The grand residence of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland has been taken over by ITV costume drama Downton Abbey.
Filming is expected to to continue at Alnwick Castle until August 8, meaning public visits are limited to certain areas. The following statement appeared on Alnwick’s website this week:
“Please note that various areas of Alnwick Castle will be closed or have limited access on July 28–August 8 (inclusive), due to the filming of a major ITV period drama.”
Also published on the website: “Please note that some of the State Rooms may be dressed for filming while open to the public on those days.”
“We apologise for any inconvenience.”
This grand 14th century keep was also used in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (with Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman), Becket (starring Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole) and Elizabeth (with Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush).
Alnwick also featured in the first two Harry Potter movies, doubling for Hogwarts and the background of the dramatic Quidditch games. Movie fans can actually take part in a broomstick training session in the very spot where Harry had his first lesson. Other activities on site include stateroom tours, artisan craft making and sword juggling shows and, no doubt, in the future, Downton Abbey tours.
Highcleare Castle, in Berkshire, is where the majority of the Downton Abbey series is filmed. The 5,000-acre estate and Jacobethan castle shot to fame due to ITV’s hit series, and has seen a huge uplift in visitors since the show began.The property needed £11.75 million of repairs prior to the series. Now the striking grounds have up to 1200 visitors per day.
Locals hope to catch a glimpse of Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter in Northumberland during the current shoot.