Attic Photographs of Downton Abbey Return Home.

A fascinating album of photographs, giving a glimpse of life in one of Britain’s most distinguished country seats, came to light recently.
The album contains 44 large mounted photographs of the house, staff and estate at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, immortalised in popular culture as the setting for the ITV series `Downton Abbey` as the home of the fictional `Earl of Grantham` but it is actually the home of the Earls of Carnarvon. The photographs, taken by J. W. Righton of Newbury, date from 1895 and include portraits of the newly married 5th Earl with his Countess, Almina as well as a photograph showing the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and other guests as well as the house staff. In addition, there are photographs of the grounds and the interior showing how Highclere was furnished and decorated in the 1890’s. 
Returned to Highclere by a private treaty before the sale Lady Carnarvon says “I am thrilled that the photo album is coming home and it’s a very happy resolution orchestrated by Lawrences on behalf of the vendors.  We do already have some of the photographs but it will be very interesting to cross reference the names of the guests and staff in a more complete fashion".
Helen Carless of Lawrences commented, “ Lawrences are delighted to have negotiated the private treaty sale that ensured that the album is now where it should be and all parties are extremely happy with the outcome”.

Lady Carnarvon and Helen Carless meeting to celebrate the happy event

Woo Gilchrist