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Excellent documentary of the history of this famous country manor
on August 28, 2013
PBS has completed a series of famous manors and palaces located through Great Britain. The "Secrets of Highclere Castle" is another extremely interesting documentary of the history of this famous castle located 90 miles southwest of London. Highclere Castle for over 300 years has been the home of the Carnarvans. The most famous of the Carnarvan Dynasty was Lord Carnarvan of the 1920's who was the backer and financier of the famous archeological find in history, that of the Ancient Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Today, the claim to fame of this castle is that it is the castle of "Downton Abbey", the great series on PBS. The documentary tells the fascinating story of how it was built in the 1600's and for over 300 years it was the "playground" of the rich and famous of Great Britain. King George V stayed here a few times and was entertained and dined. The bill for that weekend alone came to over $500,000 dollars in today's exchange! When Highclere Castel was the social scene Lady and Lord Carnarvan had a wait staff of over 60 men and women.
Today, this beautiful castle is lovignly cared for by the present Lord and Lady Carnarvan who spend over $1 Million annually for its preservation and upkeep. Thankfully, do to the popularity of the series "Downton Abbey" it has become a major tourist destination and receives a generous amount of money from the tours of the castle, what PBS/BBC pays to rent this castle for the series "Downton Abbey", and a number of social events. In this documentary, you see the beautiful rooms, dining halls, bedrooms, and private family rooms. Interesting interviews with the gameskeeper who tells of the famous hunting enjoyed by King George V who hunted on the estate for pheasant, doves, and deer. The estate is still hunted on today, but nothing compared to a hundered years ago. The chefs of Highclere tell the story of the meals that were served during its heyday and what is being served today. Lord Carnarvan gives a tour of the estate which is very large, and he shows the grave of his great grandfather, the famous Lord Carnarvan who funded the King Tutankhamun dig. This is an outstanding DVD of an outstanding series that shows the beautfiul manors, palaces, and castles of Great Britain. It is a documentary that is worth watching over again and in years to come. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!