Highclere Castle

Overview

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.
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Access Card Notes

*Named & Famed! This venue has been highlighted by feedback from a current Access Card Holder who used their card to gain access or a discount. Information provided in this listing comes from the card holder and also is sourced directly from for the venues publicly available information. This is not a guarantee of any set service or policy this organisation might have.*

Contact details

Highclere Castle Highclere Park, Highclere, Newbury, Berkshire, South East, RG20 9RN
Phone: 01635 253210

Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair access
Highclere Castle is a historic building but disabled access is possible for most areas. There is no lift, however, we provide photographic albums to enable visitors to look at some of the bedrooms on the first floor.

Wheelchairs are welcome around the Castle and in the Egyptian Exhibition (access to this is via the Courtyard at the back of the Castle). It is not possible to bring motorised wheelchairs into the Castle but they are welcome on the paths around the lawns.

A limited number of manual wheelchairs are available for use by disabled members of the public within the Castle. We would advise pre-booking with the Castle Office due to limited supply.