In 2010, the world was introduced to Downton Abbey and its gripping story of a wealthy English family on the cusp of losing a way of life they have held onto for centuries. Downton Abbey is a British periodical drama created by Julian Fellowes, detailing the wave of change that sweeps through the Crawley family and Britain as a whole over the span of 12 years. The emotionally moving drama unraveled a tale of heartbreak, shattered dreams, hope, ambition, scandal, and love that intoxicated and thrilled viewers to no end. Thus, it’s hardly a surprise that the Downton Abbey casts and characters haven’t been forgotten after the final episode. The witty and heartwarming series took viewers to a whole new world, it is still beloved and talked about frequently.
Downton Abbey Cast and Characters
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
The matriarch of the Crawley family is played by none other than the phenomenal Maggie Smith. She is a clever woman with a sharp tongue that can cut down anyone’s size. Family is everything to her and she will pluck the sun out of the sky to protect her family if need be.
Hugh Bonneville as Lord Robert Crawley
The Padding 2 and W1A star plays Robert Crawley, the head of the household and Earl of Grantham. He is a devoted father and husband who wishes to see Downton Abbey thrive even if it means embracing the forces of change that everyone is wary of.
Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora Crawley
Elizabeth delivers a convincing and lovable performance as the lady of the house with a heart of gold that sometimes leads to other people getting the better of her. She is originally from America so her ideals often differ from that of the family she married into. Still, she does her best to raise her three daughters to be the best version of themselves in a deeply troubled world.
Penelope Wilton as Isobel Crawley
Isobel is Mary Crawley’s mother-in-law who is trying to come to terms with the death of her son while also navigating the rough waters of love and family.
Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley
Laura’s character Downton Abbey was the one people loved to hate. Lady Edith is fiercely independent and determined to live life by her own rules regardless of what anyone had to say about it. She struggles to balance motherhood with her advancing professional life and she will have many tough decisions to make if she is going to find happiness.
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley
The first daughter of the Crawley family is played by Michelle and she is one of the most dramatic characters in Downton Abbey. After losing her husband, she decides to step up and stake her position in the family’s affairs. Between her quest for independence and her endless string of suitors, Mary keeps the audience delightfully entertained. Michelle has also starred in the series Good Behavior and Godless, as well as the movie The Sense of an Ending.
Jim Carter as Charles Carson
Carson is a butler for the Crawleys and a wonderfully devoted one. His loyalty to the family often puts him at odds with the demands of his own life. Since Downton Abbey ended, Carter has been featured in The Little Vampire 3D, Transformers: The Last Night and Knightfall. Without a doubt, Jim Carter as Charles Carson is surely one of the favorite Downton Abbey casts and characters.
Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates
Joanne leads a complicated life as the wife of John Bates and maid to Lady Mary. She remains resilient and kind despite the misfortunes that seem to enjoy befalling her.
Brendan Coyle as John Bates
The laconic Mr. Bates fought in the Boer war but now works as a valet for the Crawleys. He has a penchant for finding himself embroiled in murder cases which he knows nothing about. His resolve is tested many times, but he does his best to remain level headed.
Samantha Bond as Lady Rosamund Painswick
Samantha plays Rosamund, Lord Robert’s only sister. She is a widow with no children of her own so she is constantly meddling in the lives of her nieces.
Phyllis Logan as Elsie Hudges
Elsie Hudges is the head housekeeper for the Crawley family who later becomes romantically entangled with Mr. Carson. She is a tough and reliable woman who doesn’t often give in to sentiments. You might recognize Phyllis Logan from her roles in The Good Karma Hospital and Girlfriends.
Robert James-Collier as Thomas Barrow
Thomas is a troublemaker with a knack for getting himself out of nasty situations. His position as an under-butler at the Downton Abbey estate is constantly under threat.
Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore
As a longtime servant and cook for the Crawleys, Mrs. Patmore is shrewd, commanding, and aware of nearly everything that goes on at Downton Abbey. She is very resistant to change and desperate to cling on to the vanishing past. These attributes make her one of the important Downton Abbey casts and character.
Kevin Doyle as Molesley
Before he began working as a footman for the Crawley family, Andy held the dignified position of a valet until he was forced to leave his job. He struggles with reconciling his former life and his Hope’s for the future.
Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason
Daisy is Mrs. Patmore’s pet project. She works as an assistant cook and kitchen maid. She is uneducated but determined to improve her station in life.
Michael Fox as Andy Parker
Michael’s character is that of a sweet footman who does his best to effectively carry out his duties while also fending off Tom’s advances and manipulative antics.
Racquel CaPhyllis Baxter
She is the personal maid to the Countess of Grantham. She has a difficult past which she tries really hard to escape. She joins the fold at Downton Abbey, where she soon forges new bonds.
Where Was It Filmed?
The award-winning series Downton Abbey was filmed in several locations across Britain. The prestigious Victorian era Highclere Castle in Hampshire serves as the Downton Abbey estate. The castle belongs to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and the family has made a home there since 1679.
Other filming locations include Bampton in Oxfordshire, which served as the village of Downton; Lincoln Castle in Lincolnshire which serves as the York Prison where Bates was imprisoned; Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, Swinbrook in Oxfordshire, Hoxton Hall in London, Kensington Gardens in London, Inveraray Castle in Argyll and Bute. and Cogges Manor Farm in Oxfordshire also served as the locations where several scenes from Downton Abbey were filmed.