downton abbey Outstanding Home in a Drama Series: Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle plays home to Downton Abbey. Photo credit Flickr user Richard Munckton

The 2012 Emmy nominations were announced last week and of course there were the usual suspects to go along with the obvious snubs. At Coldwell Banker Real Estate, we noticed that the nominees in the outstanding drama series category all contained not just notable writing, directing and acting but some truly interesting homes as well. So we thought we’d dedicate a series of blog posts to looking at some of the incredible homes featured in each of the shows nominated for outstanding drama series. To start we head across the pond to possibly the largest single family home on television.

The Masterpiece Classic surprise hit, Downton Abbey, is one of the few shows on TV where a real life home has been taken over by a TV show. The home of the Grantham family is actually Highclere Castle which resides on 1,000 acres of English countryside near Newbury. Here’s a little known fact  for you: Charles Berry, who built the estate, was also the man who built the house of Parliament. Highclere Castle is an actual residence where Lord and Lady Carnarvon live and simply allow the cast and crew to take over portions of their home to film the show. The only exception is the servants’ quarters which was built on a studio set.

downton saloon 300x199 Outstanding Home in a Drama Series: Downton Abbey

Saloon Room at Downton Abbey

The furniture and decor seen on the show is really part of the house although the production crew does supplement some furniture and artwork from time to time to update the sets. The home also has a fairly famous neighbor in Andrew Lloyd Weber who allegedly tried to at one time purchase the castle to house his artwork collection.

One of the popular rooms on the show is the Music Room which actually has a mahogany desk that was once owned by Napolean. According to the LA Times Blog, the Saloon Room’s interesting decor is actually gold-embossed leather wallpaper. Note to self: don’t wash those walls with water.

Downton Abbey/Highclere Castle is one of the largest homes currently on TV and you can see how it would require a host of workers to keep it up and running. For me the biggest question is who has to mow that massive lawn?