Tuesday, February 19, 2013

3 Fun Facts About the Downton Abbey House

I've finally joined the club - the Downton Abbey fan club that is. I was given Season 1 and 2 for Christmas and my husband and I have been watching them - trying to spread out the episodes so we don't run through them too quickly (we're still on Season 1 so don't give anything away. Okay?)

I was immediately drawn to the beautiful setting and had to find out more.  I did a little Googling and found out three fun facts about the house they used in Downton Abbey. 

1) Downton Abbey was actually filmed at a beautiful English country home called Highclere Castle located in Berkshire. Often TV shows and films will use the exteriors from real homes, but it is unusual to film the whole show in a real house rather than a set (although to be accurate the lower level servant's rooms were filmed on a set). I loved knowing that these were the actual rooms that they used.  

2) Highclere Castle is the home of the Carnarvons - the same Carnarvon family that uncovered the tomb of King Tut in 1922. The present Earl's great-grandfather funded the expedition that led archaeologist Howard Carter to discover the King Tut's tomb.  

At the entrance to King Tut's tomb in 1922 (from left to right): Lady Evelyn Carnarvon; her father, the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon; archaeologist Howard Carter; Carter's assistant.

An exhibit has been set up to commemorate the 90th anniversary of that discovery.  Now many of the artifacts from King Tut's tomb are on display in the basement of Highclere Castle.  You can read an interesting recount in this blog post about visiting the display.

3) Lady Almina, the fifth Countess of Carnarvon (and the wealthy illegitimate American daughter of Alfred de Rothschild) turned Highclere Castle into a hospital for wounded WW1 soldiers in 1914, much like happened in Downton Abbey.  The present Countess of Carnarvon has written a book about Lady Almina.

Have you caught the Downton Abbey bug?  I'm busy working on another Downton Abbey post so stay tuned.

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  1. Oh I am sooooo hooked. I think I watched all of season 1 in a week and I am now about one month later on season 3... I love it.

  2. I love the show! These were interesting facts. I hate that I have to wait so long for the next one:(

  3. Love this post! I'm linking to it from my own blog!

  4. I love this show! Just finished watching Season 3. It will be hard to wait till next Jan for Season 4. :) Kit

  5. I still haven't joined the club, but I do want to start watching. Have you read the book yet?

  6. Love this show so much - what a fantastic post! I need to get my hands on that book.

  7. This is definitely on my list of places to go this year!