Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition Special Event will be featured through April 7, 2020. Costumes, sets and more are part of the new Downton Abbey exhibit at Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village and Amherst at Deer Park.
This unique exhibition features costumes and set re-creations and also offers never-before-seen multimedia elements which allow guests an opportunity to step inside the fascinating world of the television phenomenon and current film. The show displays more than 50 costumes worn by Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Dame Maggie Smith. Set replicas include Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen, the servants quarters, the family’s grand dining room (sure to inspire more elegant table manners in us all) and much more.
Showcased in two locations, the exhibit transports guests on a resplendent journey through the imposing Downton Abbey and provides a close-up glimpse of the glittering world of the Crowley’s; as well as the less than entitled lives of those who served below stairs. There are parallels between the social events at Downton Abbey and those hosted by the Vanderbilt family, which built Biltmore in 1895; and visitors to this magnificent American castle will be amazed at the opulent lifestyle enjoyed (both in fact and fiction) at the two spectacular houses.
A look back
A veritable English feast, Downton Abbey introduced fans to some remarkable characters (possibly the favorite is the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie Smith) whose acerbic remarks put many a sycophant in their place.
Love, death, tears and some naughty sexual encounters featured heavily into the 52-week series that spanned the years from 1912-1925 (though the actors seemed not to age during that supposedly 13 years.) Romance played a large role in this epic and perhaps the most enduring was the trouble-fraught love between Anna, Lady’s Maid, and John Bates, Valet.
Lord and Lady Grantham served as the hub of Downton Abbey. Daughter, Mary Crawley had several interesting paramours that included an encounter with a hot young Turk that ended with his death in an embarrassing boudoir scene. She then married Matthew Crawley, (an American distant cousin who, thanks to a male only inheritance clause, was set to inherit Downton Abbey.) Mary produced a male heir just before Matthew’s untimely death in a car crash. She later married a dashing race car driver (a macabre choice given her first husband’s death.) Matthew’s mother, Isobel, Crawley who brought both the modern world and a touch of commonsense to the staid Dowager Countess, was relatable to many modern women. Daughter Edith had her share of amorous misfortunes. Abandoned at the altar, and again by a married lover, Edith gave birth to a love child, named Marigold, before ending up with a Marquis named Bertie. Mr. Carson, the Butler; Mrs. Hughes the Scottish Housekeeper (and eventual wife of the rigid Carson); Thomas Barrow, Under Butler (whose conniving schemes had fans hissing); and Mrs. Patmore the rosy-cheeked Cook, all proved memorable characters.
So take heart, even though the last guest has been safely ushered into a vintage motorcar by the impressive and unflappable Carson; the last cup of tea poured; and the last arching of the Dowager Countess’ eyebrow has ended, you can still immerse yourself for a short time in the glamour of Downton Abbey – all in the magnificent setting that is Biltmore.
Downton Abbey, the Exhibition is included with daytime tickets and Candlelight Christmas Evening tickets. Biltmore annual pass holder must purchase a $20 exhibition ticket. Buy tickets on Biltmore’s website at least 7 days in advance and save $10. Be advised many weekend days and holidays will sell-out, so plan accordingly.
Downton Abbey Exhibition hours
November 1-January 5 Candlelight Christmas Evenings
Amherst: opens at 9 AM; last entry at 9 PM
Biltmore Legacy: opens at 9am; last entry at 9 PM
Days with no Candlelight Christmas evening (November 19, 28, December 24 and January 5)
Amherst: opens at 9 AM; last entry at 5 PM
Biltmore Legacy: opens at 9 AM; last entry at 7 PM
Amherst: opens at 9 AM; last entry at 2:30 PM
Biltmore Legacy: opens at 9 AM; last entry 5:30 PM
January 6-April 7, 2020
Amherst: opens at 9 AM; last entry at 5 PM
Biltmore Legacy: opens at 10 AM; last entry at 6 PM
Biltmore estate is located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, a short drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.