Because “Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece,” I am writing this article as the film examiner. You see Carnival Films has a significant role play in producing this successful series because the cinematography is sensational.
“Carnival Films is one of the UK’s leading television producers, responsible for the global TV phenomenon Downton Abbey, winner of a Golden Globe for Best Mini Series and nine Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Mini-series. With a total of 27 nominations, Downton Abbey is the most nominated non-US show in the history of the Emmys. Among numerous national and international awards, the show also garnered a Guinness World Record for the highest critical review ratings for a TV show.”
Truthfully, I want to share the experience of pretending to drive around the countryside in England looking for Highclere Castle, the location for Downton Abbey. If you have not driven the countryside in the UK and are only familiar with Top Gear, you may benefit from the experience of driving with the Google guy and me to locate Highclere.
Driving with the Google guy is during daylight hours. Having driven the countryside at night in the soggy winter, I know what it is like to travel roads that barely accommodate one car, but must share with others coming in the opposite direction. Pitch dark in the countryside where trees line the road, and foxes and deer are at the ready, one may come upon a sign that says “Ford.”
“Ford,” what if I don’t want to? Can I turn around? Is there another way?
“Quayside or Riverbank,” and “Risk of Grounding,” are other ominous signs, but you can’t say they didn’t warn you.
In Downton Abbey people drive old large cars along those roads that are better made for horse drawn carriages and thus the sign, “Accompanied horses or ponies.”
The Google guy and I encountered a tractor pulling hay. One would have to give as there was no berm. So, the tractor backed up a long way so that the Google guy could pass. You can experience these things as a “bonus round” on Google Earth.
You may see some “modern” architecture in rural England, but aside from roadside service stations, it is mostly very old and often historic.
There is a term introduced to me by relatives living there called “lower living.” It refers to homes that were built a long time ago in which the ceilings are low. If you watch Doc Martin, you may observe him ducking to avoiding striking his head in the doorways as that is lower living.
Lower living may also include having thatched roofs. In the slideshow, “The road to Highclere,” I try to provide a glimpse of what you may encounter.