The Oxfordshire village of Bampton has been a hive of activity ever since it was chosen to double as the fictional northern village of Downton in the hit ITV series Downton Abbey. St Mary’s Church, the Old Grammar School and a number of cottages have been used as locations and some of the most famous scenes have been shot there over the past few years, including Lady Mary’s wedding to Matthew Crawley.
Coachloads of fans now descend on Bampton, clearing the library out of mugs and postcards. Now, as a gesture of gratitude, Carnival Films has loaned items of clothing from the series, including one of the Dowager Countess’s evening gowns and Mrs Patmore’s uniform, for an exhibition at the West Ox Arts gallery in Bampton (August 31-September 29).
‘I’m sure that when we started filming, it was fun, but even when the village was closed and the residents couldn’t park their cars, they never complained,’ says Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame. The exhibition also features paintings of sets from the show by Pip Shuckburgh. Timed tickets cost £5; visit www.westoxarts.com or www.oxfordshirecotswolds.org.
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