Castles on Camera: HGTV Visits the Real "Downton Abbey"

The stately home that millions of Downton Abbey fans have grown to adore is no movie set, but an actual castle. HGTV takes you inside Highclere Castle to see its spectacular rooms and meet the real-life lord and lady of the manor.

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Windows on the Past

Upon approaching the home, visitors are greeted by the ornate carved stone façade and 170 windows. Highclere has been in the family of its current owners for 370 years. The original house that stood here was, by the standards of the time, a medium-sized mansion. The grand castle that now stands on the site was commissioned in 1838 by the present Earl's great-great-great-grandfather. It was designed in the Jacobethan style by Sir Charles Barry, architect of Britain's Houses of Parliament. Though the home's current lineage dates back about four centuries, the estate at Highclere has been inhabited in some form for around 1300 years. The present-day castle stands at the location of the 8th-century palace of the Bishops of Winchester.


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