Meadow Brook Hall hosting “Downton Abbey” life tours in September

Rachel Yim, Staff Reporter

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Award-winning series, “Downton Abbey” from Julian Fellowes has made a comeback.

As many people have probably heard of a TV series called, “Downton Abbey,” this historical drama contains the lives of the Crawley family and their servants in the family’s Edwardian country house. Over its six seasons, the series received the honor of three Golden Globe Awards and 69 Emmy nominations in total, which includes 15 Primetime Emmy Awards. Thus, it made this show the most nominated non-U.S. television show in the history of the Emmys.

After almost four years since the last season of “Downton Abbey” ended, this show has now come out with a movie. It reunites all of the main characters from the TV series in a sweeping cinematic story about the king and queen visiting Downton Abbey in the 1920s. For those who are huge fans of the TV show version of “Downton Abbey,” the upcoming movie is finding out what happened to the characters since the show ended.

The movie will be released on Sept. 20, but Meadow Brook Hall is providing an opportunity for people to experience “Downton Days” before the movie comes out to celebrate the release of this new film.

Meadow Brook Hall, a Tudor revival style mansion, is hosting a unique tour called the “Servant’s Life” tour. This tour provides visitors the chance to see life as it was lived in the “downstairs” of Meadow Brook Hall. 

Jill Moran, the manager of community events for Meadow Brook Hall, briefly explained what this tour is going to look like.

“The ‘Servant’s Life’ tour is an hour-long tour, and it’s really a unique experience stepping back to history and gaining an insight into the life of the servants here at Meadow Brook Hall,” Moran said. “This tour is sorely dedicated to the servants’ area and where they lived. So, it’s a different part of the hall where they can get the experience.”

Visitors will get a chance to see life as it was lived at Michigan’s own “Downton Abbey” when the head housekeeper invites them to be part of their staff.

“There are many similarities from the movie, you know, they have a very similar setting that it’s in the 1920s and etc.,” Moran said.

Through various interpretive events and programs, Meadow Brook Hall shares its most important legacy of the Dodge and Wilson family and their magnificent country estate on automotive heritage, social, family and regional history, and historical art and architecture.

“We are non-profit, and the hall operates as a self-funded auxiliary of Oakland University,” Moran said. “And the funds are used to carry out commission, which is to preserve and interpret its buildings, grounds and collections that visitors may get entertained, educated and inspired by history.”

Unlike other tours, people not only get a chance to learn about various roles that servants played, but they can also actually put them into an action by using tools and techniques. Moran and many employees’ preparation for these exciting tours will provide visitors a new perspective of the mansion.

“Unfortunately, all the tickets were already sold out, but we are hosting the annual ‘Servant’s Life’ tour in February, for which people can buy tickets starting around October,” Moran said.