Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville and its executive producer let us in on the secrets of shooting the show at Highclere Castle and its global success.
The curtain may have come down on the TV show Downton Abbey, but the real Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle – resplendently continues its march through history.
It’s small wonder that the sumptuous Highclere Castle in Berkshire was selected as the main location for this period drama – the most expensive British TV drama ever made, costing about a million pounds an hour to film – despite the fact that the stories unravel in and around a fictitious Yorkshire estate and village. Exterior shots of the house and most of the interior upstairs activity was filmed there.
Here executive producer, Gareth Neame, and actor, Hugh Bonneville, discuss filming at the great house and explore the massive global appeal of Downtown Abbey’s quintessential Britishness.
Highclere Castle is a country house in the Jacobethan style, with a park designed by Capability Brown in 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire. It has passed through multiple incarnations since the Domesday book and been home to the Caernarvon family since 1679, and is the hub and heartbeat of the show’s action.
Highclere Castle is open for 60 to 70 days each year: two weeks over Easter; each of the May Bank holidays; two months (Sunday to Thursday) over the summer months; and, a few days in early December.
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