12 hints for this year’s ‘Downton Abbey’ Christmas special

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Downton Abbey returns next month for the period drama’s traditional festive special.

Exact plot details are being kept under wraps until Christmas day (and we all know what that meant for poor Matthew a couple of years ago), but here’s what we know so far…


The episode will run for a feature-length two hours.

It begins in the early autumn of 1924.

New Tricks actor Alun Armstrong has joined the cast as Stowell, the Sinderbys’ butler. Apparently Stowell has “an axe to grind and a scandalous secret threatens to undermine the holiday”.


James Faulkner and Penny Downie are back as Atticus Aldridge’s parents, Lord and Lady Sinderby.

Lord Sinderby has rented out the grand Brancaster Castle and invited the Crawley family along for a grouse shooting party.

Michael Fox also returns as footman Andy, who Thomas took a shine to in Season 5’s finale.

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Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was used as the location for Brancaster Castle.

ITV has teased that “some new faces arrive on the scene”.

One of those faces will be Prince Kuragin’s wife, Princess Irina. She’ll be played by Jane Lapotaire (Blind Justice).

Downton Abbey 5 Bates Anna

Back at Downton, Baxter and Molesley are busy with “a joint plan”.

Bates will take “drastic measures” in a bid to clear Anna’s name as she faces a future in prison.

Mrs Hughes and Carson have a business venture consider.


> Buy the complete Season 1-5 boxset on Amazon.

Are you looking forward to the Christmas special? Let us know below…