View our FAQs, map & parking, guidelines and more.
Tours, Groups, Exclusive Experiences
Explore our various tour types to find what’s best for you and your group.
History of Newport and the Mansions
Founded in 1639, Newport was an important port city, a center of the slave trade, a fashionable resort and the summer home of the Gilded Age rich.
What was the Gilded Age?
The Gilded Age was a period of unprecedented change in America. Fortunes were spent on luxuries such as the lavish "summer cottages" of Newport.
Deep Dive into the Show
Learn about the people, places and events depicted in Julian Fellowes' popular historical drama series.
Current members can see a full list of benefits and any information regarding Members Events.
Become a Member
We invite you to become a member of the Preservation Society today. In addition to joining an active community of preservation supporters and advocates, members are offered unlimited access to all open houses.
Our mission is to protect, preserve, and present the best of Newport County's architectural heritage. Learn more about us and our work.
Wind Farm Federal Appeal: FAQs
The Preservation Society of Newport County is appealing federal agency approval of two massive wind farms off the Rhode Island coast.
Personal Photography on the Grounds
Rent our museums for commercial photography & videography, TV production, and wedding photography.
Commercial Filming or Photography
Museum Rentals & Weddings
Host your wedding, rehearsal dinner, corporate event, or other celebration at our historic museums.
On this page
“Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes chose the Newport Mansions to provide authentic scenery for his historical drama “The Gilded Age.” Scenes for the Emmy Award-winning Season 1 were filmed at The Breakers, Marble House, The Elms, Rosecliff, Chateau-sur-Mer and Hunter House. In 2022, scenes for Season 2 were filmed at Marble House, The Elms, Chateau-sur-Mer and Kingscote.
Set in the 1880s, “The Gilded Age” tells the stories of “old money” New York elites and their escalating feud with nouveau riche neighbors who threaten the established social order.
Scenes for Season 2 were filmed at four of the Newport Mansions: The Elms, Marble House, Chateau-sur-Mer and Kingscote. Watch this space for commentary on each episode as the season progresses!
The Elms debuts as the Russells’ Newport home. Bertha defies the establishment by supporting the new Metropolitan Opera. Agnes and niece Marian have a falling out.
Kingscote makes its debut as the home of widow Blane, with whom Larry starts an affair. Peggy is welcomed back to the van Rhijn house by almost everyone. Oscar’s hopes are dashed, while Marian fends off a suitor.
A surprising guest attends Bertha’s fundraiser and starts trouble. Larry begins renovations at Mrs. Blane’s house, aka Kingscote. Peggy presses her editor to let her go to Tuskegee. Oscar Wilde charms society, but his play does not.
Bertha angles for position with the visiting Duke of Buckingham. With Marian’s help, Ada continues to see Mr. Forte. Peggy travels to Alabama and meets Booker T. Washington. Mr. Russell is confronted by angry critics of his labor practices.
The Marble House Dining Room is the setting for Bertha Russell’s dinner for the Duke of Buckingham. Peggy narrowly escapes danger in Alabama. Ada’s engagement causes conflict between her and Agnes.
Bertha’s opera house project is far from harmonious. George goes to Pittsburgh to deal with a potential strike by his steel mill workers. Peggy takes up the cause of schooling for Black children in New York City.
As New York celebrates a historic event, Bertha reconsiders her loyalty to the Met while Marian has doubts about her future.
Marian confesses her true feelings. Jack receives welcome news. Bertha and Mrs. Astor make their final moves in the opera war.
In 1882, Marian arrives at the home of her “old money” aunts Agnes and Ada, whose new neighbors vie to break into New York high society.
Marian receives a visit from Tom Raikes, whose legal advice Peggy seeks. The Russells take center stage at a charity bazaar.
George faces a surprise development. Marian sees Mr. Raikes against Agnes’ wishes. Ada runs into an old friend. Peggy gets an opportunity.
Marian learns more about Mrs. Chamberlain. George makes a deal to benefit Bertha. Peggy meets a trailblazing newspaperman.
Bertha, Marian, Aurora, and Peggy make an overnight trip to see Clara Barton speak. Gladys’ desired beau is invited to dinner.
Mr. McAllister’s visit to the Russells shakes the aunts’ household. George aims to control the narrative. Marian considers her feelings.
As a historic moment captures the city, Agnes vows to protect her family’s reputation, while Larry’s career plans rub George the wrong way.
Peggy reveals the truth about her past, while George’s day in court arrives, and Marian considers her romantic future.
Marian’s grand plan is threatened. Bertha and Mrs. Astor lock horns over Gladys’ debut. Peggy is stunned by a major reveal.
Spaces and features in the Newport Mansions directly inspired the sets created by “The Gilded Age” Production Designer Bob Shaw. Bertha Russell’s room is modeled after Alva Vanderbilt’s bedroom in Marble House, while the Marble House grand staircase with its ornate wrought-iron railing influenced its counterpart in the Russells’ mansion.
“The Gilded Age” also draws upon the history and real-life people of the period. The parallels between the character Bertha Russell and Alva Vanderbilt of Marble House are striking. Alva famously manipulated the queen of New York society, Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, into attending her gala costume ball by refusing to invite Mrs. Astor’s daughter unless Mrs. Astor called upon her. Mrs. Astor called; the Astors then attended the Vanderbilt ball; and Alva secured her place in society. This true story is lifted from history in “The Gilded Age,” where Bertha Russell uses the same strategy.
See these magnificently preserved Gilded Age places in person!
Carrie Coon, who plays Bertha Russell in “The Gilded Age,” explains how the Newport Mansions inspired the look of her character’s palatial new Fifth Avenue home in this fascinating look behind the scenes. Watch the video
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW SEASON 1 OF HBO’S THE GILDED AGE? TAKE THE QUIZ.
Can you tell the difference between old money and new? Which plotlines are based on fact versus fiction? Test your knowledge with our quiz – an in-depth look at your favorite storylines and the real people who inspired them.
Fans of HBO’s "The Gilded Age" will love this guided tour of locations in the Newport Mansions where the show was filmed.
Coming Spring 2024!
Parking is free onsite at all properties except for Hunter House and The Breakers Stable & Carriage House, where street parking is available.
Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Explore the 11 properties under the stewardship of the Preservation Society and open as historic house museums.
Partners in Preservation