The abbey scenes (exterior and limited inside) are filmed at Highclere Castle. (Seen above the hill behind me)
If you go on season, you can tour the castle and learn more about it's history, and the filming that is done there. We were off season, and we knew that, so we ignored the CLOSED signs just wanting to get a little closer for a picture.
Ummm...oops! CLOSED meant closed for filming...not closed for the season. (Let me hurry and snap a photo anyway) I am no expert- and this is taken from quite a distance, but could that possibly be Tom Branson walking to the set? He is probably so sad about Sybil...perhaps a quick hug.......
We were asked to leave (very kindly, might I add, as my sister talked her sweet American sweet talk with the security) and did so quickly. But it was enough for this fan to be pretttyyyy happpyyy.......
|The Gorgeous Highclere Castle|
|Side street in Bampton, near the Library|
|Library entrance, filmed as hospital|
The highlight of the city, however, is the lovely St. Mary's church, where more filming is also done, and visitors are free to enter and photograph. The grounds are amazing here, too.
And the character of Isobel Crawley, Matthew's mother, lives in the church gate home- blocked by stone walls but seen from the church grounds on the hills.
|Front yard and patio of the Crawley house|
For a fan, it was perfect. The sun shone at the right times and the green trees and grass framed everything we saw. I do wish the town had some place to eat, pickings were slim for cafe or dining options, and we were ready to eat after walking around all morning.
If you haven't watched Downton Abbey yet, you can stream it on PBS.org and catch season one on Netflix. Such a delicious escape in television...I wish the US would produce something worth getting excited about.
And this is the book for the fan of the show, or the book lover, or as in my case, BOTH. The thick pages are full of stunning photographs, behind the scenes peeking, and historical facts and trivia. It is a gorgeous book.
Until next time, mind your manners and please dress appropriately.