Iconic locations

Filming Downton Abbey took place in many locations across the country. Tere are plenty of location tours on foot and by bus that can take you to the actual place, so you can relive your favourite Downton moments. Highclere Castle is the residence used for

the house. Owned by the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, it was also used in 1991 for filming King Ralph starring John Goodman. Te house interiors, exteriors and extensive grounds were used for many iconic scenes, including where Matthew’s car crashes, and Mr Bates throws his artifi- cial leg into the lake. Te house was in need of repair and close to £12 million in renovations had to happen before the crew could set up for the first series. Te train station used for Downton

Abbey is the famous Bluebell Railway in Horsted Keynes Station based in Sussex. Te same station has been used in many films, so keep your eyes peeled for it. Byfleet Manor in Surrey was used for the

Dowager’s house. You can visit and they offer a lovely afternoon tea. Te village of Bampton in Oxfordshire

was the setting for all of the village scenes. Te church, the hospital, the village green and ‘pubs’ (homes with a pub sign placed outside) are easily recognised when you stroll through this picturesque town. Te local residents are accustomed to the popu- larity of the show, and busloads of tourists stop in daily for a chance to see where the filming took place. Some residents were even extras in many scenes and have their own stories to tell, and they sell souvenirs in the local library.

Cogges Farm Manor also in Oxfordshire

was used for farm scenes as well as Yew Tree Farm, where the Drew Family lived and took care of little Marigold. Te birth certificate for Edith’s lovechild has been properly framed and is in the house. London has numerous locations where

filming took place. Te Liverpool Hotel where Lady Mary had her dirty little week- end with Tony is actually the National Liberal Club near Whitehall. Daisy, Mr Molesley and Baxter are seen walking through St James’ Park. Lady Mary told Tony it’s over in front of the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. Middle Temple and Inner Temple were used for numerous scenes due to the unique period buildings and cobblestones that are easy to use with little alteration or hiding of the modern world. Shepperton Studios were used to create

the upstairs and downstairs servants quar- ters, Lady Mary’s bedroom and other loca- tions. So much time was spent in Lady Mary’s bedroom that it was more economi- cal to create it at the studios.

Popular Culture

In China, due to the popularity of the show, a demand for butlers saw the open- ing of the first school dedicated to learning the specialised skill. British butlers in par- ticular became the must-have in China, Russia and the Middle East, and their salaries doubled to earning £150,000. Hunting plaid, midi-length dresses, cloche hats and period-inspired jewellery became fashionable on the runways and high streets. Even US Congressman Alan Schock was enveloped in a scandal after he

Amber Raney-Kincade is the American Tour Guide in London, offering walking tours and private hire to those looking to explore on foot. Find out more at or follow her on Twitter @AmericanLDN

18 FOCUS The Magazine September/October 2019

spent funds to redecorate his office in the style of Downton Abbey, including buying a $5,000 chandelier!

The Film

When the series finished, fans wanted more and there was talk that Fellowes would work on something called “Te Gilded Age” which would look at the Victorian era. Tat project was shelved for a while (but appears to now be back in the works) and a buzz about a film started to make the rounds. In September 2018, filming in the village and at Highclere Castle commenced and it is to be set some time in the future beyond when the show ended. Dame Maggie was quoted saying she didn’t want to be in it because “I’m sure she [the Dowager] would be dead by then”. Te premise is simple: the King is com-

ing to Downton. It will be lovely to see all of the characters back together again, and Carson is coming out of retirement to make sure that the event goes perfectly.

Byfleet Manor, Surrey Mark Percy

Horsted Keynes Station on the Bluebell Railway, Sussex

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