inOctober 9, 2012 - 8:21am
Downton Abbey fever has hit the UK again and will soon follow in the US. Americans and English alike have fallen in love with what is a fabulous show. Who couldn't smile at Dame Maggie's Smith's constant quips as Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham? For example:
Lady Grantham: "You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal." Mrs. Crawley: "I take that as a compliment." Lady Grantham: "I must've said it wrong."
Hilarious! With Downton in mind, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to purchase a water colour painting of Hollam House. A country estate in the same county as Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed. While Hollam House is not quite on the scale of Downton Abbey, it still nestles rather proudly in the Hampshire Countryside. The estate can be found on the south coast of England, in Stubbington, Titchfield, which is near the city of Portsmouth.
In their heyday, Highclere and Hollam served similar roles; providing the local rural community with work. Country houses required large indoor and outdoor staff. It was usual for such estates to have farms and the local villagers would both work on the land, as well as in the house and grounds. However, the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the gradual demise of the traditional English country house lifestyle. Increased taxation and the results of World War I led to the demolition of hundreds of houses; those that remained had to adapt to survive. Using your home as a film set is just one way to earn a little extra cash!
Many estates were sold off, which is what happened to Hollam House; it is now divided into private apartments. Even though Hollam is no longer functioning as it was intended, it is a happy place for the families which reside there and how lovely to have a reminder of the house in its prime, just like the painting I have for sale by Mabel St John Mildmay, a rather accomplished Edwardian artist who studied at the Antwerp Academy. She exhibited between the years of 1901 until 1932, at the same time as the Grantham family resided at Downton Abbey. Perhaps they would have employed her talents to capture the essence of Downton, if they had known her! I think I'll keep the painting hung on the wall for awhile and imagine myself as Lady Violet. I may not be the Dowager Countess of Grantham but I am Lady of my own more modest Manor!
Written by Emily Taylor
Biminicricket on Ruby Lane