In the opening sequences of Downton Abbey series 1 and 2 there is a massive tree near the house. When it appears in the show characters are often shown sitting on a bench underneath it. What kind of tree is it?

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  • 1
    Never seen the show but does this tree provide some plot significance or is it just a piece of scenery?
    – Tablemaker
    Mar 1, 2012 at 16:02
  • It's just scenery, but a couple of key conversations take place under it :) Mar 5, 2012 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


It is a Lebanon Cedar. From the wikipedia page about Highclere Castle - the location for the fictional Downton Abbey.

The famous 18th century seed collector Bishop Stephen Pococke was a friend and brought Lebanon Cedar seeds from a trip to Lebanon

  • I knew it had to be a non-native tree. No English tree classification guides could identify it as a native tree.
    – wbogacz
    Mar 2, 2012 at 13:30
  • Yeah, quite a few British stately homes and castles have non-native plants and trees as the owners in the 19th and early 20th century liked collecting stuff like that - before the issue of 'invasive species' became more of an issue.
    – iandotkelly
    Mar 2, 2012 at 14:21
  • 1
    Thanks. This tree blows my mind every time I see it. For me it is a symbol of the grandeur of the house and family. Mar 5, 2012 at 15:43

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