Downton Abbey fans bid to live like the Crawleys in Christie's online auction

Funds raised will support Armed Forces charities to mark the First World War

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The Independent Culture

To all period drama fans who have ever dreamt of living like the Crawleys in Downton Abbey, your time has come.

Christie’s auction house is offering an overnight residence at Hampshire’s Highclere Castle, the famous setting for the popular ITV series.

Funds raised will go to Armed Forces charities to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Highclere Castle became a military hospital during the war, as Downton did in the second season, and is staging an exhibition of artefacts this week called Centenary Stories.

The highest bidder will win three first floor rooms for six people for a night, including the Mercia bedroom, used as Lady Cora’s quarters, and the Arundel bedroom, where Lady Edith slept.

Cocktails and dinner for eight with castle owners the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon is also up for grabs.


The Heroes at Highclere charity auction will run online until 14 August but sadly, with bids starting at £5,000 for the meal alone, most of us will be disappointed.

Other offerings include a picnic for four in the grounds, a cookery lesson with private chef Paul Brook Taylor, Lady Mary’s necklace and a tour of the Egyptian exhibition in the cellars, but these are expected to attract bids of between £250 and £500.

Here's your chance to live like the Downton Abbey cast

A private lesson from the household’s butler on how to set a table for a banquet is available from £2,000, while bidders can have their portrait painted in front of the castle by artist Ronnie Sichel from £1,500.

The show’s fifth season is due to air this autumn, however, so there’s slight consolation to be had there, even if we would rather have the castle.