Highclere is a village and civil parish situated in the North Wessex Downs (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) in the Basingstoke and Deane district of Hampshire, England. It lies in the northern part of the county, near the Berkshire border. It is most famous for being the location of Highclere Castle, a noted Victorian house of the Earl of Carnarvon. It is the setting for numerous films and TV series, including Downton Abbey.
The parish church of St Michael and All Angels sits between Highclere Castle and the main part of the village. This 'new' church (1870s) replaced a much older church sited adjacent to Highclere Castle, and parish records go back to pre-Norman times.
The church has great historic interest as well as being a place of worship. It also provides a great facility for music concerts, meetings and other uses for the benefit of local people and beyond.
The Fete is a hugely important activity and raises money purely for our church to help ensure its sustainability for the benefit of current and future people in our community. It is hoped that it gives a great opportunity for getting everyone together of all ages and backgrounds to have a great time.
The parish has five settlements - Highclere, the Highclere Estate, Highclere Street, Penwood and Wash Water (a total population of around 1,600).
Highclere Parish Council first met on Friday 14 December 1894. It is still going strong today.
The village is almost entirely within the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Its outstanding feature is Highclere Castle and the surrounding estate, the home of Lord and Lady Carnarvon.
Highclere's quiet lanes attract walkers (and their dogs), horse riders and cyclists (although some parts are hilly!).
There is a thriving community spirit, with the village hall hosting several groups as well as varied entertainment.