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Downton Abbey Returns

18th September 2014

Categories: News

The ever popular Downton Abbey is back.  Although filmed in Berkshire, the story of the Grantham/Crawley family and their country estate is set in North Yorkshire.  But where exactly is it?
We have done some Downton Detective work to try and find out.
Oscar-winning screen writer, Julian Fellowes, went to school in nearby Ampleforth and knows this area well.  Throughout the series there are several references to Ripon, Thirsk and Easingwold and the Grantham’s estate is clearly within this little triangle.  
The staff talk about going to shop in Ripon and Anna and Bates were married at the Ripon Registry Office.  In the early episodes Matthew Crawley goes to work for a solicitors in Ripon.  Later Branson has his daughter christened at Ripon Catholic Church.   If you visit this ancient little cathedral city today with its winding cobbled streets and higgledy piggledy houses it is not hard to imagine it in Downton days.
A Stately Pile
But, of the many stately piles around Ripon, which one inspired Downton?  Could it be the stunning Newby Hall, once the seat of the real Lord Grantham?  
Could it be Beningborough Hall where you can see what life was like Below Stairs?  
Or Goldsborough Hall which was once the home of Princess Mary?  
Swinton Park with its 200 acres of parkland?
Rudding Park with 300 acres?  Allerton Castle is grand.  Castle Howard is grander still.  Harewood, like Highclere, boasts the work of Sir Charles Barry and Capability Brown.  Perhaps the truth lies somewhere between them all; a little piece of all our local great country houses can be seen in Downton Abbey.  
When you visit Harrogate and District you'll want to stay a while allow time to visit several of the stately homes in the area and soak up the Downton atosphere for yourself. 

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