Fans of “Downton Abbey” are aflutter with the impending release of the movie based on the popular British TV show. Four years after the series’ sixth and final season, they can now catch up with their favorite characters and once more submerge themselves in the drama of life among the English upper classes at the turn of the 20th century.
“Downton” follows the pampered lives of the aristocratic Crawley family, with Elizabeth McGovern playing Cora Crawley, the American heiress who married the Earl of Grantham, Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville). The couple, along with their family and the extensive staff who serve them, all reside in their now-famous country estate.
For those who aren’t content with a cinematic experience, there’s an opportunity from Airbnb to sleep at the real-life estate where the show and movie were filmed, the 300-room Highclere Castle. But don’t expect to spend spring break there—guests are limited to a one-night stay.
So what about those of us who want a year-round castle fix?
One option is to buy your own, in … New Jersey? That’s right, or Green Valley, CA, or even Hot Springs, AR. Options abound for living in a replica castle in the United States—from petite to palatial. Upstairs-downstairs melodrama is definitely not included. But perhaps the dowager countess can deliver some withering comments to make you feel more at home.
We politely invite you—or perhaps your own personal Mr. Carson, the butler—to take a tour of these crowning achievements currently on the market.
Royal recommendation: Live your very own fairy tale in this custom castle from 2015. The current owners built this one-of-a-kind home on 3.7 acres with an Old World European feel, but included all the modern bells and whistles. Take the modern kitchen with granite counters and Thermador appliances that even head housekeeper Mrs. Hughes might appreciate. Also included are living rooms on both first and second floors, each with its own fireplace. Plus, a treehouse in the woods comes with a zip line.
Royal recommendation: Head back in time with this historic home from 1899. The fully renovated replica of a 16th-century European castle features a turret, 3,156 square feet, and five bedrooms. Updated spaces include a beamed living room with a large stone fireplace adjoining a library. The ultramodern chef’s kitchen, with dual appliances, has marble countertops, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, and a double-oven stove with a grill. There’s also a breakfast room in the turret, as well as a separate dining room. This handsome home includes original woodwork, restored hardwood floors, and staircases. Perhaps Lady Edith would find this place acceptable if she moved to the New York magazine world.
Royal recommendation: With its crenellations right out of the Middle Ages, this castle fronts the pristine, spring-fed Lake of the Woods, and features views of the Swan Mountains. Built in 1998, the 4,200-square-foot mansion features four bedroom suites, a gourmet kitchen, breakfast nook, formal dining room, and great room with a two-story stone fireplace. There’s also a storage shop, artist studio, and even a few secret passageways. But if all that isn’t feudal enough for you, check out the drawbridge as you enter. Even the proper Mr. Carson might approve of the traditional royal trappings this home offers.
Big Fork, MT
Royal recommendation: Here’s a chance to have a castle completed to your specifications. Located about 38 miles from San Francisco, this three-bedroom Bay Area abode is a working horse ranch on 15.73 acres. While the exterior looks like a real castle, some construction has yet to be completed. However, there is a lovely kitchen featuring a granite island, farmhouse sink, and stainless-steel appliances. Laminate that looks like hardwood covers the main floors, and the property comes with stalls, an arena, and a fenced yard for livestock. This is a project the steely Lady Mary could certainly attack.
Green Valley, CA
Royal recommendation: Built in 1920, this English-style castle sits on a scenic acre in a desirable neighborhood. The outstanding architecture has been updated, while retaining the leaded and stained-glass windows, slate roof, and arched front door. The interior space features a living room with multiple windows, an updated, eat-in kitchen, and a lower walkout lower level with a fireplace and French doors. Outside, find multiple patios, gardens, and a fenced yard. In addition, the location offers a relatively easy commute to New York City. The rebellious Lady Sybil (R.I.P.) might have found this charmer perfect for a new life in the New World.
Royal recommendation: This waterfront castle comes complete with turrets, hot tub, and a pool. Enter through the 350-year-old imported Italian door to the handcrafted staircase underneath a dramatic rotunda. Built in 2008, the huge, five-bedroom home features a home theater, office, game room, five fireplaces, and an elevator.
Hot Springs, AR
Royal recommendation: While this imposing structure gives off a medieval vibe, the interior is comfortable and modern. The floor plan is open and offers over 8,000 square feet of living space. The layout includes a gourmet kitchen, four spacious bedrooms, and also, secret rooms and passages. It’s ideal for the prepper with royal tastes. Or perhaps an entrepreneur looking for an investment property ready-made for event rentals.
Beaver Dam, WI
Source: Housing Trends Feed