Film­ing at the cas­tle

Berkshire Life - - Christmas Markets -

In many house­holds through­out the county, Christ­mas is syn­ony­mous with Down­ton Abbey – in­deed, fans were left speech­less by the death of Matthew Craw­ley in the Christ­mas Spe­cial in 2012, then fast-for­ward a few years to 2015, and the grand fi­nale of the show was watched by al­most 11 mil­lion peo­ple in the UK on Christ­mas Day.

This Christ­mas, we can rest easy that we won’t have long to wait for an­other dose of the ac­tion. Over the past weeks, film­ing has been un­der­way for the Down­ton movie, and High­clere Cas­tle in Berk­shire is once more the lo­ca­tion of the on-screen fam­ily home.

The film’s pro­ducer, Gareth Neame, has said: “When the tele­vi­sion se­ries drew to a close it was our dream to bring the mil­lions of global fans a movie.”

Thank­fully, the stel­lar cast from the tele­vi­sion se­ries has been re­united to star in the movie, due to be re­leased in the UK on 13 Septem­ber 2019, from the up­stairs char­ac­ters such as Dame Mag­gie Smith, Hugh Bon­neville, El­iz­a­beth McGovern and Michelle Dock­ery, as well as Jim Carter and Phyl­lis Lo­gan from be­low stairs, plus there are new cast mem­bers Imelda Staunton and Geral­dine James.

But it is the set­ting and home of the Craw­leys that plays as big a role as any. The Count­ess of Carnar­von, the real-life count­ess of the cas­tle, has said: “We are de­lighted to wel­come Down­ton back to High­clere again. Julian and the won­der­ful cast and crew of Down­ton were so much a part of our lives and it is spe­cial to de­velop the next role with them.”

If you’d like to see High­clere

Cas­tle in all its fin­ery this Christ­mas, the Carnar­vons are open­ing their home again for Songs for Peace, a fundrais­ing event on 9 De­cem­ber for Doc­tors with­out Borders.

Grab a hot drink and a crois­sant in the tea­room be­fore gath­er­ing in the court­yard for carols at 11am, then en­joy a cas­tle and ex­hi­bi­tion tour, and don’t miss the stun­ning fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions; a Christ­mas spe­cial in it­self. high­clere­cas­tle.co.uk,

01635 253210

MAKE A WEEK­END OF IT

Stay at the re­fur­bished Carnar­von Arms – a mod­ern day coun­try inn next door to the cas­tle. Their fes­tive menu in­cludes turkey with all the trim­mings; pressed pork belly with sprouts, chest­nuts and cider gravy; or try the de­li­cious roasted win­ter veg­etable and feta strudel. the­carnar­von­armshotel.com, 01635 278 222

Lady Mary and son

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