‘Downton Abbey’ in Real Life: A Visual Tour of Grand English Great Houses

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As award-winning creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, ominously writes to preface the current third season of our favorite show on television: “The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear, that it seems as if the way of life it represents will last for another thousand years. It won’t.”

From grand bedrooms and lustworthy libraries suspended in time to a gorgeous great house complete with a walled garden and roaming peacocks, click through to imagine life in the time of the Matthews and the Marys in sumptuous turn-of-the-century England. Before things changed forever.

Kedleston Hall — Derbyshire, England

Image credit: Everything Derbyshire; VIEW; NTPL via Treasure Hunt

Hardwick Hall — Derbyshire, England

Image credit: Victoria Phipps

Holkham Hall — North Norfolk, England

Image credit: Life Takes Lemons; Hans A. Rosbach

Stourhead — Wiltshire, England

Image credit: Josep Renalias; Brodyaga; NTPL via Treasure Hunt

Flintham Hall — Nottinghamshire, England

Image credit: Antique European Houses & Interiors; Clay Perry

Felbrigg Hall — Norfolk, England

Image credit: astoft; John Hammond via Treasure Hunt; Tour Norfolk; Nick Manassei

Calke Abbey — Derbyshire, England

Image credit: Amanda Whewell; NTPL via Treasure Hunt; Nancy Blackett

Chatsworth House — Derbyshire, England

Image credit: Paul Collins; Chatsworth

Badminton House — South Gloucestershire, England

Image credit: The Badminton Estate; beautiful-libraries

Uppark House — West Sussex, England

Image credit: Mangus Manske; Geoffrey Frosh via Treasure Hunt