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Highclere Castle, Nebury, Berkshire


Highclere Castle is a Victorian country house in high Elizabethan style, with park designed by Capability Brown, in a 24 square kilometre estate south of Newbury, Berkshire, England. It is the country seat of the Herbert family, the Earls of Carnarvon, and the largest mansion in Hampshire.


Highclere Castle, home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, is probably the finest Victorian House still in existence. Created by Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament, the Castle dominates the magnificent grounds.


There is an Egyptology exhibition recording the explorations of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who, with Howard Carter, uncovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.


There are woodland and temple walks in the grounds, these historic and enjoyable walks within the park are clearly signposted and take from 1 to 2 hours.


The present Castle stands on the site of an earlier house, in turn built on the foundations of the medieval palace of the Bishops of Winchester, who owned this estate from the 8th century. In 1692, Robert Sawyer, a lawyer and college friend of Samuel Pepys, bequeathed a mansion at Highclere to his only daughter, Margaret. Her second son, Robert Herbert, inherited Highclere, began its picture collection, and created the garden temples. His nephew Henry Herbert was made Baron Porchester and 1st Earl of Carnarvon by King George III.


In those years, the house was a square, classical mansion, but it was remodelled and all but rebuilt for the third earl by Sir Charles Barry in 1839 to 1842 after he had finished building the Houses of Parliament. It is in the "High Elizabethan" style and faced in Bath stone.


The term "High Elizabethan" with which the house is often tagged refers to the English architecture of the late 16th century and early 17th century when traditional Tudor architecture was being challenged by the newly arrived Italian Renaissance influences. During the 19th century there was a huge Renaissance revival movement of which Sir Charles Barry was a great exponent.

An Aerial View of Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle
Another view of Highclere Castle

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