Cars to Apps
Since the times of Highclere’s first written records somewhere around mid 700 AD, Highclere has been involved in a myriad variety of businesses reflecting the interests of the times. From the more traditional pursuits of agriculture, forestry and sawmills and tile making we have moved on to planes, cars, TV, media, books and now even an App.
Millions of people enjoy Downton Abbey so much, yet the stories and short episodes are just the tip of the “Real Downton’s” iceberg. It is a bigger and, to my eyes, even more beautiful Castle and landscape with quirky corners and perhaps it is those quirky corners that I find the most interesting. Our Highclere App shows you some of the grandeur: a lovely old car we have restored, (which first found its way here in 1936), or the follies and lodges you glimpse on Downton, or the more traditional sort of horsepower, a young Andalusian mare I ride to the Temple of Diana.
Downton’s kitchens were created at Ealing Studios but we do have kitchens and they are very old with a wonderful enormous clock. Our kitchen equipment, however, is the most up to date to ensure that we can deliver excellent food to our guests and to the public. I have described it many times here in my blog but the beauty of an app is you can visually share it with people sitting miles away.I am sometimes asked which is my favourite room at Highclere and I find it hard not to keep changing my mind! Perhaps it is the Library, or my Study, or I sometimes I think one of the amazing Tower rooms. The view from up there is inspiring and gives me such a sense of peace and from there the App gives you a 360˚ tour in your home of my view.
However we are not giving all the Castle’s secrets away at one time. We can add to it and perhaps hold some sort of competition later for those who have downloaded it. My idea of a prize would be to take them up the tower and sit and drink a glass of champagne.
There are many things I like about Highclere but I have a soft spot for 2 things your History as you know is one of them, so nice to see a photo of Geoffrey de Havilland sitting in his aircraft & to know that his 1st flight was from Highclere back in 1910, And the other is your beautiful restored Vintage 1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III which belonged to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.. As a Rolls Royce Trained Chauffeur myself I go all soft when I see cars like yours & just think of its wonderful history & what fantastic journeys its been on over the years & if it could talk what stories its could tell, but being a Rolls Royce it would be like us Chauffeurs we keep all the secrets to our selfs 🙂 With your New App its going to be great to look all round the Castle & get the feeling you are right there enjoying the 360˚ tour, for real in your hand on your phone or at home on the family Pc where ever you are in the world how cool is that, I do like your idea Lady Carnarvon of a competition trip up the tower and sit and drink a glass of champagne but as I don’t drink please can I have fresh orange Juice 🙂
I might try your driving skills out … it would be a fun way to check out the cottages and building works next week, and it has a table for my coffees.
I had no idea Highclere was so old. The records from 700AD must be interesting however I assume hard to read. I hope you continue to share more of the history of Highclere, I have enjoyed both your books so far.
The records are in Latin and Anglo Saxon and I happened to study Anglo Saxon language … actually the landscape records here go back to about 4,000BC. They are very special.
Will we be able to see some of the landscape and other old records when we visit? It would be wonderful to see the written language back then. We are coming in June 2016, I hope. I wish I could share in your stewardship of this marvelous house!
Dear Lady Carnarvon, I think the app, is a splendid idea. I have been to High Clere, and it is truly amazing. So to be able to visit it again, when ever I choose is wonderful. On the tours, you try to take everything in all at once, this way we will be able to slowly be able to enjoy, all the castle has to offer. How do we sign on to the app? I will be first in line. Smile. Desiree.
To find the app go back up to the dining room photo at the end of the blog piece and click on the photo. It takes you to the place where you can buy the app for a small price.
I am becoming better with my phone and Ipad – they great to travel with. The App is just in the app store search for Highclere Castle. The free video intro which runs off You tube is fun too. The main thing is Alfie the Labrador runs perfectly behind my mare Lara!
I watched a wonderful programme about Highclere Castle this week it was fascinating to hear the history of the castle, especially the addition of the towers which are modelled on the Houses of Parliament.
Another interesting post and wonderful pics. I love your idea of the prize! That would be a treat for all the senses, and it would be particularly enjoyable just to be in your company and hear your stories in person!
I love prizes – I have lots of different ideas!
I also Love that idea for a prize to be able to sit up in the tower drinking a glass of wine or champagne is so relaxing and the view would be amazing and so beautiful. Have you ever thought of selling small plots of ground like other castles do to raise money for the castle to help with the improving and maintenance. I know I would pay , if it is the same as others, that seem to be scottich ones. I would feel so proud to know that i have a 1ft by 1ft ground at Highclere. I love reading your blogs and the history you tell us on Highclere as well as all the behind the scene things of what it takes to run a Grande house May God bless you and your family and Thank you so very much for writing on your blog and sharing Amazing and beautiful pictures Have a great week.
I absolutely love that you are consistently doing so much to keep Highclere relevent. The castle is an important landmark throughout the world and YOU have played a major role in making sure it will be here for everyone for many years to come. Thank you for your devotion and thank you for sharing!
You are so kind – I just think it is an amazing place with layers of history to unpick
Thank you Lady Carnavon for these wonderful pictures! I look forward to see Highclere Castle in this summer and I´m so excited to see the castle in reality but I wonder if I will be another human, who disturbs you and your family…I am sorry for that, in advance. Meanwhile, I read “Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey”, fantastic book..Thank you so much, Lady Carnavon!
I would love to hear a bit from those Anglo Saxon records. I majored in English and was required to take Old English and Middle English which I found fascinating but difficult. Hearing what some of those records have to say would be of great interest to so many of us. The photos you posted were a delight, especially the one with the airplane. Love your horses too. From the icy plains of Kansas, I send my regards.
I downloaded the app yesterday and took the time to view almost all of its content. What a treat! I was wondering if more sights and information would be added in the future. I am so glad to read in your blog that you do intend to add to it. Thanks for this extension of my knowledge of Highclere Castle. I was there last May and am so happy to have a way to revisit, and to see rooms not included on the tour. I hope to visit again in person some day soon.
I am glad you like the App. There is a huge amount of information in the App. The TV series works well as the “geography” of house or Castle is clear to viewers, you begin to know the room layout and doors. I think this APP helps you enjoy it and explore it further.. they work well together.
What a beautiful blog post. I am in America and do not have the blessing of readily visiting on a tour but I dream of a day that I can visit. One of my absolute favorite things is the history of the castle and the shear thought of having something that dates back so long ago. We do not have the pleasure of such history here.
Thank you for this selfless act and sharing this magnificent peace of history and beauty with us all.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you so much for the work you put into the blog and the app! I really enjoyed the hour-long documentary you and Lord Carnarvon published on Netflix.
I’m very much interested in English history – my grandfather was born in Kent and emigrated to the US early in the 1900’s so i have a link, however remote, to England. I really appreciate your dedication to the preservation of so rare a jewel as Highclere.
This app is such a great addition to the visit I have already had (visit #2 is planned for 2017!) and the books on Lady Almina and Lady Catherine. How exciting! I cannot even imagine having a shot at sitting in a tower with champagne…what a dream!
Thanks so much, Lady Carnarvon, for opening your home and its history to us!
I would also like to have a yoga room up there..
I downloaded the App and it is quite beautiful. Makes my heart yearn to visit Highclere and England even more. Hoping for a surprise trip from my husband on our 25th anniversary(2018). My fear is not being able to see the castle when we finally get to England. Thank you for your blog and fount of information. You have such an amazing home and history. I appreciate you sharing it with us. Anne Maulo
Just check you dates with us in 2018 before you book flights if you possibly can!
I began my App experience in the kitchen and was immediately inspired by yours and Paul’s delicious-looking menu! Thank you for the wonderful melange of history and of slices of your daily lives. I’m looking forward to exploring through your app.
Thank you – I often in pop into to see how the chefs are in the kitchen first thing in the morning …it is cold here at the moment and my goodness the kitchen can be cold!
Two of the things I find most interesting about Highclere Castle, are it’s earliest beginnings, and the old servants’ spaces. How does one decide to build a castle, and then make it a home? Or, perhaps it is the other way around? Do the Downton Abbey servants’ spaces, accurately reflect those of the castle in the time period? I very much do enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing your life and the life of Highclere with us.
It is and was a home, a place to live and welcomes guests with good solid walls and hearths. Because it is quite high here (for England!) one of the first businesses 1000 years ago was making tiles both fore here and then selling them on as the roof always needed fixing. I always feel reassured reading things like that as nothing changes! I have a couple of books , one nearly finished (cooking ) and the other walks though time with the people who have lived here. I am loving the research!
I have been enjoying your blog, but don’t want to purchase an app – Sorry I will be missing out on the “extra” looks at the castle. Someday hope to visit – Love how you are keeping the castle “alive” with the history of this beautiful place. I guess because the US is not as old, we don’t have much interest in history, but I love it! Keep up the good works
Please keep reading and try the books too.
Good Afternoon Lady Carnarvon,
Love your beautiful home and the app is fantastic. We visited Highclere in August, 2015 and hope to return soon. Really enjoy your blog and the history of Highclere.
Thank you for allowing Downton Abbey to be filmed in your home, otherwise, we would never have been exposed to the grandeur of Highclere and the gorgeous England countryside.
Dear Lady Carnarvon, I think you’re really doing a great job on managing you wonderful castle! I also must say you write very well, much better than many professional writers. I’m Italian and I live and work in Florence (which, by the way, is one of the most beautiful towns in the world), and I wish I could come to visit Highclere!! I read your book on Almina and now I passed it to my mum, who loves Highclere as much as I do. Your book is really fantastic, I enjoyed it a lot and I know my mum will love it too.
Keep up the good work.
All the best,
I just downloaded the app. 🙂 Hope to have some time to peruse the pics later today. I visited Highclere in 2014 and would love to visit again.
Tell me what you think!
Sadly, I have a silly little flip phone so perhaps it is time for me to upgrade so I can get the app. Time for me to get out of ‘ancient times’ as far as phone technology goes!
I still like pens and paper but I do like my IPAD for trains and planes!
How delightful to find another of your wonderful posts in my email this morning. Brenda and I are excited beyond belief that we now will be able to visit the Castle in August with Viking. We had our trip planned for September and Viking was not including that post tour with our particular cruise and we were heartbroken. However, someone cancelled their tour and we were able to recently move our month long trip up to August and now will be able to come to Highclere for a behind the scenes tour! My only sadness is that whomever had this tour booked had to cancel for some reason and they are not going to be able to savor what we will. I am so hoping that we will have the honor of meeting you and some of your precious animals while there. Thank you for continuing to share with us the incredible history of the Castle and those that lived there. I think that your idea of a contest is most exciting and I can only dream of being the winner at some future date. If one cannot have the experience themselves, it is still a joy to at least see it through their eyes.
The App will be a treasured addition to my “window” into Highclere thanks to your generosity. August cannot come quickly enough. Thank you so very much.
I hope you enjoy the APP – it is a good taster! I was just looking at August dates for Viking to day, they want more!!!
Ps I hope I can have lots of winners!!!
I love hearing about Highclere Castle and the interesting history. I don’t know how to install an app., would like to get one.
I was not aware there was books written on Lady Almina and Lady Catherine. Are they available on line to purchase in Canada?
I am always been interested in English history since I was a young girl, and after watching Downton Abbey, I realize I need to do more reading on Britain’s history. Wishing you continued success!
Love the app!
Beautifully created and presented!
Thank you Carol – I hope it amuse my friends at the Rodeo!!!
Love the picture from high up in the tower! Just downloaded the App!! Super excited!
I was unaware of the HC App until I read your most recent blog. Having now downloaded it, I can say that I am impressed with its content and presentation.
Now if I could only read lips, I might be able to discern the subject of your laughter, as shown during the Intro video of the App when your husband disembarks from his lovely car and you greet him on the driveway outside Highclere’s front doors.
(By the way, I consider that the intro video of itself is reason enough to Aquire the App)
Finally, can you please tell us (maybe as the subject of a future blog) a little of the history of the age and the type of timber and other materials used in the construction of the front doors to Highclere, as well as the history and any superstitions etc attached to the Wolves’ heads thereon?
Thank you again for another informative blog and congratulations on producing a very interesting & enjoyable App.
The front door is made from walnut and we have just re-varnished it. It is a beautiful door.
The wolves’ heads are a bit gruesome really but the association is probably to classical wolf and lamb references -the wolf is associated with the founding legends of Rome, and in Aesop’s fables the story of the wolf and the sheep illustrates the injustices of any time dominated by a self justifying tyrant. My father had some beautiful copies of Aesop’s fables he used to read to my sister and I. Biblical references suggest that in the coming the wolf shall lie with the lamb.
The third Earl of Carnarvon (who commissioned the last version of a house here on top of earlier versions) was a passionate classicist and traveller. I think that all the stone carvings around the Castle the tower etc were carefully chosen by him which to my mind would include the door.
I am always conscious that I should beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
As usual your blog is so interesting and reminds me in the midst of my every day business about the promise my Husband made to take a trip to Highclere. I will be purchasing the app and spending a few minutes of down time enjoying Highclere from a very long distance.
Someday I will really see it in all its glory!
Tell me what you think of it- this is a start!
I love the 360 – thank you SO much for this – it is a wonderful way to view the castle and get to know the rooms in more detail. I am excited for summer tickets to go on sale and am hoping that we will be able to get tickets for this September – I will keep checking the website. We’re rented the rooms at the Highclere Farm B&B so that we are close and will be able to see what we can see – we are both fascinated with your home and its history. I also didn’t realize that the history went so far back and it must be incredible to touch and read documents that are that old. I get excited reading old documents from my Gramma’s early life (early 1920’s) – never mind those from centuries back. Thank you so much for sharing… 🙂
I have just downloaded the app and can’t wait to check it out! I am presenting a program tonight on my recent visit to Highclere and the other Downton filming sites and will be sure to mention it to the audience. I have also listed this blog on my handout to the audience so they can enjoy all your blogs. I really enjoy each and every one of them! Hoping to visit this spring, perhaps during the Capability Brown tours. Keep up the good work!
Thank you – I am going to start work putting together little leaflets and the lectures (short and fun of course!) for Capability Brown over the next month. Please do spread the word about the APP!
I am loving Your informative blogs especially the historical ones
Did you get the MP’s showing the probable location of Bands cottage. ?
I am so sorry I did not – I have been behindhand and had flu for a couple of weeks so please could you try again. I am much better this week but emails may not all been forwarded if the office thought I was not going to look at much!!!
I was really disappointed to find that the virtual tour was available only to user of smartphones or Apple devices. Please expand it to function on Windows computers in the same way that the panorama of St. Michael and All Angels Church does here: http://www.hawksheadbenefice.co.uk/hawkshead.htm
That is good to know and I will look into it. Thank you
Purchased the Highclere App just now.Well worth it.Makes you feel you are actually visiting.
Isn’t the Antwerp Cabinet just beautiful!
Will visit the rest of the Castle at my leisure.
Thank you for sharing with us.It truly is a small world.
It is an amazing cabinet – the care, imagination and I have since released diverse materials were far greater than today for all our global networks.
Thank you so much for creating this app and sharing your home with us! Although I have not completed all the visual tours, the few I have viewed/listened have been fabulous! I love learning about the history of Highclere Castle. PS I am completely enthralled with your contest/prize idea! Sharing a glass of Champagne, with you, on top of one the tours with a live 360 view sounds extremely appealing!
Delighted you like the idea! the Details, ceilings and mouldings in the Tower are amazing.
Thank you for the information about the App. It reminds me that I really should update my telephone to give me access to the wider world!
I feel an affinity with Highclere.
In 2006 my Son was married at Highclere. Such an occasion and the whole affair was one of such splendour in every aspect that I am lost for words to describe it. It was absolutely unforgettable and was made all the more special because of the location and your facilities.
How uncanny then that some time later, my Wife, with her interest in genealogy while looking into our family history discovered that my natural Grandmother was a child of the estate with her Father, my great grandfather being a Highclere gamekeeper under Head Gamekeeper Maber. This would have been around the time of World War One. The family lived at Balls Cottage, an estate house for years.
Your archivist was very helpful and provided much interesting information to me.
So, when Downton is showing and I admit to being an unashamed fan, it is almost impossible not to say or think, ‘I’ve been there!’, or ‘I sat there!’, or ‘I saw that!’ Such a shame that the series is now finished but I am so glad that the real thing is flourishing!
I must get that App!
Enjoy the App and we thought we could add to it with a treasure through the Egyptian cellars or a tour of some of my favourite rooms – the Robing Room etc
Hello Lady Carnarvon! Greetings from Ambridge pA! Just wanted to say that I’m really enjoying your blog! I 1st found it last wk. Actually I’ve never heard of highclere until I started watching Downton Abbey. what a wonderful show & what a wonderful house! I’ve always found England fascinating though & have few friends that live there. I might have to go visit them sometime & try to stop at Highclere too, What a great trip that would be! I enjoy learning the history of the castle & you & the Earl are doing a great job keeping it up! It’s so nice of you to take time to do things like this blog as I’m sure the castle & other things keep you so busy! I know other England/Downton Abbey fans really do appreciate it. Also love the info about your dogs. We have a lovely chocolate cocker spaniel named Bear. Such a nice breed & gotta love those sweet little faces! How long have you had the dogs? did you always like spaniels? I bet it was so hard to give the puppies away but glad you could keep the one though! Do you take all the dogs out for walks yourself? Does the Earl help you walk them? I also loved both of your books (lady almina & lady catherine). Will you be writing anymore books like that? I look forward to more of them! best wishes to you & the Earl!!
I and my sisters grew up with a cocker spaniel, she really belonged to my number three sister Lucy but was a central much loved part of our household. They are brave, loving dogs who just keep going.
I am on the way with another book – I think or hope you might enjoy it!
Dearest Lady Carnarvon,
I continue to be amazed and delighted with all the adventures your family has had through out the years. It goes without saying, they come to life when you share the many pictures both old and new. I find myself waiting anxiously for your next note to see what exciting news is coming from the castle this week. Thank you, this is such fun.
PS, Your horses are beautiful. I used to show Arabians, and my Son had a matching Percheron team. Beautiful, strong animal, also.
I have a beautiful Arabian filly, but I love them all, they are all such characters.
How wonderful to receive your bloggs and learn what’s new at Highclere. Your photos add a special touch. I especially love the ‘old’ 2 seater, and the view from the tower is inspiring! I’m wondering how many of your dogs run with you as you ride the grounds? Positively stunning horses, just beautiful.
I take 3 cocker spaniels out with me and they are well behaved and ride to heel. They are also great companions and this is how we all used to live, more actively, outside listening and observing. I am so lucky to mix it all in with my work.
so happy i found your blog! <3
I am an artist and a dreamer and I could only dream of visiting your castle. Thank you for your blog with pictures and history of this most beautiful magnificent place.
I hope one day I am lucky enough to travel with my husband to see your world… truly a dream come true.
I downloaded the new app this weekend past and spent quite a bit of time getting to know more of the Castle,
how absolutely wonderful!
Lady Canarvon you are doing such good work!
I look forward to seeing the Castle in person when my Husband and I visit in August this year (from Nfld Canada)
as part of the celebration of our Silver (25th) Wedding Anniversary!
Like Betty Sleep (Jan 20th), “I was really disappointed to find that the virtual tour was available only to user of smartphones or Apple devices. Please expand it to function on Windows computers.” I tried to download the app on my computer but couldn’t, since it is a PC. I have to believe there are many other Downton Abbey / Highclere Castle fans (esp. us older ones) that don’t yet have the more advanced electronics. Help, help, help? I would LOVE to see the virtual tours! As someone new to your blog, Lady Carnarvon, I am thoroughly enjoying catching up on your posts…. until I hit a snag like this. Thanks so much!
Thank you how interesting – I did not know that and will task my husband!!!!
The car pictured at the top of the page does not seem to be identified. Are you able to tell me anything about it and perhaps the image itself please? Is it anything to do with the Highclere Motor Car Syndicate ? Many thanks
I am not sure – I believe Lord Carnarvon (the 5th Earl) helped finance the garage in Highclere which was started by two Rutherford boys (their father was agent and he had 6 sons all of who fought in WW1 and they all came back). The 5th Earl owned 60 cars over his lifetime from a Dion Quadricycle to a 1912 Bugatti..
Evening Lady Carnarvon
My daughter is studying Egyptology at school this term and have been discussing Tutenkahmun today. My husband was always told the story of his grandmothers uncle, who she was led to believe was a gamekeeper on Lord Carnarvons estate, who accompanied him with a team to Egypt on this famous trip. He never knew his name but wondered if you keep any records of his team and gamekeepers at this time?? My daughter would love to be able to tell her classmates this cool fact!! Thanks so much
What was his name?