A new costumed tour experience at Delapré Abbey is set to explore the upstairs/downstairs world of life at the Abbey during the time of its previous owners – the Bouverie family.
Timed to coincide with the release of the new Downton Abbey film, this immersive tour – titled Downton at Delapré – will enable visitors to delve into the real-life scandalous stories of servants and those living on the estate, as well as the sights and sounds of a bygone era. See the butler’s bedroom and the housekeeper’s room as costumed hosts guide visitors through newly dressed and interpreted rooms which have been opened to the public for the first time.
Vikki Pearson, Delapré Abbey’s Visitor Experience Manager says: “From thieving butlers to suspicious burglaries, we’ve uncovered fascinating stories and information about life at Delapré Abbey as a country house and how the servant spaces operated, which we’re hugely excited to share with visitors on this brand new tour.”
Edward Bouverie, the younger brother of the first Earl of Radnor purchased the house in 1764. For nearly 200 years, successive generations of Bouveries lived, entertained and played their role as Northamptonshire gentry – surviving wars, family scandal and challenging economics – until in 1943 the last of the family line, Mary Bouverie, died.
The Abbey has many similarities to the fictious Downton Abbey – not only the name but its history as a country house that was home to an aristocratic family (admittedly not an Earl but still with royal connections – Everard Bouverie was Equerry to Queen Victoria) that enjoyed the same lifestyle: hunting, shooting, managing an estate, acting as justice of the peace, hosting fetes and galas, and supported by an army of servants.
Downton at Delapré begins on Friday 13th September with weekly tours until January 2020. From Monday 30th September tours will take place every Monday at 12noon and 3pm. Tickets cost £15 per person including soup and a roll at 12pm in the servant’s quarters, and cream tea at 3pm in the Salon, and can be booked here or by calling 01604 760817.
Keep an eye on delapreabbey.org as Downton at Delapré takes on several guises over the next few months. Look out for children’s trails with a trip back inside a Victorian country house over half term, atmospheric Christmas themed experiences in December, and special candlelit tours.
Groups of 10 or more can book on to the different offers by emailing email@example.com.