Highclere Castle was designed by Charles Barry in the 1830s at the same time as he was building the Houses of Parliament.
It was built for the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon who was one of the great hosts of Queen Victoria's reign.
The great square mansion, built of honey-coloured stone, has a central square tower and pinnacled roof line.
The interior of the house is as impressive as the exterior with a series of magnificent rooms. The entrance hall has a Gothic fan-vaulted ceiling.
The huge double library is based on the Reform Club library in London.
The saloon is two storeys high with an open gallery and splendid Gothic decoration. The drawing room is in rococo style and lined with family portraits. The main staircase is situated in the great tower at the centre of the house.
There is a collection of paintings by old masters and portraits by Van Dyck and 18th century artists. The 18th and 19th century furniture includes Napoleon's desk and chair rescued from St. Helena.
The 5th Earl of Carnarvon with Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. In the cellars there is an exhibition of his finds which were only rediscovered at the castle in 1988.
The present Earl is the Queen's Horseracing Manager. In 1993 'The Lord Carnarvon Racing Exhibition' was opened to the public to celebrate his 50th year as an owner and breeder.
Highclere Castle is surrounded by parkland designed by 'Capability' Brown and dates back to a former house on the site. The walled garden also belongs to that period. However, the yew walks are entirely of the Victorian era. Also to be found in the grounds are an Orangery and Fernery and a Secret Garden