Downton Abbey gets uncharacteristically gory with gruesome dinner scene

Downton Abbey fans were left in shock after Sunday evening's episode, which saw the popular period drama turn visceral when Lord Grantham projectile vomited blood during a dinner party.

Conversation about the fate of a local hospital was brought to a dramatic halt when a burst ulcer caused Lord Grantham, played by Hugh Bonneville, to cough up blood, spraying the white linen tablecloth and his family and guests.

Dinner at Downton took an unexpected turn when Lord Grantham projectile vomited blood across the table

The scene was so gory that a warning was broadcast ahead of it being aired – a voiceover announced that the fifth episode of the final series contained "scenes of a frightening nature".

Robert's illness will not come as a surprise to some viewers as he has been seen clutching his stomach and complaining of chest pains for weeks.

The uncharacteristically gruesome display had many comparing the scene to one from a horror film or Game of Thrones.

The scene was compared to one from a horror film by many viewers

Fans took to Twitter to convey their shock, horror and delight at the turn of events, with Downton's official Twitter account reacting to one message: "There's certainly never a dull day at #Downton".

There was more excitement in the Downton household as Lady Mary edges closer to finding out that the great family secret that has been kept from her – her sister Edith’s illegitimate daughter Marigold.

Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, overheard her mother's conversation with the Dowager Countess and swiftly sensed the child was not merely something that her sister had "acquired" from Mr Drewe.

"Anna, is there any talk in the servants' hall about Miss Marigold?" Mary later asked her maid.