Created by Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” is a historic drama series comprised of immense storylines and intricate story arcs. Set in the titular fictional country estate, the series revolves around the lives of the Crawley family or aristocrats while commenting on the class differences that prevail in post-Edwardian England. The highly acclaimed period drama parallels many real historical events as it gives audiences a guided tour of the gradual disappearance of decadent British aristocratic life.
Starring Maggie Smith (of “ Harry Potter ” franchise fame) and Michelle Dockery alongside a plethora of renowned actors, the series unveils a drama of epic grandeur as it meticulously recreates the atmosphere of the time. If you are wondering about the filming locations of the series, let us give you a detailed tour.
Downton Abbey Filming Locations
“Downton Abbey” was filmed in its entirety in and around the UK, particularly in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and London. Filming for the first season began in March 2010 and production for the sixth season ended in 2015. As the story of the series takes place in Yorkshire, the crew filmed in multiple locations historic sites across the UK to bring the drama to life. . Now let us take you to the specific locations where the movie was shot!
Much of the story revolves around the aristocratic Crawley family who live in the fictional Downton Abbey. Highclere Castle, a country house from 1679 in the eponymous park 5 miles south of the Newbury region near Berkshire, served as the titular abbey in the film. The exterior and most of the interior shots were filmed there.
Additionally, a few scenes from the 2013 Christmas special were filmed at Basildon Park, a country house located between the villages of Upper and Lower Basildon in Streatley, County Berkshire.
The crew filmed some of the interior scenes of the Crawley Estate in a controlled studio environment. The servant quarters, a few bedrooms and the estate’s kitchen were completely constructed at Ealing Studios, a television and film production facility located in Ealing Green, London. The shooting took place in the second stage of the studio. Considered the oldest studio in the world, the production site has hosted a plethora of productions over the years, from its post-WWII comedies to biographical films like “The Theory of Everything.”
Footage at the Crawley family home in London was filmed at the World Heritage Site of Bridgewater House, located at 14 Cleveland Row in London’s St. James district. Built in 1854, the iconic house sports the Italian architecture of the Palazzo. Some scenes were also filmed in the London Charterhouse, another World Heritage Site located in Smithfield, in the London Borough of Islington, just north of Charterhouse Square. The exterior of Lady Rosamund’s house turned out to be a stucco townhouse in Belgravia in the London Borough of Westminster.
In the first episode of the fourth season, Lady Edith Crawley unites with Michael Gregson at King’s Cross Station. True to the era of the series, the crew filmed the scene at St. Pancras Station, a major rail terminus located on Euston Road in London’s Camden Borough.
Later, the lovers share a kiss in a restaurant, which was shot at the Criterion restaurant. Once located at 224 Piccadilly in the St. James area of London, the venue was closed for good. Another location that features in the series is the Savile Club, located at 69 Brook Street in Mayfair in London’s Westminster Borough. The team filmed a major season four streak in the club’s ballroom, which was dubbed the Lotus Club in the series. Lancaster House, a mansion in London’s St. James district, served as Buckingham Palace in the 2013 Christmas special.
The scenes taking place in Edith’s house were filmed in the Chepstow Villas. In addition, the crew filmed in many tourist spots in the city, such as the historic Prince Albert Memorial, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Lincoln’s Inn Fields and St. James’s Park.
The realistic war scenes of World War I were not filmed in France but in England. To make filming easier, a replica of the World War I battlefield was painstakingly constructed by peasant historian Jeremy Hall on a farm in Ipswich near the village of Akenham in the county of Suffolk.
The interior scenes of Isobel Crawley’s home were filmed at the Hall Barn of Hall Place, an 18th-century mansion located at Seer Green in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. In the second season, Sir Richard Carlisle attempts to buy the Haxby Park. Although the name does not exist, the team chose to film the outdoor scenes of the park adjacent to Waddesdon Manor, a country house in the eponymous village of Aylesbury Vale in Buckinghamshire.
The mansion, which has housed the famous Rothschild family for many generations, is now owned by the National Trust, although the Rothschild Foundation takes care of the estate. However, the interior scenes of Haxby Park were filmed at Halton House, another property linked to the Rothschild family. The Grade II listed heritage building is located in the Chiltern Hills just above the village of Halton near Wendover, Buckinghamshire.
In the series, Aunt Rosamund lives in a posh residence at 35 Belgrave Square, London. While exterior shots were taken on location, interior shots were shot at West Wycombe Park, a country house near the village of West Wycombe, in High Wycombe, County Buckinghamshire.
The fictional village of Downton in Yorkshire, we have to say, does not exist. The outdoor village scenes were primarily shot in the small community of Bampton, located southwest of Witney in Oxfordshire. The crew filmed a few scenes at Saint Mary’s C of E Church, which served as St. Michael’s and All Angels Church in Downton. Located at 5 Deanery Court and Broad Street in Bampton in the province of Canterbury, the church displays a classic Anglo-Saxon architectural style.
Additionally, some scenes were also filmed outside the local Bampton Library, located at Church View in Bampton. The location served as the exterior of the fictional Cottage Hospital from the second season. Exterior shots of Liberal Isobel Gray’s home were filmed outside Churchgate House in Bampton. The archaic building, which once served as the town’s presbytery, has now been converted into a museum showcasing the history of the town.
Isobel’s suitor, Lord Merton, lives in a fictional aristocratic estate called Cavenham Park. The scenes, however, were filmed at Kingston Bagpuize House, a wedding venue near Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Scenes from the Red Lion pub were filmed at Old Forge Cottage, a Grade II listed building located at Hollow Way in Shilton, Oxfordshire. Additionally, Timothy Drewe’s Yew Tree Farm is actually located in Oxfordshire. The crew filmed the scenes at Cogges Manor Farm, a living museum and major tourist spot, located at Church Lane in Witney, Oxfordshire.
Another Oxfordshire tourist attraction has appeared in the series. The crew filmed at Grays Court, a Tudor estate located in the area south of the Chiltern Hills in Rotherfield Grays, near Henley-on-Thames, in the same county. The location served as a second home for the Crawley family, where they plan to relocate in season three due to monetary constraints.
Violet Crawley’s Dower House is actually located in Surrey. The crew filmed these scenes at the Grade II listed heritage site of Byfleet Manor in Byfleet, Surrey. The film crew also visited Royal Holloway, University of London, a public university near Egham Hill, in Egham, Surrey.
West Sussex, England
Horsted Keynes Station, a preserved station on the historic Bluebell Railway tracks in Sussex, doubled as the series town center station. The heritage station has been used in various film and television productions such as’ A Room with a View ‘and’ Mr. Holmes.
The crew also filmed crucial scenes on West Wittering Beach, located in the Chichester district of the same county. Additionally, some scenes from the sixth season were filmed at the Goodwood Circuit, located in the titular village of Chichester, West Sussex. The historic motorsport circuit served as the venue for a racing scene.
Other UK locations
Some scenes were shot in South East Kent County. Scenes from the fourth season were shot at the historic Chatham Shipyard in Kent, while other scenes were shot at the Kent & East Sussex Railway. Alnwick Castle, located in Alnwick, Northumberland, served as the fictional Brancaster Castle. The shooting was carried out in the ceremonial rooms and in the park of the castle. In addition, the team filmed scenes at the historic Hulne Priory site, located in Duke’s Park in Denwick, near the castle.
Stockers Farm, a popular filming site in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, replaced Mr Mason’s farm. Additionally, the crew filmed a few scenes at the historic site of Lincoln Castle, a castle built by William the Conqueror. Located in Castle Hill in County Lincoln, the castle served as the home of the Bates Prison in Season 3.
The crew occasionally traveled to the north of Scotland to film some footage. The fictional Duneagle Castle shown in the Christmas 2012 Special Episode is actually Inveraray Castle, a country house in Argyll, Scotland near Loch Fyne.
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