Downton Abbey comes to Lacock
Carnival Films' period drama Downton Abbey makes its big screen debut on the 13th September 2019. Sharing the limelight will be Lacock Village in Wiltshire, which was used as a location during filming.
A Downton Abbey location
Both the village and neighbouring Lacock Abbey are in our care, which has helped to preserve their character. As Graham Heard, General Manager explains, “Lacock’s quaint cottages and historic streets made it the perfect stand-in for the village of Downton in the new film.
"The crew didn’t have to make many changes in terms of set dressing - there was a lot of union jack bunting and flags draped out of residents’ windows, and the tarmac was dusted to make it look less modern.”
Stars such as Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Phyllis Logan and Jim Carter were all on set for the filming, but it wasn’t just the famous faces of the Crawley family and staff that descended on the village.
Royalty comes to Downton
Set in 1927, the film focuses on a visit by the King and Queen to the Downton estate. Lacock's streets set the scene for a spectacular royal parade through the village, which was one of Producer Gareth Neame’s highlights from the filming:
“The parade scene featured 350 extras including real-life Lacock villagers in period-accurate costumes and 80 soldiers on horseback, plus a royal carriage.
"There was such a sense of occasion and excitement in the village during filming. It would have been impossible to recreate that atmosphere in a studio.”
Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, said “Lacock plays its role beautifully as a part of the village of Downton which somehow we have never seen before.
"In truth, the scale and colour of the great parade we filmed there was something we could never have achieved on television and, as such, makes a crucial contribution in taking Downton to the big screen."
As well as sharing the beauty of Lacock on screen, the Downton Abbey filming has also provided tangible benefits to the village. The location fees were put towards refurbishing the village play area, which is much-loved by the local community and visitors alike.
" Lacock's quaint cottages and historic streets made it the perfect stand-in for Downton village."