20ft Norwegian Christmas Tree that Takes Hours to Decorate is Hoisted Into Place at Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle

Striking: The annual 20ft Norwegian Spruce tree has been hoisted up at Highclere Castle

A towering 20ft Norwegian Spruce Christmas tree is the latest festive addition to Downton Abbey‘s regal Highclere Castle.

The striking tree takes two hours to hoist by an army of people in the grand Saloon at the Jacobean estate.

Countess of Carnarvon, who owns the castle, told the Express: ‘White lights are draped around the tree first, before baubles and little figures are hung off branches.’

Striking: The annual 20ft Norwegian Spruce tree has been hoisted up at Highclere Castle
It is thought to take two hours and an army of people to set it up, according to castle owner Countess of Carnarvon. She said lights should be added first so they give the home-owner a better idea of how to develop the design and figure where the ‘holes’ are

It is the same as the traditional tree in Trafalgar Square and cut down two days earlier then left to dry in one of the barns.

The gardeners help, alongside Simon, Tom and Terry from the farm, to perfectly prop it in the opulent room designed for the 4th Earl by Thomas Allom in 1860s.

But being fixed in a three-legged stand means it can prove tricky and pivots as it is hauled upright.

Sally usually stands at the back, directing operations while the Countess is sent up the tall ladders with hooked sticks to reach the high branches with more decorations, she revealed to Weekend Magazine.

A group of people battle to stand the tree which has been decorated with giant red and silver baubles in the Saloon
Team effort: The gardeners help to hoist the tree, alongside Simon, Tom and Terry from the farm

Lights should be put on first as they give the home-owner a better idea of how to develop the design and figure where the ‘holes’ are.

And there are a whopping 79 Christmas trees at Highclere, according to Lady Carnarvon.

Meanwhile Jane Briggs, a stylist at Alexander James Interiors, has advised people to use artificial trees as their quality has vastly improved.

The Mary Berry of tree decorating also suggests using feathers or natural twigs to fill up the tree. Spray them gold or silver, before ‘poking’ them into the Christmas tree.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Phoebe Eckersley