Highclere Castle’s spectacular tribute to aviation history

The silent star of Downton Abbey, Highclere castle is commemorating 100 years since the end of World War I with a display of Tiger Moths and Red Arrows, among other aircrafts and celebrations.

The skies over Highclere Castle, Berkshire, will be criss-crossed with vapour trails on September 8 – 9, when planes old and new take off for Heroes at Highclere.

To celebrate 100 years since the end of the First World War, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon are paying tribute to the castle’s place in aviation history with displays of Tiger Moths, the Red Arrows and the only airworthy B-17 in Europe, Sally B, plus the Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c (above), built in 1912.

On the ground, a First World War field hospital will be erected next to a modern version used by Médicins Sans Frontières and the operating theatre that stood in the Arundel bedroom during the conflict will be re-created. For a lighter touch, guests can dance the Charleston, feast on cream teas and vintage cocktails and attend talks, including one by Julian Fellowes on the Sunday.

There are rumours that Hugh Bonneville, also attending, will judge a best-dressed Lord Grantham competition. Geoffrey de Havilland, whose company designed and made many iconic planes, made his first flight from the estate in 1910 and many airmen crashed in the surrounding countryside, where the remains of Mosquitoes, a Lysander and a Whitley have been found.

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A short service will be held on Sunday. ‘This weekend is to raise money for those who serve and those who save,’ says Lady Carnarvon. ‘The lives of veterans or doctors, nurses or journalists were and are compromised in ways we can barely understand. Join us to support them.’

An online auction is being run alongside the charity weekend to raise money for a wealth of charities from the UK and ‘The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors’ (TAPS) from the United States. For more information about the auction or to place a bid, click here.

For more information about the weekend and and to buy tickets visit www.highclerecastle.co.uk.