Back in June we got to see a batch of photos that were snapped on the season 5 set of the British drama Downtown Abbey which were taken on location in Highclere Castle, which doubles as Downton Abbey in the show. Today we learn that the cast of Downton have reportedly made their way to Alnwick Castle — which doubles as Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter movies. It is believed that the scenes being shot at the real life Hogwart’s may be for the season 5 Xmas special since the vast majority of the regular season eps have already been filmed. Click below to learn more about this Downton Abbey/Harry Potter crossover filming.
Be still, our anglophilic hearts. According to the British TV publication the Radio Times, the Downton Abbey lot will leave Hampshire’s Highclere Castle—the Jacobethan country manor that doubles as the Crawley’s fictional estate—for Alnwick Castle. For those of you who aren’t Harry Potter trivia buffs, Alnwick Castle, the stately seat of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, is better known as friggin’ Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the film adaptions of J.K. Rowling’s books. The Radio Times notes that Downton Abbey is filming at Alnwick through August 8—a report that seems to be substantiated on Alnwick’s official Web site, which alerts potential visitors that “various areas of Alnwick Castle will be closed or have limited access on 28th July – 8th August (inclusive), due to the filming of a major ITV period drama.” The Duke of Northumberland also seems to confirm the speculation in a statement issued to his local newspaper: “As we know from experience, filming somewhere like Alnwick Castle can be very disruptive, but when we received ITV’s enquiry, my wife and I felt that we could not miss the opportunity for the castle and town to be associated with such a hugely popular drama series, and we consider it a great honour to be asked to participate.” Meanwhile, the blabbermouths over at Sovereign Taxis seem to have outed the whole covert operation on July 29, with the blunt tweet: “Start of another busy day with the Downton abbey crew. — at Alnwick Castle.” There are no current reports of what exactly might be filmed on Alnwick’s expansive property—the exteriors of which (witch!) have been used for many a Quidditch match. But Broadway World speculates that since much of the series’ fifth season has already been filmed, the castle could be the setting for the drama’s fifth annual Christmas special.
This is kinda cool, I guess. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell that Alnwick Castle was the real Hogwart’s in the movies if I wasn’t told … but now that I know, this sounds very fun. Downton Abbey season 5 will begin airing on ITV in the UK very soon but we Americans will have to wait until January to see the new eps on PBS. Since I can’t wait that long, I’ll be watching right along with the Brits as the eps become available online :D