Sir Charles Barry’s Victorian mansion, built in ‘high Elizabethan style’, is the setting for, and real star of, ITV’s smash hit period drama, Downton Abbey.
Since 1679 houses on this site have been the home not of the fictional Crawleys, but of the Carnarvon family, one of whose members, the archeologist Howard Carter, found the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The discovery is celebrated in a permanent Egyptian exhibition. Capability Brown created perfect vistas not only for finely-tuned Georgian sensibilities but also for filming. which explains why the house has also featured in Jeeves and Wooster, Kubrik’s Eyes Wide Shut and The Secret Garden. It’s also handily placed for the M4…
By Peter Swain, 23 March 2011