ABOUT DOWNTON ABBEY
On the eve of the Downton Abbey Christmas special, this gloriously detailed floorplan is based on Highclere Castle (the real-life model for Downton) and the fictional house as it appears on TV.
For the first time it allows fans to visualise exactly where the household’s many love affairs, feuds and dramas are played out...
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This is the 3D floorplan of Downton Abbey as it will appear in tomorrow's Christmas special episode - complete with a tree and Matthew's gramophone
Overlooked by balustrades on the first floor, this has Ming vases, Chinese lacquer cabinets, a huge fireplace, and enough floor space to hold a ball.
A room this size reflected the splendour of the family’s lifestyle: at Highclere before World War I, this required a domestic staff that included 25 maids, 14 footmen and three chefs.
Sometimes serves as the Earl of Grantham’s private den.
In these two rooms at Highclere, there are 5,600 books dating back to Tudor times.
Lady Mary's room
With its red flock wallpaper, full-length oval mirror and four-poster bed, this room is a fine setting for melodrama.
And it has seen plenty of it, especially the sudden death of Lady Mary’s Turkish lover, the diplomat Kemal Pamuk.
But in real life the bedroom would also be the scene of the most mundane tasks: a maid would tiptoe in at dawn to light the fire and, if necessary, remove the chamber pot.
This was menial work, but there was no shame in it. In 1912, the year in which Downton’s first series was set, 1.3 million people worked in domestic service, compared to 1.2 million on the land and 970,000 in the mines.
This scene shot shows butler Carson with Lady Cora in Downton Abbey's drawing room, which the family retire into after meals to sip brandy
Where the Earl of Grantham and his family open their presents on Christmas Day, and where they help themselves to a luncheon buffet laid out under the glass-fronted book cabinets.
The tradition at Downton is that the staff have their Christmas dinner at lunchtime in the servants’ hall, and the family are served with theirs in the dining room in the evening.
Scene of confidential fireside chats, it is the room to which all the family retire after meals to sip brandy or continue conversations from the dining table.
Servants could not go to bed until the family retired, often around midnight.
The room was usually left in disarray — a maid’s first job at 5am, before she could have breakfast, was to clear the glasses, tidy the cushions and rake out the fire.
Cora's sitting room
Grandly furnished with polished walnut tables and lacquered cabinets displaying porcelain.
Maids took care to clean only when family rooms were vacant and any breakages were deducted from wages.
In an age before vacuum cleaners, one popular method for lifting dust from carpets was to sprinkle tea leaves over the floor and sweep them up.
The Dowager Countess’s favourite sitting room.
It has high windows that let in cascades of light — one of the distinctive features of the real stately home, Highclere Castle, which doubles as Downton Abbey.
Where the butler met guests, though never guests of the servants — that was forbidden.
By 1920, cars were a common sight on the drive.
The open-top is a Crossley RFC, as owned by King George V and the Prince of Wales. They cost £495 (£50,000 in today’s money).
The only room in the main house where the smell of food was welcomed.
Elsewhere, the family would have been scandalised to catch a whiff of cooking odours.
That is why kitchens were located in the basement of great houses.
The dining room would have been the only room in the main house where the smell of food was welcomed - that is why the kitchen is located in the basement
Lady Sybil's bedroom
Scene of perhaps the most heartwrenching episode when Lord Grantham’s youngest daughter dies following the birth of her baby.
In the early part of the 20th century about 5 per cent of births resulted in the mother’s death.
That was equally true for the aristocracy and the working-class, and the death rate did not start to fall until antibiotics arrived in the Fifties.
Lady Edith's bedroom
Where the middle Crawley daughter prepares for her wedding to Sir Anthony Strallan, only to be jilted.
Finding a husband was tough after the carnage of World War I: two million women would stay spinsters.
These were always busy.
It was not unusual for stately homes such as Downton to have 30 guests at a time.
This particular room was where the body of the diplomat Kemal Pamuk was taken after he had died in Lady Mary’s arms in her bedroom.
Lady Cora's bathroom
Adjoining the marital bedroom.
In the centre of this sunny room, there is a freestanding white bath — with no plumbing or taps.
Buckets of hot water would be brought from the kitchens.
A countess such as Cora would not bathe alone: her lady’s maid would be in attendance.
This photograph shows Lady Cora in her bathroom, adjoining the marital bedroom, with a free-standing bath - which has no plumbing or taps
The servants' corridor
The bedroom of Thomas the thieving footman, at the end of the servants’ corridor, is typical of a servant’s sleeping quarters.
With its single window and iron bed, it is almost as bare as a prison cell and would have been ice-cold in winter.
There is an armchair, a bedside table with a lamp, a washstand and a faded woollen rug on the worn floorboards.
The Granthams' room
While the family is at dinner, the maids will lay out the nightclothes.
A copper pan would be filled with hot coals and, with its lid shut, slid between the sheets to make sure they are warm and dry.
Lord Grantham's dressing room
Sometimes doubles as his bedroom, for instance when his wife was ill.
The Earl’s valet Mr Bates helps him dress here and would even cut his hair.
A valet had to do everything.
Mrs Hughes's room
Has the human touches that the austere pantry lacks.
Here, the Downton housekeeper can relax in the plush velvet chair, surrounded by photos of her family and nick-nacks.
It is from a high-backed leather chair behind a desk that the butler dispenses wisdom and justice among his staff.
In real life, a butler was the only servant allowed to answer the front door.
He would earn £60 a year (£6,000 today).
Where all the family’s shoes and boots had to be shined every day, often 30 pairs or more.
Once this was done, a footman might pause for a quick cigarette, but female servants were forbidden to smoke.
The boot room was the scene of a violent attack on lady’s maid Anna Bates.
The bootroom (right) where the family's shoes and boots would be shined, was the scene of a violent attack on Anna Bates
With its plain table and wooden chairs this is where all the domestic staff meet to eat and talk, under the watchful eye of the butler.
It is the nerve centre of the house.
The plain white crockery is stacked on dressers.
The only piece of ornate furniture is the wall of bells, each one connected by wires to a different room upstairs.
The footmen’s cubby hole, with its own set of bells.
Footmen and housemaids worked 18 hours a day.
In 1912, footmen would earn about £25 a year (£2,500 a year today), plus bed and board.
Mrs Patmore’s domain, though the recent arrival of an electric mixer makes the cook fear that households such as Downton will soon no longer need to employ the likes of her.
It has a great iron range — like a stack of Aga ovens — with copper kettles bubbling away and twin stone sinks.
The bedroom of Thomas the thieving footman, at the end of the servants' corridor, is typical of a servant's sleeping quarters