Lady Violet’s Downton Abbey home for sale for $6M

It dates back to the seventh century, but today Byfleet Manor is better known as the home of the Dowager Duchess in hit TV series "Downton Abbey."

With the sixth and final season of Downton nearing, Byfleet Manor is set for a new role, having gone on sale as a family home for £3.95 million ($6.12 million).

The 19-acre estate dates back to the seventh century and was recorded in 1086 in the Domesday Book, a famed land survey conducted by King William the Conqueror that exists to this day.



Byfleet Manor, Lady Violet’s Dower House in 'Downton Abbey'
Savills
Byfleet Manor, Lady Violet’s Dower House in 'Downton Abbey'

In real life, the manor has royal as well as aristocratic heritage. It was owned by the Crown for 300 years and was granted to Katherine of Aragon by King Henry VIII on their divorce. Queen Elizabeth I also visited the house, in 1576.

The current incarnation Byfleet Manor was built in 1686. It features four reception rooms and eight bedrooms, as well as a heavy timber staircase, several fireplaces and Jacobean wall pillars.

"From the Domesday Book to Downton Abbey, prospective buyers are being offered the chance to be part of a significant piece of history," Simon Ashwell of Savills, the luxury realtor, said in a statement Monday.

Since Downton's first series in 2010, Byfleet Manor has housed the acid-tongued Dowager Duchess—also known as Lady Violet Crawley. The matriarch, played by award-winning Maggie Smith, is often seen receiving her children, grandchildren and great-children at home, or giving orders to servants.

A still from the British drama series, Downton Abbey.
Source: www.carnivalfilms.co.uk
A still from the British drama series, Downton Abbey.

Byfleet Manor has starred in other British period television dramas, notably Agatha Christie-inspired "Poirot" and "Crawford." The property also featured in the Oscar-nominated film "Into the Woods" as Cinderella's home.

Highclere Castle, which features as Downton Abbey in the series, is located in a different part of south England, in the county of Berkshire.

Byfleet Manor is located only 20 miles from central London in Byfleet, a town in the county of Surrey. It is also only 15 miles from London Heathrow Airport, potentially making it appealing to overseas buyers, as well as wealthy commuters looking for a family home.

"We're expecting interest in the sale of the Byfleet Manor estate to come from all quarters, including international interest too," said Paul Finnegan of Savills Country Department in the statement.

"In the past 12 months we've seen an increase in the flow of London-based buyers looking to move out to the country for larger homes with land and this would make the perfect forever home for a growing family."

The manor is located down a winding country lane, "discreetly positioned for privacy and security," according to the statement.

Buyers have the option of purchasing just the main house, or the entire estate.

A trip to the 'modern Downton Abbey'
A trip to the 'modern Downton Abbey'   
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