Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Real Downton Abbey

The Real Downton Abbey is actually called Highclere Castle, located in Hampshire County, England and designed by Charles Barry.  Built in 1830, it is the ancestral seat of the Carnarvon family.  Town & Country describes it as "Renaissance-style Jacobethan".  I don't think I've ever heard of that as an architectural style.  But I love  the combination of vertical sections, and horizontal detailing. I also love the really large windows.  It's remarkable that the windows are so large for a stone building.  I'm wondering if maybe there is some steel framing behind the stone.

Lord and Lady Carnarvon, have allowed Downton Abbey to be filmed there, because of financial reasons.  Just like the Granthams in Downton Abbey, the Carnarvons are faced with enormous bills to maintain the home. They need a staff of about 60 to 80 to maintain the house and properties.  It must be like running a large company.  The castle is also in need of major repairs, estimated to cost 12 million pounds. Apparently more than 50 of the 200 rooms are uninhabitable due to water leaks and mold.  Hopefully they will make enough money from the series to be able to do the necessary repairs.  Highclere Castle is open to the public on a limited schedule.

the music room ceiling, Jackdaws castle, built in 1743, which is a folly on the property, and the saloon which is the heart of the house.

the entrance hall

various rooms and shots of the actors in Downton Abbey

various rooms and shots of the actors in Downton Abbey

the library
photos by James Merrell for Town & Country

No comments:

Post a Comment