This Is How Much It Cost To Film An Episode Of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey might just be one of the most glamorous TV shows ever made. From being largely filmed in a literal castle to the cast decked out in beautiful period fashion, the series pulled out all the stops when it came to depicting the decadent life of the noble Crawley family.


However, there was obviously a cost to showcasing the late 19th-century aristocracy in all its glory. When you put together the cost of Downton Abbey's beautiful sets, expansive wardrobe, the star-studded cast, and all the other pieces, it's not hard to imagine how the cost to produce a single episode of the series could be steep. In 2017, Variety estimated hour-long dramas (like Downton Abbey) cost $5 to $7 million dollars per episode to make. Surprisingly, Downton Abbey was positively frugal in comparison to that estimate, though the series was largely filmed before the cost of filming TV shows began to skyrocket thanks to the rise of streaming giants (per Variety).

An episode of Downton Abbey only cost this much

According to Jessica Fellows' The World of Downton Abbey, it cost about $1 million euro to film an episode of the show (via Good Housekeeping). While $1 million euro is certainly a lot of money (about $1.1 million US dollars), it pales in comparison to what some shows cost. For example, The Atlantic reported an episode of Mad Men, another period show filmed roughly around the same time as Downton Abbey, cost about $3 million US dollars, double Downton Abbey's production costs.


That $1 million euro-per-episode production cost went toward every element of the show's creation. A major part of that, though, was the wardrobe. Outfitting the cast in period-accurate costumes came at a steep price. According to InStyle, one single vintage piece could cost as much as $1,554, and that's just for a character's regular, everyday garb. Today reported one of the show's most expensive wardrobe pieces, Mary Crawley's season 3 wedding dress, cost $200,000. With prices like that, it's not hard to see how Downton Abbey could quickly rack up $1 million euro per episode. However, the fact the production crew didn't spend even more than that is truly impressive.