Season three of Masterpiece's Downton Abbey premiered on this side of the pond last night, much to our delight. What's this got to do with Curbed Cape Cod? Very little, but we thought it would be fun to pretend the show's characters were looking for a summer house in these parts. Since Curbed Cape Cod doesn't cover Newport, this obviously led us to Nantucket. It looks as though the Crawley family will be downsizing significantly (aristocrat-style) after Lord Grantham's failed attempt at war profiteering, thus anything smaller than a Downton-sized estate will do. As Lord Grantham's land holdings seem equal to the size of Massachusetts and the castle itself has 200 or 300 rooms, there are endless options for the Crawley's new digs.
We don't want to leave anyone behind so as for the (wrongly!) imprisoned Mr. Bates, perhaps Lord Grantham could pull some strings to have him transferred to the Barnstable Correctional facility. That way, Anna could take the ferry over to visit him and when he gets out (cause it's TV, we expect him to), they could purchase their Bed and Breakfast on the Cape.
Thus, in the (very, very) unlikely event that the Dowager Countess agreed to travel to America and Lady Cora's dress allowance could cover the cost of a summer home, which of these two cottages would the Crawley family buy?
Long Hill was built in 1823 and is located on historic (for these parts) Orange Street. If Irish son-in-law
Branson Tom, the chauffeur "political" journalist, were to be invited to summer with the family (with the trip paid for secretly by the Dowager Countess), he'd no doubt have quite a few impassioned words to say about the name of the street. Regardless, the 7,211 sq. ft. residence with views of the Harbor, Coatue and town features many formal rooms, which would please Mr. Carson to no end. The property includes a formal English garden with specimen trees, boxwood and "lovely rose gardens," perfect for satisfying the floral competitive desires of the Dowager Countess. In addition, a separate lot across the street is included with the property, the ideal location for building servants quarters. As for the $20M pricetag, that's probably considered downsizing for an Earl.
· Listing: 30 Orange Street, Nantucket [Zillow]
Built in 1920, this six bedroom, 10 bath home with views of Nantucket Harbor and town would be new construction to the Crawley's. While most of the family would disapprove of such a modern home, Lady Cora's mother Martha Levinson would love it and since she's the one increasing the dress allowance, the Crawley's would have to at least attend an open house. Not that the staff get an opinion, but Mrs. Patmore, Daisy and the umpteen anonymous others on the kitchen staff would no doubt appreciate that the Monomoy abode has what looks to be a 48" professional range in the kitchen, much better than Downton's broken down oven. In addition, Matthew and Lord Grantham could share the small, paneled office as a place to sip their whisky, read the papers (checking to see if Sir Richard has gotten around to putting Mary's scandal or Mr. Bates on the front page yet) and wait to change into an identical outfits to the one's they're wearing for the next meal. Out back by the pool, there's a guest cottage with plenty of room for the dozens of maids, cooks, footmen, housekeepers, valets, and the like to get the few hours of rest they're allotted. Plus, the "beautifully-manicured" lawns and gardens are no doubt job creators, so important for keeping the Earl of Grantham feeling like an Earl. The $14,995,000 asking price gives this property an edge over the Orange Street listing, should Lady Cora's increased dress allowance not be as large as hoped.
· Listing: 47 Monomoy Road, Nantucket [Zillow]
· Downton Abbey [official site]
· 'Downton Abbey': 10 Facts About the Show's Real Castle [Los Angeles Times]
· Five Cape & Island Towns, Five Bed & Breakfast Inns Asking $599K to $3.85M [Curbed Cape Cod]