What Downton Abbey has in common with Harry Potter

The cast of Downton Abbey.
The cast of Downton Abbey.

Alnwick Castle is not the only the connection between the period drama Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter movies, as the Americans are discovering.

Ahead of the US screening of the Downton ‘Alnwick episode’ tomorrow, broadcaster PBS has dug out some more links between the hit historical series and the movies based on the books of JK Rowling.

When ITV filmed part of Downton’s Season 5 finale at Alnwick Castle, which served as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films, it inspired the American programme distributor to present other connections, however obscure!

Here are five other things Downton Abbey has in common with Harry Potter, according to PBS:

1. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey’s dowager countess, portrayed Minerva McGonnagall, head of Gryffindor in the Harry Potter films.

2. Jim Carter (Mr Carson)’s wife, Imelda Staunton, portrayed pink-clad despot Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.

3. Lesley Nicol (Mrs Patmore) was close to being cast as Molly Weasley until ‘Julie Walters popped in’.

4. James Faulkner (Lord Sinderby) voiced Severus Snape in the video game Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

5. St Pancras train station, where Edith and Michael Gregson meet in Downton Abbey Season 4, serves as King’s Cross Station, where Harry catches the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9¾.