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Correspondent Martha Teichner takes viewers on a private tour of Highclere Castle, the real English manor that serves as the backdrop for the popular TV drama "Downtown Abbey" on this weekend's CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH Charles Osgood on the CBS Television Network.
"We needed a house that even to people whom this way of life was totally strange, they needed to understand why someone would take their life to The Edge of the cliff in order to save this house," "Downton Abbey" executive producer Julian Fellowes tells Teichner.
The 50-plus bedroom home is owned by the 8th Earl and Lady Carnarvon, who are known as Fiona and Geordie to their friends. One of those friends, is Fellowes, who felt the house and the grounds were such that storywise "...it would have the right to control.." the "Downton Abbey" characters' lives.
The manor hadn't been lived in for more than 15 years when the current owners inherited it. "When we took it on, I think it was at the time of the Iraq War, and this house, like other houses of its ilk, rely on weddings and conference business in order to keep the revenue in and to keep going - and the phones were quiet," Lady Carnarvon tells Teichner. "So I thought, 'If we're going to give our lives to it, then I'm going to try and bring it back."
Teichner tours the home with Carnarvon, who shares stories about the castle, as well as her famous ancestors, including the 5th Earl, who became world famous for locating the tomb of King Tutankhamen 1922. Teichner's report on Highclere Castle will be broadcast Jan. 20, 2013 on CBS SUNDAY MORNING (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.