Downton Abbey shot at Highclere Castle near Newbury

PUBLISHED: 11:32 23 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:52 20 February 2013

Downton Abbey shot at Highclere Castle near Newbury

Downton Abbey shot at Highclere Castle near Newbury

A major new drama series, starting on Sunday September 26, was shot at Highclere castle near Newbury

One of the most important characters in the seven part series is HighclereCastle itself.

Writer Julian Fellowes knew the house well. With its 1000 acres of grounds, landscaped by Capability Brown, the Castle provided the perfect backdrop for Downton Abbey.

Julians passion for great houses is well documented and for him the choice of Highclere Castle as the setting for Downton Abbey was an easy one. However, with a cast of 35 actors, supporting artists and acrew of over 100 it was important from a logistical point of view that the house was accessible.

I love Highclere and wanted Gosford to be at Highclere. But Bob Altman very much wanted people to be able to sleep in their beds and so we had to move nearer to London to Wrotham, (another wonderful house). To me, Highclere is a unique architectural statement and tells us much more about the confidence of the late Victorians and the confidence of high Empire, observes Julian.

Highclere Castle is home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and their family and is undoubtedly one of England's most beautiful Castles set amidst spectacular Parkland. It is open to the public on certain days during the summer.

The first episode of Downton Abbey begins on Sunday, ITV.

Don't miss our 'behind the scnes' look at filming at Highclere in our November issue.

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