Basildon Park - the perfect location for Downton

This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

We caught up with Producer Liz Trubridge to find out what made Basildon Park the perfect location for the Crawleys’ London residence…

Why did you choose Basildon Park?

We came here more than five years ago, when we were choosing locations for the first series of Downton. Unfortunately it wasn’t right for our needs then (it was too small) but I always kept it in the back of my mind, and knew that we’d use it one day.

What’s Basildon Park being used for?

The interior is being used as the Crawleys’ London town house. The characters have always talked about it, but this will be the first time we show it on screen – so it’s very exciting. We filmed the exterior in London and needed somewhere to match the scale. Julian Fellowes describes it in the script as ‘a sort of old palace’. Basildon Park works perfectly in terms of style and size. Also, the three main rooms we’re using are all connected, so it makes filming much smoother.

What are the advantages of being here?

Filming for long periods in London can be logistically difficult –here we have the place to ourselves. Confidentiality is really important too and it’s reassuring to know that people can’t just come in and discover our storylines. Also, we may want to come back for future episodes and you can never guarantee that houses in London will still look the same, but we know a Trust property will.

Any challenges?

The main challenges have been the sheer number of cast and crew. In the show the characters go to London for the season (6 weeks) and it’s a social whirl, so we have a lot of background artists (extras) in and many more costume and make up people.