The Fireplaces of Downton Abbey a.k.a. Highclere Castle

Grater talking about the fireplaces at Downton Abbey a.k.a. Highclere Castle

Grater talking about the fireplaces at Downton Abbey a.k.a. Highclere Castle

With the unbelievable popularity of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theatre I, Grater, your fireplace historian, thought it was about time to share with you the information and pictures I have gathered on the fireplaces at Downton Abbey.  This series is filmed at Highclere Castle located about 80 miles southwest of London.  Using this castle provides outstanding interior scenes of fantastic rooms and, this being a castle, there are about 38 major fireplaces in this structure.   Here I will talk about 4 or 5 of the main rooms we see featured in the series and focus on the fireplaces in these spaces.  To help you orient yourself to the various rooms under discussion I have included a floor plan of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) here.

Downton Abbey floor plan

Floor Plan of Highclere Castle a.k.a Downton Abbey

The first room we will feature is the Downton Abbey Saloon, the “Heart of Highclere Castle”.   This is the elongated room off the entrance and next to the magnificant staircase.  It is a beautiful setting for many of the Downton Abbey scenes.  This room has a majestic, Gothic inspired fireplace.   This room was remodeled in the 1860s.  The Gothic style is from the 11th – 15th centuries.  It features a stone mantel with columns on each side of a gothic arch creating the fireplace opening.  The Gothic style can also contain molding details on the mantel with supporting brackets.   In this photo you can see large andirons and fireplace screen.

Fireplace in Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) Saloon

Fireplace in Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) Saloon

Another beautiful room that Downton Abbey viewers see alot of is the Dining Room.  I think we can all agree that experiencing the eating habits of the upper crust at the beginning of the 20th century has been part of the fun of watching this Masterpiece Theatre series.  Who knew married women ate breakfast in bed and everyone else went down to the dining room and served themselves from the buffet table?  This fireplace features a turned leg mantel.  Since Highclere Clastle was remodeled between 1838 and 1878 this wooden turned leg mantel is an 1800s feature of fireplaces of that time.

Dining Room Fireplace at Downton Abbey a.k.a. Highclere Castle

Dining Room Fireplace at Downton Abbey a.k.a. Highclere Castle

Other spacious rooms you may or may not have seen in the series are the Drawing Room (done by Almira, 5th Countess of Carnarvon around 1895) and the Smoking Room in Victorian style.

Downton Abbey Drawing Room Fireplace

Downton Abbey Drawing Room Fireplace

Downton Abbey Smoking Room Fireplace

Downtom Abbey Smoking Room Fireplace

As you view these fireplaces you will notice that to adequately heat these large rooms some of these fireplaces are very large themselves and require oversized fireplace tools and screens.   And as we have seen in the Downton Abbey series keeping the fireplaces cleaned and fueled with wood was a big job for downstairs servants.

Hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of some of the main fireplaces in Highclere Castle a.k.a. Downton Abbey.  This is Grater signing off until next time.

Tip: If you happen to have an oversized fireplace similar to Downton Abbey’s be sure to use tall fireplace tools and fireplace screens that will fit the space.

This is a website containing over 900 products including fireplace tools, fireplace screens, fireplace accessories, outdoor fireplaces, patio heaters, outdoor fire pits, mosquito control and more that help you create a more comfortable environment for yourself, family and friends.


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