Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the london diaries. downton abbey's village.

Since being in England, I have learned that the village scenes that we know and love from Downton Abbey are filmed in a real English village named Bampton.  When my CM friend Jennifer Keller (with whom I stayed over the weekend) asked if I would like to visit this "Downton" village, I jumped on it.

The Keller home is in the village of Nether Wallop which just happens to be in the same county as Highclere Castle, known to us as Downton Abbey.  I was surprised to realize that the "Downton" village is about 45 miles from "Downton Abbey" or Highclere Castle.  Of course, in our minds, they are just down the road from one another.

Another surprising thing for me is what a tiny section of Bampton they actually use for filming the village scenes in our beloved show.  There is one little street of houses that are on a slight curve. It opens onto the green and there sits the building that is used as the entrance to the hospital. Right next to it is Mrs. Crowley's house. And next to that, the large church. In fact  it is such a small area, with such a compact feel to it, that I could not move back far enough to get the whole scene in one photograph.

Here is the view from the street looking onto the green:

Mrs. Crowley's house - and me next to it:

And the church and church yard:

When we arrived, a brother and sister were playing next to the green and batting tennis balls against a wall opposite our "Downton scenery" with tennis rackets.  I kept wondering if they felt like they were playing on 'hallowed ground' the way that I felt walking around this place.  In all honesty it was hard at first to recognize our Downton scenery because there were so many modern cars lining every street and all around the green.  It was actually kind of frustrating because I wanted everything cleared out for me to savor the place as I knew it. ha. But when I stepped back and squinted my eyes, I could see Anne running down the street toward the Crowleys... and I could see the Dowager and Mrs. Crowley sitting in the car and bantering about traveling together.

Here is a photo looking down the street toward the green & the church. And other under it from the bookstore showing the same street with all the cars and 21st century things cleared away!

This is the diagram that they sold in the little bookstore inside the "hospital" building which was a great guide to help your eyes recognize our favorite scenes!
To be honest, I cannot wait to get home to watch some Downton Abbey episodes and realize that I WAS INTEND THERE on the very scene!

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