The Real Downton Abbey Powers Into the Future as TV Show Ends
Highclere Castle, like other grand homes, is going green but faces unique obstacles. “It’s not like a five-bedroom house,” says current resident, Lady Fiona Carnarvon.
“Downton Abbey” saw technological changes during its six glorious seasons on TV—and none appealed to perhaps its most memorable character, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley.
"First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I were living in an H.G. Wells novel," says the inimitable Lady Violet, played by actress Maggie Smith. Bemused by how the telephone works, she asks: “Is this an instrument of communication or torture?”
Unlike the TV countess, grief-stricken fans bidding cheerio to the British blockbuster—its last episode aired Sunday in the United States—may console themselves knowing that the real-life Downton is planning for an eco-minded future.
Massive Highclere Castle, along with other historic homes in Europe and the U.S. that were once heated solely by