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Highclere Castle: How Downton’s main attraction continues to grow

PUBLISHED: 09:55 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:55 13 June 2017

The magnificent cedars frame Highclere Castle Photo Andrew Stawarz, flickr.com

The magnificent cedars frame Highclere Castle Photo Andrew Stawarz, flickr.com

Andrew Stawarz

Downton Abbey may have come to a happy conclusion at Christmas 2015, but the attraction of its main location continues to grow

Whether it was Lady Mary riding a fine horse in the grounds of Downton Abbey or chauffeurs delivering guests to the Crawley family pile, the award-winning TV series filmed at Highclere allowed us to see much of the outdoor splendour as well as the stunning interior.

And then there were the garden parties on the lawns, with visitors enjoying gracious hospitality as staff from ‘below stairs’ provided and served an outdoor feast for those attending.

The land surrounding Highclere contain some magnificent trees, including noted Lebanon Cedars reaching as tall as 35m (115ft). Some of the cedars have passed the 250 years mark, having arrived as seedlings as a gift to the 1st Earl of Carnarvon from his cousin, the Earl of Pembroke. The parkland was designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, for the 1st Earl, whose son turned out to be just as passionate about it.

There’s an even loftier common lime and the specimen trees either stand in splendid isolation or groups, courtesy of planting schemes over hundreds of years. They include beeches and monumental oaks. This continues today as the present Earl and Countess love to plant new additions to enhance the scene for both present and future visitors.

Walk beyond the Secret Garden and you will find the Wood of Goodwill, newly planted and featuring 38 native British trees including those favourites, beech and oak. There’s also an avenue of young walnut trees.


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Why the trees Burnham Beeches have a story to tell - The trees of Burnham Beeches would have stories to tell about the people who for centuries have gathered firewood, grazed animals or now simply enjoy the lofty sights

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