A Visit to Downton Abbey, Photos & Quotes
As the 6th season of the beloved PBS series
Downton Abbey comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to share some highlights
and quotes from this fantastically popular show, its greatly entertaining
characters as well as our own visit to the beautiful location of Downton Abbey –
namely, Highclere Castle.
Lord and Lady Grantham, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Mrs. Isobel Crawley and some of the main staff, characters from the television series "Downton Abbey"
Our Visit to Highclere Castle
We visited the castle after the 3rd season of the Downton Abbey show when they opened the estate to visitors for just a few days. This trip was a side trip from our main destination of Limoges, France where we regularly travel to for importing French Limoges boxes. The day we arrived in London in early June, was very cold with pouring rain! Luckily, when it was time to visit Highclere, the rain stopped. Being so excited to see the location of this popular show, we were pleasantly surprised at how vast the estate was – 5,000 acres! Once you pass through the gates, you have to travel through acres of land before you catch a glimpse of the main building – the now iconic Highclere Castle.
The vast grounds of Highclere Castle include large pastures, farmland, hills and valleys with great scenic views.
As the estate was only made open to the public for about 3 days, the place was absolutely packed with visitors – mostly from the United States! We were not allowed to take any photographs inside but, I can assure you, it looks exactly as they show it in the television production – absolutely beautiful. The one fantastic area was the basement and the great surprise offered there. Just as a way of a background (before we get to the surprise part), the 5 th Earl of Canarvon who spent a great deal of time in Egypt for health reasons, was the benefactor to the archeologist Howard Carter, who worked with the Earl for 16 years. It was this duo who discovered the world-famous Tutankhamun’s tomb. So, as a tribute, Lord Canarvan recreated a replica of the famous tomb with all of its contents in the basement of the Highclere Castle as well as a small Egyptian museum. His personal museum includes many Egyptian original artifacts as well as some replicas. Very impressive!
Howard Carter examining the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922
Sadly, when we visited, none of the cast of the show were there to greet us! Haha – they were long gone about their business.
Downton Abbey has introduced us to many characters whom we have come to admire and know intimately. Although, after watching this show, we can all be so happy to know that we do not have a sister like Mary!!!!
For six seasons, the residents of the Downton Abbey, both the Crawleys upstairs as well as the staff downstairs have entertained us with their activities and many trials. Every character has captivated our attention with anticipation and hope for a good outcome.
Carson, the long-life butler of Downton Abbey and Mrs. Hughes, the housekeeper finally tied the knot in season six.
Ana and Bates, after going through many trials and false accusations,
seem to finally be able to have a peaceful life. Bates after spending
time in prison for a murder he did not commit and was finally acquitted,
Ana being accused of murder of the man who raped her and having
child-bearing issues, can now seem to be settling and with child.
Lady Mary Crawley who finally married her cousin Matthew after many ups and downs in the relationship, became a widow immediately after giving birth to their first son. After being pursued by several handsome and eligible suitors, she finally gets to marry a different person in season 6!
Downton Abbey showed us many of the latest inventions of the time. We got to share the joy of having electricity in the house, installing a telephone and even a gramophone!
The in-laws and relatives visiting (and staying at) Downton provided more drama and entertainment, especially Mrs. Martha Levinson, Cora's mother (played by Shirley Maclaine) visiting from America.
From the Dowager Countess' witty jabs to Anna Bates' tender vows,
Downton Abbey's characters have
brought us many entertaining moments. Of
all the conversations, the character of Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess
provides a wealth of zingers and one-lines that certainly bring a laugh. Here is a small portion of her quotes that I
have accumulated below:
Favorite Quotes of Dowager Countess Lady Violet Crawley
The constant battle of wits between Dowager Countess Lady Violet and her cousin by marriage, Mrs. Isobel Crawley, continuously entertain us in every episode of Downton Abbey. Here are some of their best lines and favorite quotes:
Violet: "You are quite wonderful the
way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming
Isobel: "I take that as a compliment."
Violet: "I must've said it wrong."
Isobel: "How you hate to be wrong."
Violet: "I wouldn't know. I'm not familiar with the sensation."
Violet (trying to use the newly-installed telephone): "Is this an instrument of communication or
Violet [to Cora]: "I'm so looking
forward to seeing your mother again. When I'm with her, I'm reminded of
the virtues of the English."
Matthew Crawley: "But isn't she American?"
Cora: "I think Granny's right"
Violet: "Can somebody write that down?"
Violet: "An unlucky friend is tiresome enough; an unlucky acquaintance is
Isobel: "You're all heart."
Violet: "One forgets about parenthood. The on-and-on-ness of it."
Isobel: "Were you a very involved mother with Robert and Rosamund?"
Violet: "Does it surprise you?"
Isobel: "A bit. I'd imagined them surrounded by nannies and governesses, being starched and ironed to spend an hour with you after tea."
Violet: "Yes, but it was an hour 'every day' ."
Isobel: "I see, yes. How tiring!"