Downton Abbey: A New Era – your guide to the characters

Downton Abbey: A New Era character guide

You are cordially invited to watch Downton Abbey: A New Era on the big screen this April. Julian Fellowes' blockbusting heritage series moves further into the 20th century, exploring the trials and tribulations of the aristocratic Crawley family, as well as those who serve downstairs on the Downton estate.

The story this time splits itself in two different directions. The splendidly acerbic Violet Crawley reveals fragments of her personal history pertaining to a villa in the south of France. This prompts several members of the family to embark on a Continental trip to investigate.

At the same time, Downton opens its doors to a lavish film production, and it's no ordinary movie. This being set at the end of the 1920s, talking pictures are starting to become all the rage, and the Downton staff find themselves in a flutter over the arrival of several glamorous movie stars.

Don't know your Carsons from your Crawleys? Bring yourself up to speed with our handy Downton Abbey character guide, and don't forget that Downton Abbey: A New Era tickets are now on sale.


Robert Crawley

Played by Hugh Bonneville

The son of Violet Crawley and the current owner of the Downton estate who makes some unexpected discoveries about his parent's background.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Robert Crawley character poster


Violet Crawley

Played by Maggie Smith

The acid-tongued Dowager Countess is the mother of Robert Crawley, and she has a few skeletons in the closet pertaining to her history in the south of France.


Lady Mary Talbot

Played by Michelle Dockery

The daughter of Robert Crawley, Lady Mary is a widow, having been married to the ill-fated Henry Talbot. In the new movie, she is left in charge of Downton as Robert Crawley and his retinue dig into Violet's Gallic backstory.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Lady Mary poster


Cora Crawley

Played by Elizabeth McGovern

Cora Crawley is the wife of Robert Crawley and has an important stake in the Downton Abbey estate.


Edith Pelham

Played by Laura Carmichael

AKA the Marchioness of Hexham, Edith Pelham, the second daughter of Robert and Cora, is married to married to Herbert "Bertie" Pelham, 7th Marquess of Hexham (played by Harry Hadden-Patton).

Downton Abbey: A New Era Edith Pelham poster


Charles Carson

Played by Jim Carter

Carson is Robert Crawley's devoted footman and accompanies his employer to the south of France.


Elsie Carson

Played by Phyllis Logan

Charles Carson's wife, Elsie is the head housekeeper at Downton and is in charge of the female servants.


John Bates

Played by Brendan Coyle

Robert Crawley's valet, John is a Boer War veteran and a longstanding member of the Downton entourage. He is married to Anna.


Anna Bates

Played by Joanne Froggatt

Anna was the head housemaid at Downton Abbey and is currently lady's maid to Lady Mary Crawley. She is the wife of John Bates.


Tom Branson

Played by Allen Leech

Tom is the former chauffeur and the current estate manager for Downton Abbey. He is an Irish socialist and a member of the Branson family. He is the husband of the late Lady Sybil Branson.


Lucy Branson

Played by Tuppence Middleton

Lucy Smith entered the Downton universe in the 2019 movie, where she promptly fell for, and subsequently married, Tom Branson.


Thomas Barrow

Played by Robert James-Collier

Thomas is is the current butler, succeeding Charles Carson at Downton Abbey, having formerly worked there as a junior footman, first footman, head valet, and under-butler.


Isobel Grey

Played by Penelope Wilton

Violet Crawley's verbal sparring partner, Isobel Grey AKA Lady Merton is connected to the Crawley family via her late husband Dr. Reginald Crawley, her late son Matthew Crawley's marriage to the aristocratic Lady Mary Crawley and by her grandson George Crawley.


Beryl Patmore

Played by Lesley Nicol

Beryl is the kind-hearted cook at the Downton Abbey estate and shares a close friendship with Daisy Parker.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Mrs. Patmore


Daisy Parker

Played by Sophie McShera

Daisy is the assistant cook in Beryl Patmore's kitchen on the Downton estate.


Jack Barber

Played by Hugh Dancy

Jack is a film director who elects to make Downton his next shooting location. Jack is leading the charge for talking pictures or 'talkies', which are moving cinema beyond the realm of silent pictures.


Guy Dexter

Played by Dominic West

Guy Dexter is the handsome leading man of Jack Barber's new movie. It's suggested in the trailer that he's attracted to butler Thomas Barrow.


Myrna Dalgleish

Played by Laura Haddock

Myrna is the diva-ish star of Jack Barber's new movie and immediately creates a frisson upon her arrival at Downton.

Downton Abbey: A New Era Myrna Dalgleish poster


Lady Rosamund Painswick

Played by Samantha Bond

The widow of the late Marmaduke Painswick, Lady Rosamund is the daughter of the previous Earl of Grantham and Violet Crawley.


Dowager Countess, Lady Maud Bagshaw

Played by Imelda Staunton

Lady Maud is a lady in waiting to Queen Mary. She first appeared in the Downton Abbey movie when she accompanied the King and Queen of England on their 1927 tour of Yorkshire.


Click here to book your tickets for Downton Abbey: A New Era, which arrives in Cineworld cinemas on 29th April.