Highclere Castle

A few fun facts about Downton Abbey

Downton AbbeyWith the final episode of Downton Abbey airing this weekend *sniff* we thought we’d share some little known facts about the show and its cast.

  1. The roles of Lord Crawley, Dowager Countess Violet and John Bates were written with its actresses and actors in mind, the rest of the roles went through the normal audition process.
  2. Downton Abbey has become an Emmy record holder with a massive 59 nominations and 12 wins.
  3. By the third season Downton Abbey was the most watched drama series, it was being broadcast in over 200 countries and it is believed more than 120 million people have seen the series.
  4. Downton Abbey is the second time Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern have played husband and wife on screen.
  5. Each episode of Downton Abbey costs an estimated £1 million to film and produce with the extensive sets and costumes.
  6. All food on set used during filming is real, because of the long hours shooting the food is carefully made to avoid dairy products which may smell by the end of the day.
  7. The driveway into Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) is a mile long.
  8. Highclere Castle is still maintained by staff – 70 to be precise. This includes household staff, tour guides, gardeners, carpenters, electricians and more.
  9. Many of the castle’s real life furnishings appear on screen throughout the series. Lord Grantham’s study is the real library which is home to 5,650.
  10. There is an Egyptian Exhibition inside the Castle, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon a previous owner of Downton Abbey was a keen explorer and helped discover the tomb of Tutankhamun with Howard Carter in 1922.
  11. You can get married at Highclere Castle, but it will set you back by a lot of money. Coincidently Peter Andre and Katie Price got married here in 2005, way before Downton Abbey became a household name!
  12. Highclere Castle was a home for evacuated children during World War II, who were sent to the Country away from busy towns and cities.
  13. Neighbour Andrew Lloyd Webber once tried to purchase Highclere to house his art collection.
  14. Downton actress Jessica Brown-Findlay trained as a Ballet dancer but was forced to give up after acquiring an ankle injury.
  15. Highclere Castle sits on an estate of 6,000 acres, the Castle covers 30,000 square feet with a total of 300 bedrooms.
  16. Highclere Castle became a convalescence hospital for injured soldiers during World War I, this became a storyline in Downton Abbey too.
  17. The Earl of Carnavan and his family continue to live at Highclere Castle during the winter and then open the house in the summer to the public.
  18. There was an error in one of the most recent episodes of Downton when a water bottle was in shot on the Mantelpiece. Eagle eyed fans had a field day talking about the error on social media channels.
  19. Lord Grantham’s dogs Isis and Pharaoh were named after one of the former home-owners in real life George Herbert.
  20. It took around 26 weeks to shoot a series of Downton Abbey with a single episode taking up to 5 weeks.

We still have a few coach tours available to visit Downton Abbey aka Highclere Castle in 2016. Click here to check our website for more information

Written by Katie Shea in Attractions, Film & TV Locations

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With the final episode of Downton Abbey airing this weekend *sniff* we thought we’d share some little known facts about the show and its cast. The roles of Lord Crawley, Dowager Countess Violet and John Bates were written with its actresses and actors in mind, the rest of the roles went through the normal audition process. Downton Abbey has become an Emmy record holder with a massive 59 nominations and 12 wins. By the third season Downton Abbey was the most watched drama series, it was being broadcast in over 200 countries and it is believed more than 120 million […]

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