Downton Abbey: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Downton Abbey has become one of the most-watched and most highly-regarded shows since it debuted. However, despite all the time it’s spent in the spotlight, there are still some things that many people don’t know. Here, we present our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Downton Abbey. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: Its Structure Was Inspired by Some Unlikely Shows. Downton Abbey founder Julian Fellowes has said that he used shows like E.R. and Chicago Hope to inspire the story structure for Downton Abbey. He said that he focused on the structures of American shows when he developed it.

Number Fourteen: Hugh Bonneville Has Compared it to Breaking BadIn an interview, Hugh Bonneville, who plays Robert Crawley, was asked to sum the series up, and he described it as “Breaking Bad with tea instead of meth.”

Number Thirteen: Gillian Anderson Could Have Been Cora Crawley. X-Files star Gillian Anderson said that she was offered the role of Cora Crawley, but clearly it didn’t pan out. She revealed that she was offered the role while promoting her work with Great Expectations.

Number Twelve: Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville Were Already Married. Sort of. McGovern and Bonneville were married onscreen when they acted in the BBC series Freezing together. The series aired in 2008.

Number Eleven: Cora Crawley Was Not Written for Americans. Though some people speculate that the character of Cora Crawley was written for Americans because she herself is American, Julian Fellowes has said that she was actually created to represent a primary character who didn’t take everything that comes along with being a member of the upper-middle class for granted.

Number Ten: The Series Should Be Called Highclere Castle. Most of Downton Abbey is filmed at Highclere Castle, which is an estate located in Hampshire, England. The castle is open to the public, and you can even rent it for weddings!

Number Nine: The Servant’s Quarters Aren’t in a Castle. In fact, the servant’s quarters used in the show are located at London’s Ealing Studios. Because the quarters are filmed separately from the rest of the series, close attention must be paid to continuity. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Downton Abbey, coming soon!