Maggie Smith's Downton Abbey home hits the market for £3.95 million

Downton ABBEY fans can get a glimpse inside one of the TV drama's grandest homes, as Lady Violet Crawley's mansion comes up for sale.

The grand 17th-century house that has played a starring role in the ITV hit has been put on the market as the sixth series is set to draw the award-winning show to a close.

The Dower House of Lady Violet - who is portrayed in the series by Dame Maggie Smith - has been a familiar backdrop for the Downton action for five years, selected for its grand proportions and fine period architecture.

"We wanted to deliberately pull Violet back into that world,” says Donal Woods, Downton Abbey's production designer.

The manor's starring role followed on from initial appearances in other well-known period dramas, Poirot and Cranford.



Built in 1686, Byfleet Manor in Surrey is set in sprawling grounds of almost 20 acres. The extensive 6,000sq ft of living space is spread over four floors which showcase the home's impeccable period features, with the "Downton Room" on the ground floor being one of the most recognisable from the series.

“For all its fame, Byfleet Manor is actually in an idyllic location at the end of a winding country lane on the fringe of the nearby village, discreetly positioned for privacy and security," says Simon Ashwell, Savills' residential director in Weybridge.

The manor is being sold by a local businesswoman, Julie Hutton, who bought it some 10 years ago for about £1 million.

Now, big-budget buyers with almost £4 million to spend on living like Downton's dowager will be given the option of snapping up four additional lots in the grounds - three more residential properties and a development plot. 

Paul Finnegan, of Savills' country department, says: “This is certainly an iconic home and its appeal will be far reaching. Just over 20 miles from the centre of London and 15 miles from Heathrow airport, we’re expecting interest in the sale of the Byfleet Manor estate to come from all quarters, including international interest."


 


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