Highclere Castle is the setting for the blockbuster TV series Downton Abbey, but the English Stately Home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon has had its own fair share of real-life drama as during World War Two, its grounds were the scene of several plane crashes, including one from which a single airman would miraculously survive.
Buy your online pass to hear Lady Carnarvon tell stories of the air accidents and the men who lost their lives in the grounds of the estate. Lady Carnarvon said “During research into the second World War, I discovered that eight planes had come down over the estate. The pilots, navigators and airmen who died were all somebody’s son, part of someone’s family and a life not lived, with most of them young Americans in their early twenties.”
Fragments from many of the aircraft have been found across the estate, including those from the B-17 Flying Fortress named Fort Worth Jailhouse which was on a short non-operational flight to the airbase at nearby Greenham Common. In bad weather and poor visibility, the aircraft circled around Highclere Castle before flying off south, a course that proved fatal as the bomber clipped some trees on a large hill and crashed down in the grounds of the stately home.
Find out more about Lady Carnarvon’s new book, “‘The Earl and the Pharaoh,’ which explores the life of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who famously discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun together with Howard Carter. His sudden death became front-page news throughout the world and the book charts the twists of luck and the tragedies that shaped his life.
Buy an online pass to watch. Simply select a session - this is a requirement of our online ticketing system, but it doesn't matter which session you select because you can watch the lecture at any time of your choosing. You will be sent a link to the page where you'll be able to view the lecture.
Please note, all content of lectures are based on the research and views of the guest speakers.
The Museum is an independent charity and all proceeds from this event go towards supporting the work we do in preserving the history of British Army aviation.