Highclere Castle is the primary film location
for ITV's popular Downton Abbey television series

Highclere Castle is open to the public select days each year


Although I won't have a chance to visit Highclere Castle, 
I recently had tea at Byfleet Manor 
(aka Lady Violet Crawley's house in the series)

Not too far from London,
this private home opens to the public for tea parties, special events, and pre-arranged tours

The original portion of the house was built in 1670
in the location of a previous palace belonging to Henry VIII

Two wings were added later
and each lived in by different residents today

The Hutton family resides in the middle portion,
which is used for filming

Most filmed room for 'Dower House' of Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith)

A great story unfolded thirteen years ago...

With a newborn in her arms,
Julie Hutton watched in horror as her dog ran off and bit a man 
who turned out to be a judge

As you would expect, 
a policeman came knocking at her door to take the dog away

The policeman took pity on the emotional new mom and did not take the dog,
and impulsively the Huttons bought Byfleet Manor with its fenced yard
(which she saw in a flier) 
in an effort to save their pet

It worked - the dog was saved

Years later, a stranger knocked on their Byfleet Manor front door 
and asked if the house could be used for filming a television show
(Downton Abbey)

They said yes
and interestingly all 'Dower House' scenes for the season are filmed in just one day
(plus one day to clear out the room and another day to put it back together)

Here's a peek at the Hutton's beautiful garden within the 24 acre property

and one of their pet pigs

I find this animal lover's story to be a great reminder -

When life sends you a lemon,
it could be for lemonade

- images my own, excluding first one -

(an unsponsored post)