An album containing 44 photographs of the house, staff and estate of Highclere in 1895 is up for auction
An album of stunning black and white photographs showing the real-life Downton Abbey has been put up for auction.
The incredible set of pictures show how Highclere Castle in Hampshire, which was home to the ‘real life’ Lord and Lady Grantham, Earl of Carnarvon and Almina, looked more than 120 years ago.
The album, which has been valued at around £500, will go under the hammer next month.
It contains 44 photographs of the stunning property, taken in 1895, that later became the set for the ITV drama.
They show the Earl of Carnarvon and Almina – the ‘real life’ Lord and Lady Grantham played by Hugh Boneville and Elizabeth McGovern – with friends and relatives.
The sprawling property has 300 rooms and 80 bedrooms and had as many as 60 members of staff at the time.
Carnarvon and Almina lived similar lives to those depicted on screen having turned the property into a hospital for servicemen in the First World War.
The images also show a visit from the future King Edward VII.
Canarvon later helped discover the tomb of Tutankhamun with archaeologist Howard Carter in Egypt in 1922 and commissioned digs.
But four months after the historic find he died from pneumonia although some claimed he had caught the ‘mummy’s curse’ after uncovering the tomb.
The photo album is being sold by Lawrences auctioneers of Crewkerne, in Somerset on February 3.