Downton Abbey would cost $10M a year, just to insure

Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle

European castles and gargantuan country estates often sell at relatively low asking prices, compared to New York City real estate. But that’s largely because the taxes and upkeep on such properties can easily eclipse the original asking price on a yearly basis. Take Highclere Castle, the English country home made famous by the hit series Downton Abbey, which an insurance firm has calculated would cost roughly $10 million a year just to insure, according to Curbed.To reach that figure, Erie Insurance, an unaffiliated insurance firm, looked at the 1793 mansions 300 rooms, 30 wash closets and 1,000 acres of land, as well as its “5,650 rare books that date back to the 16th century, paintings by Old World masters like Anthony van Dyck and antiquities from ancient Egypt.”

“When you think of everything from the ironwork to the stonework to the woodwork in Downton Abbey, you are looking at the services of a small army of very specialized artisan contractors,” said Terry McConnell, vice president of Personal Lines Underwriting at Erie Insurance. “It’s hard to find people with those unique skill sets—and when you do, you need to transport and lodge for them for an extended period of time.” [Curbed]Christopher Cameron

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