Love Downton Abbey? Live Like the Crawleys in This Grand Estate
Like many of you, the Cool Houses Daily staff is anxiously awaiting the season 3 premiere this Sunday of Downton Abbey, the British period drama that follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era. We love everything about Downton: the characters, the costumes and -- possibly most of all -- the magnificent country estate where the show is filmed. With this award-winning series on our minds, we decided to highlight a home in New Jersey almost as grand as Downton Abbey itself.
Location: Bernardsville Boro, N.J.
Listed By: Turpin Realtors
The real-life home that stars in Downton is Highclere Castle, a Jacobethan-style mansion in Hampshire, England. Built in the mid-19th century, the castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of a medieval palace.
Like Highclere, today's cool house in New Jersey also rests on the site of a former estate. Known as Upton Pyne, the original home was built in 1899 by financier Percy R. Pyne, but was destroyed in a fire in 1982. Between 2000 and 2004, a new home was constructed on this 179-acre property: a 16,000-square-foot stone mansion with Gothic influences.
A winding stone drive leads to the home's imposing stone façade and curved limestone portico. The slate roof is accented with copper gutters and several rounded turrets.
Through the front entrance, a foyer with a sweeping circular staircase and a domed stained-glass ceiling sets a grand tone for the entire residence. The first floor encompasses formal living and dining rooms, a butler's pantry and bar, a gourmet kitchen, a conservatory and a library -- among other elegant spaces. A six-room master bedroom suite is privately situated on one wing of the first floor.
The hilltop property also comes with an antique barn, a carriage house, a guesthouse and a caretaker's cottage. Would you live in this Downton-esque estate?