Information Update from Highclere Castle

Looking Forwards in 2021

We wish you a very happy New Year in these strange times. Thank you so much to all of those who visited us in December and we will stay in touch as events unfold in early 2021. We very much hope that as the year progresses, we will all manage to find a new rhythm to life. 

We have a 5 star Covid safety rating and all protocols will remain in place to ensure you have a safe and relaxing time when tours return. They will remain limited in number to ensure the safety and health of both our guests and the Highclere team are maintained. 

The Castle and grounds are now closed until we are able to resume with tours, as restrictions are lifted.

Like you, we are looking forward to the green shoots of Spring and, in the gardens we have created some new rose beds and planted 21 Cherry trees. In antcipation of happier times, we have posted some new events into Autumn 2021. We have more planned concerts and cabarets to follow so please keep in touch with us through our social media. You are most welcome to e-mail our office on [email protected] if you have any further questions

With all Best Wishes,

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon


The first written records of the estate date back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester. Bishop William of Wykeham built a beautiful medieval palace and gardens in the park. Later on, the palace was rebuilt as Highclere Place House in 1679 when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sawyer, the direct ancestor of the current Earl of Carnarvon.  In 1842, Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament, transformed Highclere House into the present day Highclere Castle.

During the First World War, Highclere Castle was converted into a hospital for wounded soldiers run by the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Throughout the Second World War, Highclere Castle was home to  children evacuated from London.

There are between 250 and 300 rooms in the Castle Saloon and during your tour you will explore the main state rooms so familiar from "Downton Abbey". You will see some of the bedrooms after which you will follow the stairs down to the cellars and old staff quarters where you will find the Egyptian Exhibition, celebrating the 5th Earl of Carnarvon's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.