grown in a greenhouse) with the local native Ilex aquifolium.

Related dream homes:

More mansions in this style:

Address

Highclere Park, Newbury, West Berkshire RG20 9RN, United Kingdom
Celebrity Dream Houses

View amazing celebrity luxury homes and houses from movies that may be for sale or rent. We were the first ever celebrity real estate app, with over 100 high quality celebrity dream homes with prices, descriptions and high resolution photos. See Celebrity Dream Houses

Editor Picks

Editor Picks mansion homes are the most expensive and crazy mansions on the planet. Editor Picks are only for the best of the best multi million dollar mansions for sale and with the most luxurious interior design ever. See Editor Picks

Architecture

If you like houses, you have to love unique architecture as much as Mansion Homes does. Inside this category, we have some amazing mansions with the coolest architecture with designs that will baffle, amaze and please you. Check out these unique architecture mansion homes. See Architecture

Luxury Beach Homes

Mansion Homes has the most beautiful beach houses and beach mansions for sale including luxury real estate and amazing beach houses for sale. See Luxury Beach Homes

Historic Mansions

Historic mansions are houses that are over at least 100 years old. Some luxury homes are designed to look like older homes, but this category is reserved for mansion homes that are historic and have great stories that go along with them. We have historic mansions for sale as well as historic luxury real estate. See Historic Mansions

Mega Mansions

Mega mansions are any mansion that is significantly larger than most homes. These luxury real estate mega mansions range in square footage, but to be called a mega you should at least have 20,000 square foot of floor space. The largest homes in the United States are over 100,000 square feet! To see some of the most expensive mega mansions in the world you just need to visit this category of mansions. See Mega Mansions

Most Expensive

Here are the most expensive houses and luxury real estate in the world. From the biggest and most expensive cabin mansions, to the most luxurious penthouse in the world. Visit the Most Expensive section to see the most expensive luxury homes in the world, United States and even some states. Here are inside pictures of the most expensive houses in the world. See Most Expensive

Waterfront Mansions

Waterfront homes include lake houses, beach houses and any property that has an amazing view. See Waterfront Mansions

Contemporary Luxury Real Estate

Contemporary design is for real the "right now" style that everyone has got to have! There are tons of luxury real estate contemporary luxury interior design photos inside this Mansion Homes special category. Contemporary is similar to modern, with strong lines, open spaces and geometric shapes. We've found the best contemporary mansions and contemporary luxury real estate. See Contemporary Luxury Real Estate

Penthouses and Condos

Want the location and the luxury but don't want to worry about things like maintenance and upkeep? A luxury penthouse is just the thing for you. We've gathered the most expensive penthouses in the world for you to shop. See Penthouses and Condos

Follow Mansion Homes