Helen Carless of Lawrences (on the left) and Lady Carnarvon pictured with the album.

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The 44 large mounted photos showing the house, staff and grounds of the real-life seat of the Earls of Carnarvon, were due to be offered in a February auction valued at £500 but the private sale means they will now return to Highclere.

The photographs, taken by J Righton of Newbury, date from 1895 and include portraits of George Herbert, the newly married 5th Earl with his Countess, Almina, as well as shooting parties attended by the likes of Prince Edward (later Edward VII).

Other views show the grounds and the interior, revealing how Highclere was furnished and decorated in the 1890s. Lady Carnarvon says: “I am thrilled that the photo album is coming home and it’s a very happy resolution orchestrated by Lawrences on behalf of the vendors.

“We do already have some of the photographs but it will be very interesting to cross-reference the names of the guests and staff in a more complete fashion.”