We alternate Christmas and New Year in the Castle, so this Christmas we are in Cornwall leaving Highclere for a few days safely in the hands of the home team. They may well patrol the corridors and galleries rather like the footman, Barrow, in Downton Abbey.  Around the Castle grounds they have found a number of tree limbs down and ducks swimming in ponds in the middle of the fields in the Park. Some shutters have forced open the windows due to the strength of the December winds, but we have been lucky, unlike so many people living in some parts of southern England coping with flood waters and no electricity. On Christmas Day the last Downton Abbey of the year charmed and enthralled over 7 million viewers with more yet to enjoy it later. I hope it will similarly amuse its USA fan club next year. 

I have spent many holidays in Cornwall, with wet and windy walks along grey clifftops, the churning seas pounding relentlessly below, the great outcrop of King Arthur’s Tintagel in the distance. My parents loved this ancient and more remote part of England, they brought us here ever since I can remember. Nanny is here too and she has been part of my family since I was five years old. She stayed to look after my sisters and then simply stayed on. She, however, refrains from walks and was later to be found happily snoozing back to to front in her bed before returning to knitting and looking for appreciation of her Christmas Cake, which was as ever very good indeed.

It has been a special time spending time with family, not on any schedule, reading and playing hilarious football games between us all.

13 Responses to “Christmas”
  1. Lester Murphy says:

    Dear Lady Canarvon I just wanted you to know that all my life I have watched and loved programmes like upstairs downstairs /165 Eton place and now Downton Abbey. My wife and i work in domestic service for a wonderful couple not more than 15 miles from Highclere castle. and it is strange to watch the cast of Downton and think of our own life style it must be such fun for you to see your truly stunning house being used as it would have been used all those years ago. as one of England’s most avid Downton fan I would like to thank you for lending your home to such a wonderful T.V. series god bless you and your family Lester.
    P.S. I do hope that one day my wife and I will get to see the castle and maybe some of the cast.

  2. Kay Pike says:

    Merry Christmas to all at Highclere Castle. Waiting patiently for the next episode of Downton Abbey.

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      I think you will really enjoy the 4th series and we are trying very hard not to give away any clues!!!

  3. Sharon Sprigg says:

    Dear Lady Canarvan, Merry Christmas to you and your family .

  4. Shane says:

    Festive Greetings from New Zealand!
    My husband’s family originally came from Cornwall and we spent time there on our last visit to the UK and loved it all!

    On 9th December we all watched the final episode of Downton Season 4 and we are anxiously awaiting the Christmas Special which should be on our screens early January.
    It has been delayed here because it is our long Summer holiday now and most families are away enjoying the beach!

    We are thinking of all the poor people across England effected by those horrific storms – what havoc they caused.
    Hoping they get the help they need with the big clean up.

  5. Jeff Keefe says:

    Nice hat!

  6. susan moss says:

    my great great Grandmother worked in one of these great houses as a house maid her name was Daisey, and that’s were she met my great great Grandfather, his name was William Moss, he was a footman, they met at the same big house…just wish I knew which one…I love this show, Especially being a Brit…

  7. rose says:

    Loved visiting your beautiful home in December with the MPT tour from Washington DC. Highclerc is absolutely magnificent but, as I told you when I met you at the dinner, even in the spendor….. the rooms are so beautifully decorated…. “so homey” ….so cozy. Now as I watch the Downton Abbey show ( I have the complete set so I watch it all of the time) I am even more caught up in the beautiful furnishings. It is really quite lovely. Looking forward to January 5th and the start the new series. Next time I hope to be able to visit in the spring and see the gardens.

  8. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this
    website. I really hope to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well.
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  9. Amy says:

    Tick, tick, tick! Anxiously awaiting season 4’s start in the US, which starts tomorrow. Great show, fabulous writing, interesting characters, lovely house. Thank you so much for allowing the filming at Highclere, it’s stunning.

  10. Ann Moore says:

    Dear Lady Carnarvon,

    I am so excited to discover your blog only a few hours after I learned that I will actually be meeting you in two weeks’ time when you visit Williamsburg, Virginia as part of your book tour! I have enjoyed the show so much. I watch it once for the plot and then I watch it again so that I can just soak up the beauty of the place. As a painter, I particularly watch for the paintings in the background of many of the shots. I’m as fond of seeing them reappear as I am of encountering Mary, Edith, Daisy and all the other members of the cast in the beautiful rooms. How wonderful it must be to greet the magnificent portraits each day as real family members in your magnificent home.

  11. Patricia Porter says:

    I just realized we missed your charity reception this year. We hope it happens again next year. We are stationed at Mildenhall RAFand we love Downton Abbey! Maybe we will see you next year!

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