Downton Abbey was the critically acclaimed TV show which ran from 2010-15; the show focuses on class divides in British society between 1912 and 1926.The series became the most beloved period drama in the history of British television. Characters such as Charles Carson, Cora Crawley and Violet Crawley (Countess of Grantham) became household names across the globe. The historical drama was broadcast in 250 territories and became a big hit in Russia, South Korea, and the Middle East.
In 2019, Fans were rewarded with a ‘Downton Abbey‘ motion picture. Many expected that film would be the final instalment in the long-running story about the Crawley family. However, Downton insiders have announced another big-screen outing for the cast. Good news for fans and the new movie should be in theatres for Christmas 2021.
If you're looking for more Shows Like Downton Abbey, our list of historical/costume dramas will keep you entertained until the new movie hits the big screens in late 2021.
Our List Of Movies & Series Like Downton Abbey
We hope our list of ‘Shows Like Downton Abbey' gives you a fix of historical drama. Remember, you can check out reviews of all Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ series and movies here.
How Many Seasons Of Downton Abbey?
In total, Downton Abbey has six seasons. Those who loved Downton Abbey will also know that the family drama spawned a hit movie in 2019. The feature film, which takes place in 1927, tells the story of a royal family visit to the Crawley family's English country house in Yorkshire, includes an assassination attempt on the King.
The series has 52 episodes dealing with all aspects of upper-class daily life in the time period covered. All the drama is rooted in historical context, without being over-reliant on real-world events.
Where Was Downton Abbey filmed?
A common question asked when a new period drama hits the screen is, where was it filmed? American audiences will often be curious about the British Countryside and the lavish houses featured in the shows like Downton Abbey.
Firstly, let me just say, these amazing houses do exist, they're not film sets. However, most British people live in relatively modest three-bedroom homes. In fact, many of the owners of these huge country estates can't afford to live in the properties due to the associated costs of running them. Nearly all the incredible houses you'll see on TV are owned and maintained by organisations like ‘English Heritage' and ‘The National Trust'.
A rare exception to that rule is the house used in Downton Abbey. The real name of the house is ‘Highclere Castle' it is situated in Hampshire, Southern England. The house is older than the American revolutionary war, the main building being completed in 1679. Although, the estate grounds date back to Anglo Saxon times.
The house is steeped in history, in the 1860s, the 4th Earl wrote the British North America Act of 1867 alongside Canada's first Prime Minister, John A Macdonald. Effective founding the modern nation of Canada.
A hospital for wounded soldiers was established at Highclere Castle in 1914, with Lady Carnarvon helping with the organization and assisting as a nurse. During World War II the castle provided a home for dozens of evacuee children.
The most notable feature of the castle is the incredible collection of Egyptian antiquities on display. You might be wondering how a castle in southern England become the home of such treasures? Well, it was the 5th Earl Of Carnarvon who funded Howard Carter's search for the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The Castle has between 250 and 300 rooms, the main staterooms are utilized in the filming of “Downton Abbey.” The castle grounds are also impressive, the 1st Earl of Carnarvon commissioned “Capability” Brown to design the 1000-acre landscape surrounding Highclere Castle, which is set amid 1,000 acres of breathtaking parkland.
The present 8th Earl, George Reginald Oliver Molyneux Herbert — the godson of our Queen Elizabeth II.
The good news for fans of the Netflix series Downton Abbey is you can visit the house! The main building and grounds are open to the public. Visit the website: www.highclerecastle.co.uk to learn more about booking a trip to the real ‘Downton Abbey'.
What Year Is Downton Abbey Set In?
The story focuses on the Crawley family and their domestic staff in the post-Edwardian era, the time period of the show begins in 1912 and ends in 1927.
The series begins the day after the RMS Titanic's sinking on April 14/15, 1912. The first episode begins with Downton Abbey learning that both James and Patrick have perished during the ocean liner's sinking.
The second series has eight episodes and covers the first world war and the Battle of the Somme in 1916 to the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. Like most period dramas, Downton weaves fact with fiction. The time period gives the shows writers plenty of scope for entertaining storylines.
Who Wrote Downton Abbey?
The drama was created by renowned writer Julian Fellowes, who is best known for writing successful television and film screenplays based on classic novels or set in historic eras.
The scriptwriter has created a number of series and feature films including Vanity Fair (2002), The Young Victoria (2009), and Belgravia on ITV.
Upstairs, Downstairs – Britain's First Class Based Drama
Period Drama ‘Upstairs, Downstairs' ran from 1971 t0 1975, like ‘Downton Abbey' the series focused on Britain's class-driven society at the turn of the century. The show is divided into the characters who lived ‘Upstairs' and those who served them ‘Downstairs'.
The series follows Lady Marjorie Bellamy (née Talbot-Carey), the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Southwold, and her spouse Richard Bellamy MP, the son of a country parson. Despite opposition from her parents, she married Richard and the well to do couple set up house at 165 Eaton Place.
The butler, Hudson, is a Scottish character who runs the household for the upper middle class family and instructs and leads the other staff in their duties (and on occasion their proper place). Real-world events from British history are woven into the fictional stories of the family. Events from women's suffrage and the First World War to the Roaring Twenties and the Wall Street Crash are all explored in the family drama. The British series was an ITV ratings success and got excellent reviews from around the world, winning numerous accolades and spawned a host of historical dramas which revolve around social divides like Call The Midwife and Parade's End.
Forsyte Saga – Classic Period Drama From The BBC
The BBC produced a popular 26-part serial in 1967 that adapted The Forsyte Saga and a subsequent trilogy about several characters in the Forsytes family. 18 million people tuned in for the final episode in 1969. It was shown in the United States on public television and became the first British television programme to be sold to the Soviet Union.
The Forstyes family are well aware of their place as “new money” in the British class system, having climbed the social ladder over three generations.
Soames and Jolyon Forsyte are the two main protagonists. Soames is a lawyer who is all proper and lawful. Young Jolyon, on the other hand, is an artist who leaves his wife to live with their nanny. Their lives will cross in 30 years as they try to find happiness for themselves while also inflicting suffering on others. This is considered a must watch classic series from the BBC.