Downton Abbey: The Contents

Downton Abbey contains thousands of pieces of priceless art, antiques and rare items. Just a few of them include:

  • 5,650 rare books that date back to the 16th century
  • Paintings by Old World masters like Anthony Van Dyck
  • 15th century Italian embroideries
  • 18th century silk bed hangings
  • Antiquities from ancient Egypt
  • A mahogany desk that once belonged to Napoleon
  • Exquisite jewelry

A home’s contents are typically insured at half the value of the home. Yet that’s probably nowhere near enough for Downton Abbey.

“Many of the items in this home are truly irreplaceable,” says McConnell. “What you typically do in a situation like that is to agree to a value that the insurer would pay out in the event that something like a 15th century painting was destroyed in a fire.”

Cataloguing such a vast amount of items is a job in itself. “You would need many specialized appraisers to assess the value of the contents, and that could easily take several months,” says McConnell.

 Next, let’s venture outside the home and consider the guest house, stables and landscaping that need protection.

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