IT IS set in a fictional Yorkshire country estate and has enthralled millions of viewers with its tales about the lives of an aristocratic family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era.
Downton Abbey has built up a huge following around the world, and has been screened in more than 200 countries. But it has always kept people guessing over its exact location.
Debate has raged about where in Yorkshire the series is set, and writer Julian Fellowes, a former student at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, has said places such as Ripon, Thirsk and Easingwold all featured in his childhood and teenage years. Yorkshire references are common in the show, and although its exact home remains a mystery, there is no doubting its roots. And now, the show is - in part - coming home.
Fans are being given an opportunity to see some of the costumes featured in the hit series at Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens in Cawthorne, near Barnsley. The exhibition, Downton comes to Cannon Hall, which will run from tomorrow to September 6, celebrates the style and fashion of the award-winning programme.
Visitors can see an original exhibition of designs, featuring 21 iconic pieces, worn by characters such as Robert and Cora Crawley, Lord and Lady Grantham and Mrs Patmore. The costumes have been lent to the Museum by Cosprop, the world’s leading costumier to film, television, and theatre.
Coun Roy Miller, Barnsley Council Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “This looks set to be a wonderful exhibition. The magnificent setting of Cannon Hall will really bring the costumes featured in the hit series to life.
“Visitors will not only enjoy looking at the clothes on display but also the many activities taking place throughout the summer.”
Visitors can also explore the lives of another, early 20th century family, who lived in Cawthorne – the Spencer Stanhopes of Cannon Hall. Their lives were equally as glamorous and romantic as those seen on screen in the show.
Visitors will be able to discover what life was like above and below stairs and explore the house in fine costume from a special dressing up box.
And there will be other events and activities taking place throughout the exhibition, all with an Edwardian feel.
These include an illustrated lecture by Professor Marilyn Palmer, of the University of Leicester, on July 26, looking at ways in which elements of comfort and convenience were introduced into Victorian and Edwardian country houses.
Other events include Cannon Hall’s largest ever picnic in the park on August 2.
And on August 13, Annie Gray, an historian, cook, broadcaster and writer, will talk about what dishes would have been served at the Downton table, both upstairs and downstairs.
For more information about the events, visit the hall’s website at www.cannon-hall.com or call 01226 790270.