‘Downton’ Castle Raking in the Dough

    NEWBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 15: Highclere Castle is bathed in sunlight on the morning of the wedding of Cheryl Tweedy and Ashley Cole July 15, 2006 in Newbury, England. Tweedy and Cole were supposedly getting married in the Berkshire Castle but have switched the event location in an apparent stunt to fool the media. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

    Chris Jackson/Getty,Chris Jackson

    How would you like it if your house became a tourist attraction? Lady Carnarvon says it suits her just fine. The self-described "Scottish accountant" is the real-life resident of the castle that acts as the backdrop for PBS’s Downton Abbey. She and her husband, the Eighth Earl of Carnarvon, now charge tourists $27 to visit Highclere Castle, many of whom she describes as "lovely Americans.” The estate costs about $1.5 million a year to run, but it's not that bad: the cost, after all, is offset by the not-so-quiet fans that keep streaming into the serene English fortress.

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