Highclere Castle

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Great Bookham Belles WI travelled in a full coach on the much anticipated trip to Highclere Castle.  Located near Newbury, Oxfordshire Highclere is the current home of the 8th Earl of Carnarvon and his family and is more recently famously known as the iconic Downton Abbey.

On arrival Belles strolled up to the building recalling the well known Downton Abbey soundtrack and in face some of us played it on our phones! The castle and it’s grounds did not disappoint. The grounds, landscaped by Capability Brown, were well maintained and had the most stunning views. Once in the house, designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1839 – 1842 during his construction of the Houses of Parliament, one felt at times as if you were yourself on set – especially in the library, drawing room, dining room, Lady Grantham’s bedroom and of course the Great Hall!

During the first part of the 20th Century, the then 5th Earl of Carnarvon, an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist, accompanied archaeologist Howard Carter leading to the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922; thus the castle houses an Egyptian Exhibition to which many Belles visited.

With a stop for lunch and a cream tea at the end of the tour, the Belles returned home having had “a jolly good day out”!

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