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‘Downton Abbey’ in Real Life: A Visual Tour of Grand English Great Houses

As award-winning creator of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, ominously writes to preface the current third season of our favorite show on television: “The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear, that it seems as if the way of life it represents will last for another thousand years. It won’t.”

From grand bedrooms and lustworthy libraries suspended in time to a gorgeous great house complete with a walled garden and roaming peacocks, click through to imagine life in the time of the Matthews and the Marys in sumptuous turn-of-the-century England. Before things changed forever.

Kedleston Hall — Derbyshire, England

Image credit: Everything Derbyshire; VIEW; NTPL via Treasure Hunt