THE Friends of Romsey Abbey recently enjoyed a trip to a Hampshire country house, famed for its TV appearances. 

They visited Highclere Castle near Newbury, best known as the set of the TV drama, Downton Abbey

Ken Gibson, publicity officer, said: “There were references a plenty to the programme, with specific locations in the castle identified for visitors. In the room identified as the setting for Lord and Lady Grantham’s bedroom, it was noted that apart from the actors, about 30 crew had to be accommodated during filming: it must have been a very tight squeeze.

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Highclere Castle (Image: Ken Gibson)

“The castle itself is a Victorian gothic-style mansion, based around an older house. Apart from the associations with Downton Abbey, it is also the real-life home of Lord and Lady Caernarvon. 

“The 5th Lord Caernarvon was well-known in the early 20th century for having funded the archaeological expeditions to Egypt conducted with Howard Carter.

“Together, after much frustration, they discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. The cellars of the castle hold a fascinating exhibition about the expeditions and the final success, with many artifacts discovered in the tombs and a mock-up of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The whole exhibition was extremely well presented.”

The group, on May 28, also saw the walled garden, rosary, and sweeping lawns.