It’s all Cricket


During the summer we host about twelve cricket matches on one of the prettiest grounds in the country here at Highclere. (A little bit of bias perhaps on my part!) Downton Abbey used it as the setting for the finale of the third series which was fun for us but rather stressful for Thomas the footman at that point in the story.

My father-in-law thoroughly enjoyed the cricket, playing first of all and then, later in life, captaining the team vigorously from the side lines.  Now my husband plays and also gets terribly annoyed if we lose. Thank goodness we won last Sunday.

We had some friends staying this weekend, including a wonderful American friend. We sat down near the cricket pavilion and from the disadvantaged position of being a female spectator I dutifully tried to explain the rules of the game to her. The other team were batting and we were fielding so she understood that they were in trying not to be out. Of course every so often the fielders all move position and she would just have spotted my husband’s position before he moved place again. When one of the batsmen was caught and the next batsmen went in at least they were identifiable by their pads as playing for the other team.  Every so often the fielders leapt into the air in excitement thinking the batsmen was out when actually they remained in which added to the confusion.  I thought I would compare it to baseball but I am not sure that helped as I have not yet seen a baseball match: even more guesswork!


Lunch however was excellent on tables around the pavilion. It was truly English with a beautifully presented poached salmon, salads, a crumble and cheeses for pudding.

HTC Mobile (396)

We spent the early part of the year restoring the cricket pavilion and it was lovely to see and use it in all its new glory.  Terry and Sid have cut larch from the estate to clad the building again and I have enjoyed using a good traditional cricket green for the window frames and themes inside the building.  As usual the painting is the fun part and most of the building work is never noticed by the teams as it is supports for the roof, re-wiring, kitchens and loos. I was on much safer ground discussing decorating projects with my lovely American friend and, even better, she had noticed many of the details. So we lunched in happiness and gave up working out where mid-off was.

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23 Responses to “It’s all Cricket”
  1. Lina says:

    Such a beautiful setting, my lady, for our beloved programme – a headache for you and your family to have the crew everywhere every year. But we do appreciate it, truly!

  2. Jo Ann M. says:

    Lady Carnarvon,

    What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! I can only wish that I had been part of it! Thank you for sharing your life an home with us.

  3. Natalie Graham says:

    Ahhh, yes, myself being American, cricket is as confusing to me as American football is to most of the rest of the world. 🙂 The restored pavilion looks quite lovely, along with the green! I too would have enjoyed discussing the renovations since that’s always been an interest of mine.

    I do have to say, though, that the fish (as lovely as it may be) rather intimidates me with its missing-eyes stare… eeks!

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      It was delicious though and actually I think I never really noticed the eyes when I was wondering where to start with the fish slice!!!! I think it is the photo which makes you notice…

  4. Rosemary says:

    Restoration looks great. Good job. Remembered cricket match on Downton Abbey. Salmon looks delicious but what is crumble and cheeses for pudding? I’m from over the pond and not familiar with that food. Love your blogs.

  5. Jennifer Schiller says:

    Dear Lady Carnarvon:

    Thank you for another lovely post. When I visited this past Easter, I did not see the cricket grounds. Are they very far from the castle?

    Jennifer Schiller

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      The cricket ground is in the Park but towards the village, and is surrounded by lovely trees…

  6. Bobbi Allison says:

    I always look forward to and enjoy your posts.

    Thank you,
    Bobbi Allison

    WA. State – US

  7. Amy Hunt says:

    Thank you for your posts, which are always warm and fun to read. You satisfy the curiosity of those who have come to feel a bit attached to your beautiful home and property, because we’ve visited it and seen it on Downton Abbey. I love the details that you share, whether they describe keys or sheep, paint colours, airplanes or attics! We appreciate your time and perspective.

  8. Paul Mc Taggart says:

    Wow Terry and Sid’s work sound great I bet it looks fantastic what they have done to the cricket pavilion, I’m with your American friend I have no idea how this game works mind you I do understand & like the cricket Tea time Yummy lots of Home Made Cakes & lashing of Tea hee hee Maybe I should learn the game in my village, they have a match most weekends 🙂 Another fantastic blog Lady Carnarvon

    Paul 🙂

  9. Del Tull says:

    I always enjoy your blogs!

  10. Joanne Smith says:

    I love hearing the tales of what’s going on at the house !! Would love to see some pictures of the grounds now the summer has taken hold , was April when I visited
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon !

  11. Virginia Rosen says:

    Thank you for your blog, Lady Carnarvon. Here in Australia we recently hosted the finals of the World Series cricket. At the time we had a guest from Ireland who knew nothing about the game so, like you, I had to try to explain it! Not easy.

  12. Mary Beth says:

    Having a large amount of English ancestry, who stayed in England until the arrival of my Great Grandparents in the US I have always thought I would try to learn about Cricket, but I admit to being a coward! Isn’t the expression “knocked for six” something to do with Cricket? I only know what I have learned from watching television . Would love to watch a match someday…

    As always lovely to hear from you
    Happy Summer Solstice!
    Mary Beth

  13. Jenni Cullen says:

    Unfortunately my husband Terry and I were unable to visit last June.Walked into the grounds behind a big mob of sheep and had our photo taken with the top third of Highclere behind us.
    Just ordered a couple of books including the Visitor Guide.
    Thank you for sharing your life with the Aussie fans of Downton.
    Just watched Secrets of the Manor House on TV last week.
    Kind Regards

  14. Glenda says:

    I enjoy your blog posts! You are so warm with your descriptions and details of your lovely Highclere Castle. Maybe one day, I will be able to come and visit. I look forward to more stories!

  15. Carol-Ann Rahl says:

    I so look forward to your blogs. I have tried to understand the game of cricket but no luck there. Even though I didn’t quite understand the game I enjoyed the match on Downton Abbey. Your day with your American friends sounded lovely. I was a bit thrown off by the salmon. I don’t believe I’ve seen it served that way before. Not fond of seeing the head of the fish still attached to the body. I will miss Downton Abbey very much. It’s amazing how you get involved with the “lives” of the various characters.
    Reading your blogs keeps us all involved with Highclere and I love it. Looking forward to your next posting. Keep well and pat your dogs and horse for me.
    Anothere USA friend,

  16. JoAnne Andedrson says:

    I can not tell you how much I enjoy reading your entries. I can see it all in my mind’s eye and it looks amazing! If only I could taste what you describe and photograph! I think it wonderful of you to keep up this blog. I would love to see Highclere in person one day. Until then, I shall be a mental traveler and visit often.
    Regards and thanks from South Carolina.

  17. DESIREE CREARY says:


  18. Jeffery Sewell says:

    Dear Lady Carnarvon,
    What a wonderful, picturesque cricket ground.
    Being an Australian and ‘cricket tragic’ from way back, I must incorporate a visit to your cricket ground in my itinerary when next in England. The pavilion looks great. I couldn’t quite tell from the photos, but is it constructed solely of wood or is there some stone/brick as well?
    Although very different in appearance, the warmth and charm captured by the pictures of your ground and the pavilion have re-kindled fond memories of when I was fortunate enough to play on such wonderful English cricket grounds as Monkton Combe, with its thatched-roofed pavilion.
    I assume your husband is looking forward to the Ashes. Given England’s recent performances against the Kiwis, it should be a lot closer contest than the last Ashes encounter down under.
    Jeffery Sewell

  19. Chris Watts says:

    Hello Lady Carnarvon,
    Looking forward to seeing youagain very soon.
    I look forward to seeing the newly renovated pavilion when I come over this August.
    Cricket is as English as crumpets are for tea. I was lucky enough to play the game since I was 3 years old. At 57 I still play here in Hong Kong and am teaching my 2 girls the joys of the game even though they bat like baseballers do!
    That will bring back so many great memories of me playing cricket at school in Cheltenham.
    Gorgeous grounds at Highclere and so glad to see so many games being played there.
    Till soon,

  20. Oliver says:

    Dear Lady Carnarvon,
    What a wonderful recluse to have to enjoy a summer game of cricket. Would love to bring my Cricketers Club of London team up to play a match in the summer of 2016. Please do forward my details to whoever it may concern.
    Best Regards,
    Oliver Holroyd-Pearce

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