Highclere Castle – The Real Downton Abbey

But Highclere isn’t exactly a home, at least, not the way we might think of one. I may display pictures of my godmother in my home, but she is not Queen Elizabeth II, the current earl’s godmother whose photo is on display. I have a desk, but it didn’t belong to Napoleon Bonaparte. My dishes are not Meissen china.

To be at Highclere, as I was in October with a group of foreign reporters, is to be caught in the spell of the fairy-tale story of the castle that gave rise to “Downton Abbey.” The enchantment stretches beyond the 5,000 acres of the estate, where sheep graze on the green hills and wheat, oats and other crops are grown, to the quaint town of Newbury and maybe, I hoped, to the promise of a Hollywood-style tidbit to tantalize friends and fans at home.

See all the  insiders pictures, and continue reading at LaTimes.