Ventfort Hall talk and tea to explore the real ‘Downton Abbey'


LENOX -- On television, it's the setting for the "Mastepiece" award-winning show with Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine. But in Berkshire, England, it's the home of the earls of Carnarvon -- one of whom backed the archaeological expedition that re-discovered the tomb of King Tut a century ago.

Curt DiCamillo, architectural historian and authority on the British country house, will give a talk on "Lords, Ladies & Mummies: The Story of Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey." The talk will take place in Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, 197 East St., at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Although known today as the country house in the "Downton Abbey" program, Highclere Castle has a rich history. DiCamillo will explain how the fictional Downton plotline unexpectedly echoes Highclere's unique and complex past.

Following the talk, the audience will move to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, 104 Walker St., for a Victorian High Tea with sandwiches and pastries.

For information or reservations call (413) 637-3206 or write to


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