To reach the tower, I tend to break it into stages: up a small stone staircase, along the corridor, up the Red Stairs and through a heavy door to reach the first staircase leading up to the landing above the Robing Room. At that point, I am standing at the bottom of the stairs leading to the tower door. Usually I am accompanied by a few of the office team and everyone is uncharacteristically quiet as they catch their breath.
The purpose is to discuss “the next step”. The Castle Tower remains a project started with a vision of what needs to be done but it has some way to go. Like everything at Highclere, it takes time but that is no bad thing. This lower area has been redecorated with a huge lantern and wall lights set against a specially coloured hand blocked wall paper. The carpet is new and the windows have been mended.
We all walk up the stairs and pause, knocking loudly on the door before unlocking it in order to let the resident ghost know, out of courtesy, that we are here and planning to explore and climb further. It gives him warning and we hope he will kindly not be present.
I love this stage of a project: the stairs and rooms are clean, waiting for their next life. I know what I want to do but other things take priority at the moment. It is a sense of excitement and curiosity that encourage those with me to keep climbing. The stairs wind round until we reach a large empty room which fascinates me because I wonder what it was used for. There was clearly once a huge painting in the alcove but who came up here?
Going up again, there is another similar room with tiny little rooms off each corner before the stairs narrow and we finally climb up to the next door and thence to the roof. From here you can look for miles north, south, east and west. Looking down onto the tops of the cedar trees make me feel very small and humble and Beacon Hill and the Iron Age fort are clearly visible 2 or 3 miles to the south east.
A small tower in the corner leads to the access to bring the flag up and down whilst another small lead roof slants at an angle to one side. Crouching down beside it my fingers trace the names etched into it. I recognize some of them from the ledger book of “below stairs” 120 years ago but can also see names of those who work here today. Recently, I found a photograph which shows some of the nursing assistants and teachers based here during WW2 standing in this spot. They too wrote their names as they looked out, sometimes windy, always awe inspiring.
It is in places like this at Highclere that I find the layers of time and sense of the past that makes this place so very special.
This is so interesting and the photo of the view is fabulous. Thanks and have a great day!
Yes, the view is wonderful
Oh, if the walls could talk, how much we’d learn from people in this wonderful place in the past! Who are they? What did they feel, see & hear? Whispers in the wind of times gone by bring great Blessings to you! C. Hert, Montana USA
What a fascinating, yet beautiful place. I can only imagine the breathtaking views from the tower. Thank you for sharing it, Lady Carnarvon.
San Diego, CA USA
How exciting to find such a treasure! The sky line is breathtaking from the tower, thank you for sharing !i find everything you do fascinating, what an honor to be apart of your home and life.
Sue Wood Woodbury ct
Lady Carnarvon. I am making a replica of Highclere Castle. However, I have hit some road blocks. There is only so much available information online of the castle. I know you are busy. If you have time and would be willing to help me, could we discuss some details of the castle? I choose to contact you here initially because I see that you read and respond well to the comments. I wasn’t sure if that would be the case elsewhere. At first, my project has been just for personal satisfaction. My thoughts have turned to a way of bringing more attention to the castle, and maybe in turn help raise funds for restoration. I was sad to learn about all the problems and work the castle needs. I thought maybe I could put my project to some use since I am making it anyway. Any help would be appreciated if you are willing.
You are kind – we don’t publish our plans for very good reasons!
Thanks for all those “visits” at Highclere. It was such a pleasure to see again your wonderful house in the Dowtown abbey film. Once, during a journey, I loved to discover the “real Dowtown abbey castle”. But, by the way, where were the domestics rooms ? It seems that at Highclere there no rooms on the attic. In the serie, you see the downstairs staff climbing up, but at Highclere, to where could they climb ?
Thank you already for your answer end long life to Highclere.
The maids at Highclere Castle lived on the top floors and the footmen in the back wing. Married staff moved out to the cottages in the Park.
Thank you for showing us an area “behind the scenes”. I’d love to see more! (Missed you for the past few weeks.)
Will try ..
Vielen Dank….so interessant. Leider kann ich das Video nicht starten
I could never get tired of exploring your beautiful castle. I am such a huge history buff and I cannot even imagine the joy of finding different things everyday in the castle. You are so very fortunate.
I am, I just love exploring the archives here!
As always I am so amazed at your attention to all details and sharing your beautiful home with us. I love Highclere and you sharing it’s history.
Thank you and for sharing it through Dowtown series and movie.
Love to you and your family.
Judy Herron Harder
Austin, Texas USA
You are kind.
Thank you for letting us have a great look at some off the names of all the people who worked or left there mark on a beautiful home x
Thankyou for including me on your adventure s, I think I love your beautiful Highclere as much as you, look forward to your blogg and to coming back to visit again. Next time I plan for us to stay nearby and come to visit everyday for a week at least! ….then I can pretend I work or better still live there. Just love it, somehow Highclere has got into my bones. I am a Somerset girl, but have lived, married and brought up my family here in New Zealand for the ladt 47years.
There are some lovely places to stay locally and attractions to explore.
Hello Lady Carnarvon, how it is interesting and wonderful!! Thank you for sharing it! I am crazy of your Castle, so beautiful!
The context with history and “ghosts” of the past is so interesting. I would love to be there and climb that tower, not the least of which is to enjoy the view!
The sheer elation of “making it to the top” was always superseded only by the views, especially when you were up on top of the world only to change the flag or accompany the architect.. .phew!
This blog really does invoke the memories of the wonderful repairs we achieved to the lower level rooms below the tower, originally named of the Balearics, and the endless climbing of stairs offering superb exercise often on an hourly basis… happy days, I loved it.
Thank you Pat!
Wow I would love to have made that journey with you. It’s all sounds so exciting. The whole building breaths history. I am fascinated by it all. Thank you for sharing.
What an interesting post! I’ll bet on a clear day you can see for miles and miles. The photos were beautiful.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts today.
Hoping you have a wonderful day!
W. Memphis, AR
You can see four different counties from the top of the tower on a good day, it is absolutely spectacular.
Random question but have you ever discovered any secret rooms that are not on plans or secret entrances fascinated by highclere
The tower is fascinating! Thanks for sharing a little about it. What a gift, to have those names carved on the roof as a reminder of those who trod there before you.
Thanks and have a great day!
Loved this story. Thank you so much for sharing. I so enjoy real history and you share it so well. Can’t wait until the next story. Again thanks for sharing you castle with the world.
You are very kind, I feel so fortunate to be able to share the castle with you
Wonderful, thoughtful description. Always enjoy the blog, this entry for some reason was especially intriguing. Thanks!
I have fallen in love with your castle! I hope to visit one day! Thank you for all you share with us!
Lots of us are in love with it!
Once again we mortals are reminded that Highclere is a living, breathing place. Your beautiful writings and photos make this abundantly clear. I, for one, am glad that you are there to take care of this amazing place.
Your dedication to preserving the past through discovery and in some cases recovery is a gift. History is a storybook some choose to forget while others crave to learn. Thank you for bringing your piece of history to life and sharing this with the world. You are truly a treasure!
Stories … it is about all of us not just dusty school books
Another wonderful story to read on a Monday morning.
Thank you so much.
Kathleen from Canada.
Good Morning to you!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
This is such an interesting post as it is not often we get to hear about places in the castle that are not covered in the series or the movie. Now you have peaked my interest in the resident ghost. If you have not written about him ( Do you know for sure that it is a “him”?) could you write about him in one of your blogs?
The movie was such a delight. I did not want it to end!
My “Christmas at Highclere” book has stories of the ghosts…
Loved reading this and seeing the video. Whenever I am in an old building or walk by old homes I always wonder who built it, who lived there what were their dreams and their hopes. I love how you write as you make it into such a visual picture of curiosity and intrigue. It’s wonderful !!
Wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I would love to learn more about your archives.
It is like the aegean stables
“It is like the aegean stables”; That is an archivist’s dream!
Thank you for the “view” into one area of the castle. How wonderful to be able to explore such a lovely structure and be entrusted with its keeping. Always a treat to find evidence of those who came before. It is a lovely view, looking out and seeing for great stretches.
Thank you Jeff
From all of us who see history as you do, thank you for sharing. The physical evidence of their presence at place like the tower gives me a sense of humility as I can “see” those that went before.
What a wonderful piece of history! Hope that lead will be preserved, photographic or otherwise, and your name is on it. I’m sure those nurses’ descendants (and the children) would appreciate seeing this blog. Loved the film and the dance on strictly this week.
Thank you for always entertaining us with a new topic each week.
I so enjoy your entries! Thank you for sharing.
After the cardio-climb to the final set of stairs, your hopeful thoughts of acting kindly toward any friendly ghosts was certainly a fun moment! You and your staff may secretly wonder if something new and unique might be found.
Standing on the top roof, knowing that the flag has flown for monarchs as well as kind nurses kneeling to inscribe their history is truly sobering.
Thank you for another visual story of Highclere.
Perhaps the ghost is just a reason to pause and catch my breath
Lady, I have been such a “Downton Abbey” fan from the start!! I have read your books and visited your wonderful home 2 times, I so hope to come again!!! I had so much fun explaining the movie to the novice “Downtown” people, that so much of what happens, really did in real life, and I learned it from reading your books, hearing you speak here in Richmond Va. and following the blog. Thank you so much for always sharing such great information, I am so hoping there will be a sequel movie now!!!!
I hope there will be a sequel too!
Interesting story of the tower. Breathtaking views. The photos of the nurses surrounded by children is touching. There is even a ghost! !
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon!
The Tower fascinates me too!
Soooooo many stairs!
Everyone stay in shape so you can explore the upper floors!
Reminds me of the day Mr. BATES came on, he looked up the “servants stairs”, the look on his face (!)
determination, for sure! Anyone with a malady would see the stairs at Highclere as a challenge.
How many people have left their names on the ROOF of a CASTLE (?!) possibly, thinking no one would
see….until someone finally took a picture!
So much history to find.
I forgot that Highclere was a refuge for the children, as well as a hospital for injured soldiers to recuperate.
Thank you for sharing your lovely home.
I would love to trace out some of the names – the people to read them more clearly, not all are clear
I’m out of breath, just thinking about that climb but I’d attempt it! “Castle Cardio” ❤️
Thank you for your willingness to share your adventures with us. I truly enjoy your blog as I sip my morning coffee. I must ask – does the tower ghost have a name?
Not that I know of – it would be easier if he did – this one seems to be a man ..
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I was out of breath just reading this, and looking at all those stairs to climb, but it would be worth it, just for the views, I love the fact, you knock on the door to let the ghost know, you have arrived, I hope he is friendly!! Thank you as always for sharing your beautiful home.
I only have photos of a few of the stairs – I realised I mean to photograph more stairs and rooms higher up when I had come down…
Very interesting entry…. as usual. Keep up the great work. My wife and I visited Highclere a couple of years ago and we loved every minute of our time there. We can’t wait to return again someday. And , last week we finally made it to the movie theater to see the Downton Abbey movie… very nicely done and I am glad they left the story line open for future installments.
They did indeed!!
Thanks for this information. I’ve been so curious. Love the pictures of the stairwells.
Thanks for sharing and take care!
Beautiful views and property; it tends to make one relax by just looking at the beautiful surroundings. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your life at the castle. I was enamored by your home and grounds while visiting in July this year. Discovering more of your home through you blog has been an additional gift, bringing the castle and its residents (human, animal, and ghosts!) to us readers so that we may experience it more expansively.
A journey through the past and recognition of those who left their mark in the life of the Castle demonstrates respect for their contributions. You have offered such a humanizing perspective of people who performed such service for others. I so enjoy reading the Monday Letter.
By the way, good manners are always recommended when dealing with ghosts. My father’s family had such a repertoire of ghosts that learning respect for the “family” included our predecessors. Very nice to hear you voice that in the blog.
Best wishes with all the development- so enjoy following your journey.
Yesterday I enjoyed with my friends
from the movie Downton Abbey.
Today I continue enjoying this charming story about the Tower of Highclere.
Thank you Lady Carnavon for sharing your experiences.
Ana Rosa from Barcelona.
It is always a pleasure to read about your Castle activities and the historical researches you have been doing in such a lovely way.Imagine the joy you brought today to some of the relatives of the persons who wrote their names at the Tower,many years ago…and even more,to those who recognize one of their families on the photos you kindly show today!As usual,I am delighted every Monday when I read your stories full of lively descriptions about Highclere and its surroundings.Hope to see this magical place soon!Best Brazilian regards!
Thank you so much
Wonderful story melding architecture, history, people/events from such an important time in history. Loved the pictures. What are your thoughts and challenges in restoring the tower? What was the original purpose of the tower? Any other interesting things the tower has been used for? Do you use it for anything now?
As always, thank you for sharing 🙂
I try to understand and sit and think, get sense and let where I am begin to tell me .. I now have a clear vision for the direction of journey and then need to remember not to worry about haste
Resident ghost? I would love to read about that.
Love reading your blog about Highclere and the magnificent restoration work you are doing .
I just saw the new Downton movie and I was transported back to the beautiful castle I visited a few years back. Remembering how kind it was of you to come in and speak to our group at dinner…. tired as you were since you had just gotten off a plane from your mission trip to a refugee camp on the Turkey-Syria border.
Hope to return again someday to visit… until then I will just keep reading your books!
Thank you for your vivid look “up the lovely stairs”. You have a gift for writing! From across “the pond” please continue❤️
I am curious to know about the “ghosts” that live up in the tower. I’ve heard you just mention them but never really any stories of encounters or mysterious happenings. Hopefully you have some stories you could share for this Halloween? I received the new cookbook as a surprise from my husband. I love reading the stories that come along with each recipe. Beautiful pictures too.
Thank you – enjoy the ghost stories in “Christmas” next!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
What great history! I just finished your wonderful book about Almina. Such an amazing woman. Her husband the 5th Earl’s dedication to Egyptian treasures really was so important for history and his family home. I will soon be starting your next book with pleasure.
Thank you – I enjoyed Catherine as well – I love writing them ..
Thankyou for taking the time to let us continue to explore your nostalgic estate via your website. My husband and I have been to Highclere twice. The first trip was quite an adventure. Living in Vancouver, British Columbia and making a whirlwind trip to London, unfortunately tours were sold out. We were determined to at least get a glimpse of the grand estate that we viewed every Sunday night on PBS.
We took a train 2 buses and a taxi and finally arrived at our destination. My heart was thumping as I went up to the entrance gate and asked if there was any chance of purchasing tickets. As luck would have it, we received two passes. Downton Abbey came alive as we explored the many rooms. A fascinating tour! We wandered the property and thought we would complete our day with a scone and tea. Delicious.
We bid farewell, with memories stored in our minds forever more. Little did we know that another pleasant surprise waited at the train station! YOU were standing on the platform waiting to board the train to London. I couldn’t believe my eyes, wanting to go up to talk to you but also knowing you needed your privacy. I decided not to bother. To this day, I wonder what your reaction would have been at chit chatting with yet another fan and have my regrets at not taking the opportunity.
The second trip, this summer, five years later, was just as special. The tour we took was excellent! It was in celebration of having finished my own novel of yesteryear, inspired by my Grandmother who lived in Edinburgh and the Orkney islands. Hopefully, one day it will be published. Thank you for YOUR inspiration.
What a wonderful and historic story… Loved it.
Always a fan!
I am huffing and puffing with you all the way to the Tower top!
Thanks for the view and the history.
I was no where near the top either!!! That is a huff and puff..
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
What a lovely interior of the castle to greet me on my Monday morning! I am so grateful for your blog every Monday, as it gives me a glimpse of a world I will probably never visit but would love to! Thank you for sharing your world with us! It is appreciated more than you know!
Interesting about the Tower, yesterday while watching the movie, I noticed in the film the HMH flag when the King and Queen were staying at “Downton”. I immediately wondered what was involved in getting the flag installed on the pole for the film! Thank you, for providing some closure and info about this process of going up! Always, you make my Monday morning interesting, more informative and highly awaited as what is next… God Bless, and thank you!
We did not change any flag – it remained our flag as it is our home, so if it was changed it was done in the studio. Her Majesty the Queen’s Royal Standard flied over her own homes not other people’s.
I think anyone who has visited Highclere, even for just a moment, feels like they are now a part of this historic home.
Since my trip to your home in May I have been endeavoring to educate anyone who will listen to me that the castle is not just a prop from a movie set, that the home has its own history aside from the show, my mind wanders up those stairs with you, so thank you for being so descriptive.
Say hello to the ghost, have you ever had anyone from the Ghost Hunter community do a reading or whatever they call their research?
Thank you – I think better to let sleeping dogs lie ..
Hello lady Carnarvon
It is so interesting to read about your blog and about high clere castle
I really enjoyed this!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the information regarding the sojourn to the “the tower.” In July 2018, I had to incredible opportunity to have visited Highclere Castle, and had to remind myself to breath because everything was literally breathtaking. I’m very familiar the the castle because of being a big Egyptology fan, and have seen the estate featured in various documentaries over the years. So when Downton Abbey was filmed there it became even more special to me for an additional reason. While touring the castle, I was very curious to know more about the upper rooms that are off limits to tours. I’m a history buff and love architecture and can appreciate rooms that are no longer required to be occupied since life in the 21st century has changed drastically from previous centuries. I found Highclere to be very warm and comfortable and sensed little paranormal activity compared to my visits to various homes in different countries. So it’s my guess that if there are ghosts in Highclere, they are friendly and you can’t blame them for wanting to stay as long as they can. In closing, I found the staff in the gift shop very warm and welcoming…lovely ladies who made a very good first impression on me. I can’t wait to come back for another visit.
Highest regards from America!
Thank you so much!
This entry is exceptionally captivating. Your photos illustrate your words as if we were creeping right up the stairs with you, pausing to catch our breath in anticipation of a sighting of the “resident ghost”. Was the tower entirely a creation of Sir Charles Barry or did a tower exist prior to his re-imagining of the castle?
The 3rd Earl and Sir Charles Barry
Fascinating story. I would think the services of a medium would be a interesting in order to contact said ghost. Perhaps a seance would be fun if you are inclined. Or, perhaps you have already done this. It would make for a good story, in my humble opinion.
Thanks for the inside look,
Another story for sure
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Well, now you’ve done it…once I started watching the video, I could not stop. I went from the first video to the next, and the next, etc., etc., etc…so I have accomplished nothing else! I plan to blame the lack of accomplishment on you …LOL!
I am so intrigued by the history of Highclere. My husband and I have talked about the tower. We We have also discussed where the servants lived. You have answered that for us. Thank you! The photo of the young lady ‘signing’ the lead on the tower roof was very moving. I wonder what happened to them. How did their time at the Castle impact the rest of their lives… did actually living there for a while become a part of their conversation in future years…I just think about it. My mind is a scary place!
God Bless you!
Have you read Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey? It is about WW2 here..
I have read about Almina. But I have not read the Lady Catherine Book yet. I really want to read all of your books. I enjoy your style of writing. It is an easy read for me. It sort of floats the words to the reader rather than hammering them out. Does that make any sense at all? Like I said…my mind is a scary place some times!
WWII is of great interest to me because of my beloved Father. He was in the South Pacific, though.
Thank you again. I feel as if we are friends… It is a one sided friendship, but that is OK!!!
Friendships are two sided.
Lady Canarvon, is the primary reason for the tower a place to elevate the flag as well as roof access? I think we’re all fascinated to see interior photos of the tower with a wide-angled camera to get a better sense of the space. Thanks for your continued efforts to restore the castle and making it accessible to guests when possible. Thank you!
Thank you – luckily I have a day job rather than just doing videos on a phone. the corner tower on the roof is just for the flag and access
I enjoy reading your posts and look forward to learning more about your beautiful Highclere Castle each time.
I look forward to visiting on my next trip to England. Thank you taking the time out of your schedule to inform us.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you to you and Lord Carnarvon for looking after this grande dame! I think we all fell in love with Highclere Castle through Downton Abbey, and we can only thank you for opening your doors, and heart, to all of us by allowing the filming of the series.
Wishing you all the best with the restoration projects and keeping Highclere Castle alive and well for the next generations.
Best regards from South Africa.
I have been very curious about The Tower. Your description and pictures are so amazing. What a fascinating place! I’ll think of it this Halloween. Hope the ghost is friendly. How could he be otherwise in such a place?
I am not sure – probably his own person
The resident ghost is very lucky !!!
Ana Rosa from Barcelona.
Curiously enough I took a little video for our instagram and I had to do it again as I heard some sounds beyond the door beyond which I needed to knock! I retreated..
How coincidental that your blog is about the tower today. I saw the Downtown Abbey film and their is an aerial view of the castle with the flag flying from the tower and it made me wonder how a person got up there. Now I know. Thank you.
The beautiful panned view of Highclere in the Downton movie brings a lump to my throat and I’ve seen the movie four times. There’s something very emotional about it for me. How lucky you are to live among and be part of England’s history.
Stairs are the best exercise and you do have so many of those – I remember just going up to the first landing and the stairs were quite steep! I love the red carpet and the wallpaper , so many projects, but you are more than adept at handling them all with the wonderful people you surround yourself with on them. I always have wondered about that tower – what a view from the top! Thanks for another great blog about the history – so many different rooms!!!
Annoyingly , the stairs never get easier!!!
History. Your love of it is so beautiful. I see it in other British shows where volunteers keep & care for canals, railroads, factories & such things as electricity stations to go on living. This little vignette about Highclere makes it so much more real, poignant & special. Thank you for sharing, Lady Carnarvan.
I so love reading your blogs it is so interesting hearing all about the history of the Castle. I went and saw the movie for the second time yesterday and still marvel at its beauty. Were drones used do you know to get some of those sweeping shots overhead? My visit in 2017 was one of the most memorable things I have done. I hope to revisit one day.
In the film, yes
I love a good ghost story. Do you have any more to write about?
I do in the book “Christmas at Highclere” it is fun the pages are black !!!
Thanks for sharing that Lady Carnarvon. The photo and your video of the two nurses is so evocative! Your post brought home to me again that Highclere is so much more than the history of the buildings: you can almost hear the nurses and the children’s bubbling laughter as they played and enjoyed Highclere which must’ve been of some comfort even as they missed their parents and families. This rich tapestry of human history that ‘whispers’ throughout Highclere across the years is an almost inexhaustible treasure trove. Thank you so much for inviting us into this life. I came to this blog because of Downton Abbey, but I have stayed because of your beautiful writing.
Thank you very much for your kind commment
So interesting!! We all wish we were walking up those stairs with you, ready to enjoy a marvelous view!! Thanks for sharing a video! So fun!!
Thank you Lady Carnarvon for sharing such a delightful story. I especially love hearing about the ghost ! Your home is so rich in history and filled with wonderful stories. I had the pleasure of touring your home a year ago March and am delighted to be coming back for a visit on November 4, 2019, which happens to be my 60th birthday. I’m looking forward to a lovely afternoon !
Oh my goodness how wonderful!
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
GOOD MORNING. IT IS AN WONDERFUL DAY. ”
“SENSE OF THE PAST THAT MAKES THIS PLACE SO VERY SPECIAL”.THESE ARE MAGIC WORDS MILADY.
I WONDER WHAT THE SUNRISES AND SUNSETS FROM THE TOWER OF HIGHCLERE LOOK LIKE MUST BE STUNNING, WONDERFUL AND IF I SAW THEM I WOULD BE VERY VERY HAPPY.
ROBERT FROST “THE FOREST IS BEAUTIFUL, DARK, INFINITE BUT I HAVE A PROMISSE TO FULFILL AND LEAGUES TO RUN, BEFORE SLEEPING.”
RIO CLARO – SP
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for another incredible blog. I love starting my morning with your newest insight into your beautiful home. I am beyond excited to be visiting next May from Australia. A dream that I never thought would come true!
Dreams can come true – Winnie the Pooh usually puts it best about putting one foot in front of another. May is a beautiful time to visit
That was such a great story, thanks for sharing.
Thank you for your wonderful writings. As a newbie here, seeing the photos of the tower etc I was wondering if you have written anything about the castle’s basements? Are they extensive, and if so I wonder what history or treasure (s) you may have found. If any of the castle’s past residents were hoarders of seemingly ‘inconsequential’ material, or relics, this could be an historian’s delight.
The cellars are extensive and we have converted them into the Egyptian Exhibition. There was masses of “stuff” to clear you before we did that, which is not 12 /14 years ago. There are still other cellars, Luis (Highclere’s Carson) is in charge of a couple of wine cellars. There are still the kitchens in the same place they have been for about 1000 years… and so on
So very interesting. There must constantly be new and fascinating things to discover all the time at Highclere. It’s as if you’re living in a treasure trove. Do you really have a ghost, or the presence of an unexplained spirit in spirit, in the Tower room? Is he, (or she), friendly, or merely tolerant of you all?
I do not really want to meet him – the ghost –
How lovely to touch history like this! Thank you for sharing this moment with us.
Thank you Lady Carnarvon for sharing your beautiful home and the wonderful stories of the people that lived in it . It is a glimpse in the past that we all get to look into and enjoy. I have enjoyed watching Downton Abbey and the movie . We hope to come to Highclere one day .
Thank you again
Nashville, Tn USA
Thanks again for another bit of insight into a part of the castle. The towers have always fascinated me, ever since the beginning of Downton. And I love that you knock to alert the ghost – that gave me a smile. Judging from all the comments from friends, I think the castle towers have become iconic since the early scene in the movie when the camera rises over the tree line in the early morning and we get the most wonderful view of the Highclere roof line. It was truly the most breathtaking shot I have ever seen. I’m so glad you share you home with us each week.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
The tower of the castle is magestic! I view it with awe …
If you have ever wondered about your descriptive ability, as “we climbed” those stairs my palms dampened …
It was with great trepidation that I looked beyond that decorative wall to the view. I have a terrible fear of heights!
I love this week’s blog, by the way, how many stairs did we climb?
Until next time …
Shelley in Virginia
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for this gracious post!
Thank you for sharing the tradition of ‘knocking’ to announce your presence to the resident…’ghost.’
I once pastored a very old church (founded in the early 1700’s, which is very early to the USA).
I always knocked and announced my presence when I entered, and I never had issues with those of the ‘other realm’ as others had. Good manners help transcend boundaries even to the past.
As to the ‘signing of names,’ that is also a time-honored action to memorialize a participation in something historic: when grand buildings are demolished to make room for the new (something I question), one finds places where the builders, plumbers, woodworkers and artisans signed their names and dates to sanction their labor on this massive work. Hopefully Highclere will never face that fate, and that names will continue to be added to history.
Thank you again for your gracious embrace of the new ways, and sharing your legacy with the world. Now I’m off to find some Highclere Gin…
Pastor Donna T. Deal
Springtown, PA, USA
Excellent sign off!!! Just the spirit
Dear Lady Carnarvon, it is truly a privilege and delight to visit Highclere by way of your blog.
You do a wonderful, really an amazing job with the stills and videos, and subtitles, thank you. I confess I spend much too much time re-watching the Downton Abbey series. I am now, for the umpteenth time, in Season Three.
I like to call my small Victorian-era house in North Cambridge, Massachusetts, built on a postage stamp of a lot, “Pemberton Abbey” and imagine myself taking various roles in turn . . . as I must, having only a twice a month cleaning service. Btw, if there is ever an opening for a housemaid in your beautiful home, I’d be happy to fill in for a week. I spent a memorable day at Highclere, on a visit with two high school friends, in spring 2017.
If you and your family are ever in Boston, I would be honored to have you stop by for tea and cake. Really! Eve in (the other) Cambridge
You are kind – I made fleeting visit on a gin promotion -Highclere Castle Gin- in August – but half a day!! Need to go back..
Outstanding preservation of history.
I simply love reading your blogs and your inviting us in this way to share your amazing home. I feel an enchantment after reading about the castle, the grounds, and the people who keep this beautiful place “alive” for those of us from other parts of the world and much different lives. Again, I love it!
I have a suggestion for finding all those names written at the tower:
You might try photographing them, and after uploading to a computer, adjust the “settings” for contrast, mid-tones, etc. I have done this for hieroglyphs my husband photographed in various places.
If you don’t happen to have time yourself or a person who could do this for you,
I VOLUNTEER!!!! Oh what fun THAT would be!
Thank you for another lovely glimpse!
(Central Florida, USA)
Such a beautiful part of Highclere’s history!
I can’t at to visit!
Thank You for sharing!♥️
Beautiful restoration. Could you explain the architecture of the spires and the pattern of the flag?
The red and blue flag reflects the colours of the coats of arms. The architectural detail of the spires reflects the vision and design of the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon and Sir Charles Barry
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
You are amazing. Your energy for putting together life puzzles is endless. I think you have done more to put Highclere Castle on the world stage than any of your predecessors.
I’ve read every one of your blogs and enjoyed each one for its own lovely message. Your heart is always overflowing with joy for your surroundings.
Thank you for sharing it with us.
How very lucky you are to live and to be the Lady at Highclere. It has got to be an honor and privilege to live in such a magical and intriguing place. But, one thing for sure, they are just as lucky to have you as the Lady of Highclere.
Thank you for taking the time to share your life with all of us.
Lady Carnarvon, many thanks. My wife and I have visited Highclere twice, the most recent on the day of my 70th birthday in 2014.
Knowing your interest in history and family history you probably know this. Anne Catherine Tredick Wendell (1901-1977) descends through her mother born Marian Fendell (1870-1849)from three generations of Philip Richard Fendell (1,11 and 111). Philip Richard Fendell 1 (1734-1805)married Mary Lee (1764 -1827). Mary Lee was the daughter of Henry Lee 11 1730-1787). Mary Lee’s brother was Henry ‘Lighthorse’ Lee 111, father of the Confederate General Robert Edward Lee. The Lee family were highly influential in Virginia—two of them signed the American Declaration of Independence.
Henry Lee 11 was the son of Henry Lee 1 (1691-1747) who married Mary Bland (1704 -1764). Mary Bland was a direct descendent of the early Governor of Virginia, Richard Bennett. Richard Bennett was born in Wiveliscombe, Somerset, the son of Thomas Bennett, son of Robert Bennett son of John Bennett, all of Wiveliscombe. Therefore it seems that your Herbert family have ancestors in the Bennetts of Wiveliscombe. You probably know all this. Please correct me if I have got any of this wrong. Regards Tim Taylor.
I love this post! The history is absolutely fascinating. Do you ever share ghost stories or share pictures of other parts of the castle? I hope I am fortunate enough to visit one day. It would be a dream come true.
In the Christmas book!!!!
Fascinating! I especially am drawn to your comment about “layers of time.”
Please keep posting videos and pictures of restoration projects, it’s wonderful to see the castle coming back to life. These glimpses into rooms and corridors are truly fascinating. You do a wonderful job in keeping Highclere alive for your family and visitors!
I must say that this is one of the most intriguing parts of the house, as I find it shrouded in an air of mystery. I was wondering if the future would allow for a video, in which we could see the journey up to the tower. As it is such a wonderful and iconic piece to this stunning architecture.
I am so happy to have found your blog and your podcasts. I wish you all the best of luck as Highclere’s journey continues.
How kind Daniel thank you – yes I would like to share more!
Is there a book about the history of your beautiful castle? We own all the Downton books.
Yes – we sell a guide book in the gift shop
Highclere Castle The home of the 8th Earl & Countess of Carnarvon
We came and visited the castle yesterday. It was lovely and truly a highlight of our time living here in London. Highclere is so full of history both old and new. Thank you for sharing this about the tower. The signed piece of lead roof is so intriguing and wonderful to see. The pictures of the nurses is especially touching as my Canadian uncle was cared for in England during the war.