Surrey mansion's starring role as Dame Maggie Smith's home in Downton Abbey
10:17 21 September 2012
The stunning 17th century Byfleet Manor is taking centre stage in the television costume drama Downton Abbey, as home to the formidable Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith.
For three days of filming in July the cast and crew once again created Dower House at the Byfleet property, which boasts magical gardens, a meandering river and private island.
No stranger to TV screens, scenes from popular dramas such as Poirot and Cranford have previously been filmed at the private residence, which is located by the River Mole in Byfleet.
Like the show itself, Byfleet Manor sheds an intriguing light on history.
Acquired by Edward II in the 14th century, it passed through various royal hands traditionally to the kings eldest son before reaching Henry VIII, who broke tradition by giving it to Katherine of Aragon after he divorced her.
Followingmany twists and turns, the propertys royal connections were finally severed in the 19th century and today it operates as a private venue for weddings and other special occasions.
A fittinghome then for the award-winning show penned by writer Julian Fellowes and starring Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern alongside Dame Maggie.
Byfleets appearance isnt the first time our area has featured in Downton Abbey. In May 2011, cast and crew descended on Brooklands Community Park, between Weybridge and Byfleet.