Why is Downton called an abbey?
Westminster Abbey is famous for its royal spectaculars and soaring Gothic architecture, but there are many largely unknown – and sometimes rather strange – reasons for visiting the Abbey. You can often hear the ringing of its bells well before you reach the Abbey.
noun abbeys. 1 The building or buildings occupied by a community of monks or nuns. ‘Friaries were occupied by friars, abbeys were headed by abbots, priories by priors.’. ‘There was a boom in the building of castles, abbeys, and priories.’. ‘Aelred, a friend and follower of St. Bernard, defined holy friendship for the monks of his abbey.’.
abbey (plural abbeys) The office or dominion of an abbot or abbess. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.] A monastery or society of people, secluded from the world and devoted to religion and celibacy, which is headed by an abbot or abbess; also, the monastic building or buildings.
Abbey is a see also of church. As nouns the difference between abbey and church is that abbey is the office or dominion of an abbot or abbess while church is (countable) a christian house of worship; a building where religious services take place. As a verb church is to conduct a religious service for (a woman) after childbirth.
earls of Carnarvon
Highclere Castle, stately home in Hampshire, England, owned by the earls of Carnarvon. The castle has more than 200 rooms and stands on a tract of about 1,060 acres (430 hectares). It gained fame as the setting for the television series Downton Abbey (2010–15).
Prior (or prioress) is an ecclesiastical title for a superior, usually lower in rank than an abbot or abbess. Its earlier generic usage referred to any monastic superior. The word is derived from the Latin for “earlier” or “first”.
An abbey is a type of monastery used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. Abbeys provide a complex of buildings and land for religious activities, work, and housing of Christian monks and nuns. Some abbeys offer accommodation to people who are seeking spiritual retreat.
The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey between 1912 and 1926, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post-Edwardian era—the great events of the time having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.
The word “abbey” actually refers to a Catholic monastery or convent – usually operated under the spiritual authority of an Abbot. When divorce-hungry King Henry VIII denounced the Catholic Church in the 1500s, he also ordered the dissolution of all monasteries in England, Wales and Ireland.
abbey, group of buildings housing a monastery or convent, centred on an abbey church or cathedral, and under the direction of an abbot or abbess. In this sense, an abbey consists of a complex of buildings serving the needs of a self-contained religious community.
In an interview, Fellowes explained that he called it ‘Abbey’ after Ramsey Abbey. It was a Fellowes house in Huntingdonshire, now known as Cambridgeshire. Julian Fellowes didn’t want to call it “Downton Park”, for he feared being addressed as the park keeper as a joke.