Mud and Bricks


This morning the courtyard behind the Castle was unusually full of vans and cars as well as intermittent rain. There was a lot of activity with Steve the roofer and his team re-doing tiles and leaky roofs, as well as drippy gutters all while trying to fight the elements. The electricians were busy testing their works using space age style equipment with wires and lights flashing various colours. The plumbers are endlessly trying to solve a problem and following a labyrinth of pipes around the Castle and grounds.


I do my morning rounds to say hello to everyone and see how the works are getting on, Sid and Bob are out in the fields in their trenches, knee deep in mud and busy mending water pipes, I always take the dogs with me to visit them as the dogs enjoy taking it in turns to jump over the trenches. On my way back I spot Pat and her decorating team up ladders and we start a little chat with over 10ft in-between us, every other word interrupted with a loud bang as Josh is hammering away, putting in a new raised floor in a rather large shed so we can combat the damp.


Later on if the rain stays away I will get on my bicycle and visit Nick who is currently tiling in Castle Lodge with Tony fixing windows. It remains very very wet here at Highclere, as I discovered when I returned from inspecting another cottage further out in the Estate and I decided to take a short cut back across a field. I held my breath as my little 4×4 spun through wet grass, we made it down, and then up, before grinding to a halt. Reassuring my passenger it was not too far to walk, we headed back to the Castle, but after going to see how everyone was getting on and getting distracted, I had completely forgotten where I had left the car until my husband asked me and stomped back to retrieve it.


It seems everyone at the Castle is busy taking something down or building something even Duncan our Head of IT was busy putting in a cupboard for fibre optics. We have a great team here who all work hard and there are some great moments, where we all roll around laughing and it makes all the chaos not seem so bad, I still laugh when I think about, David the Archivist who works at the top of the Castle in our archive room and came into his own when he let in one of the electricians through a window on the first floor who had inadvertently been locked out on a roof!!

11 Responses to “Mud and Bricks”
  1. How wonderful to see so much activity and development going on at the Castle! We agree you have a great team up there and indeed they all appear to be “Jacks of all Trades’, particularly Duncan and Dave! It puts the repairs to our cottage after the flood damage we sustained to shame – but perhaps once the team have finished there, they are more than welcome to pop down to us! Good luck with all the work and the blog is a super insight into life behind the scenes at Highclere.

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      Thank you – and for all your great photographic work with the Rolls Royce too last year , it was so lovely we took it for a spin today.

  2. Marie Elaine Beaumont says:

    I just found your blog today and have gone back and read all your previous post!! I am so intrigued with Highclere Castle and can’t wait to visit. I ordered two books from your shop, which I have received and now reading. We arrive at Heathrow on May 6th and will come straight away to Highclere Castle. Your staff has been so helpful and kind in returning prompt emails, answering all my questions, in fact, one gentleman I plan to ask for by name, and hopefully get to see him so I can just thank him again face to face! Through your blog I am just now finding out you were in the US, had I known I would have made every effort to hear you. I live in Virginia, just two hours away from Williamsburg. Glad to know you will be returning!

  3. MARY says:

    I can imagine the scene when the first electrics were installed in the castle. Seems the more things change the more they stay the same! Hope you and your family have a great spring:)

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      We are working with electrics first installed here in 1895, by Almina, the 5th Countess, it is so fascinating, so well one and because of that we were lucky and had less risk of fire.

  4. Sue Roberts says:

    Thank you for sharing your daily journey with us. I am as interested in Highclere’s architecture as I am in it as a family home and movie location. I really appreciate learning more about the efforts to renew it. Would be fascinating to be part of a weekend archeology boot camp to learn more about it.

  5. I hope all goes well and you get your mission accomplished.

  6. Paul McTaggart says:

    You are doing a top job keeping the Castle Looking in Tip Top Condition :o) I look forward to returning & looking for more History soon :o)

  7. Janice Burlison says:

    Great to see all the team getting involved with the renovations – particularly Duncan and Dave who are now officially “jacks of all trades”! Perhaps once they have finished at the Castle they could pop down to our cottage to renovate after our flood! Good luck & best wishes from the Dave & Janice

  8. Jennifer Wiggins Pasour says:

    Sounds like a very busy day in deed, and preparing for the upcoming spring season. How exciting it must be

    • Lady Carnarvon says:

      Pat and Mike have been in painting today – amazing kind of them on a Saturday! They keep bees as well so they tended to the hives first of all. The bees are just out busy feeding today which was a great sight.

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