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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Where Mr Darcy walked - film locations used in the BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice



It is now 20 years since Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle ‘became’ Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet for thousands of fans of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. For many, it was their first encounter with Austen’s wonderful characters and it brought her novel to a new audience – those who had never picked up her classic work and read her words for themselves. 

The best 

Fifteen years before, I had eagerly watched an earlier BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice with David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie. I was so taken with it at the time that I watched it twice a week when it first came out (it was in the days before I had a video player let alone catch-up TV!). But it did not age well. The scenes that had so captivated me at the time later seemed rather wooden and I unhesitatingly transferred my devotion to the 1995 BBC mini-series as soon as it came out. I remain hopeful that someday another version will be made which will steal my allegiance, or at least share it, but it will take some beating.

In honour of its 20th anniversary this year, I thought I would look at some of the wonderful places used as filming locations in this, for me, unsurpassed version of Pride and Prejudice. Many are National Trust properties, but some are in private ownership and therefore not usually open for visits.

Longbourn and Netherfield Park

Both Longbourn and Netherfield Park were filmed at private locations – Longbourn at Luckington Court in Wiltshire, and Mr Bingley’s home, Netherfield Park, at Edgcote House in Northamptonshire. 

Luckington Court - Longbourn Photo © Paul Ashwin
Luckington Court - Longbourn Photo © Paul Ashwin (1)
Edgcote House - Netherfield Park © Ian Rob
Edgcote House - Netherfield Park © Ian Rob (2)
Lacock Village becomes Meryton

The National Trust village of Lacock was used to portray the village of Meryton, the home of Aunt Phillips and a frequent destination for the Bennet girls, particularly Lydia and Kitty who love to shop. Here are some pictures Andrew took when we visited Lacock in September - I'm afraid you will have to use your imagination to lose the cars!

Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

Red Lion, Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

The church, Lacock Village © Regencyhistory.net

Rosings

Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s magnificent home was filmed at Belton House in Lincolnshire. The house contains the famous desk where Darcy sits and writes his letter to Elizabeth after she has rejected his proposal of marriage.

Front view of Belton House © regencyhistory.net
Front view of Belton House
The walk up to the rear of Belton House © regencyhistory.net
The walk up to the rear of Belton House
Rear view of Belton House © regencyhistory.net
Rear view of Belton House
The hallway, Belton House © regencyhistory.net
The Hallway, Belton House
The staircase, Belton House © regencyhistory.net
The Staircase, Belton House
That all important desk, Belton House © regencyhistory.net
That all important desk, Belton House
Pemberley

Elizabeth Bennet’s tour of Derbyshire with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner was filmed in Derbyshire and also in Staffordshire. Back in 2007, I found this rock in the Peak District that reminded me of the scene where Aunt Gardiner beseeches her niece to take care and Elizabeth utters the line “Beautiful” as she looks at the scenery laid out before her.

Rachel in the Peak District (2007) © regencyhistory.net
Rachel in the Peak District (2007)
Rachel in the Peak District (2007) © regencyhistory.net
Rachel in the Peak District (2007)
The exterior shots of Pemberley were filmed at Lyme Park in Cheshire. Who can forget Elizabeth’s first sight of the house across the lake?

Lyme Park - Pemberley © regencyhistory.net
Lyme Park - Pemberley
Or the courtyard where Darcy rushes down the steps having hastily dressed after his famous swim in the lake?

Lyme Park - Pemberley © regencyhistory.net
The Courtyard, Lyme Park
Or indeed the garden where Darcy humbly asks Elizabeth whether he can introduce his sister to her?

Lyme Park - Pemberley © regencyhistory.net
The gardens, Lyme Park
But if you go inside Lyme Park expecting to recognise the internal views of Pemberley, you will be disappointed. The interior of the house was not filmed here, but inside two different National Trust properties – Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire and Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire.

Staircase, Sudbury Hall - inside Pemberley © regencyhistory.net
Staircase, Sudbury Hall - inside Pemberley
Staircase, Sudbury Hall - inside Pemberley © regencyhistory.net
Sudbury Hall - inside Pemberley
Sudbury Hall - inside Pemberley © regencyhistory.net
The Study, Sudbury Hall - inside Pemberley
The Long Gallery, Sudbury Hall - but alas, no portrait of Darcy! © regencyhistory.net
The Long Gallery, Sudbury Hall - but alas, no portrait of Darcy!
Lacock Abbey was also used for Darcy’s flashback to his time at Cambridge while writing his letter to Elizabeth. He strides along the corridor and bursts in on Mr Wickham and a lady in a state of semi-undress, to illustrate Darcy’s knowledge of his dissolute character.
 
Lacock Abbey © Regencyhistory.net
Lacock Abbey
Looking at all those pictures is making me feel nostalgic. It must be time for another viewing of Pride and Prejudice and Colin Firth in his wet shirt...

Notes
(1) This photograph is being shared under a Creative Commons Licence: Paul Ashwin [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
(2)  This photograph is being shared under a Creative Commons Licence: Ian Rob [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

All photos apart from the two shared under a Creative Commons Licence are © regencyhistory.net.

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Pleasure - it was lovely to remember my visits to all those fascinating places. :)

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  2. Magical tour! Thanks for taking us there again!

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    Replies
    1. It was fun to remember and good to remind myself of places I would like to visit again!

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  3. I WILL be visiting, next time I'm in the UK. :)

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    Replies
    1. Definitely some wonderful historic properties to add to your list!

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  4. I live 3 miles from Lacock and about the same from Luckington. Until recently I worked at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. I have taken many people on tours of Bath & Lacock, and that version of P&P is still as popular as it ever was. But Lacock has been used in other Jane Austen adaptations, and many, many other films/TV programmes as well, most recently an episode of Downton Abbey. If you would like to find out more, please contact me.

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    1. It must be fun to see Lacock all set up for filming. The historic houses must look better without all the cars!

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  5. beautiful places,,,hope some day to be there

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    Replies
    1. I hope you have been able to enjoy them a little through the photos - not the same as being there, I know. I hope you make it one day. :)

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  6. Planning a trip next year! Any suggestions on getting around? London to sites??? Thanks! Loved your info!

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    Replies
    1. Use public transport (tubes and buses)around London. Further afield, probably hiring a car easier. Hope you enjoy your visit. :)

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  7. In Google Streetview, you can see the rock where Elizabeth is warned to be careful:
    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.1550392,-1.9752384,3a,16.8y,126.42h,97.01t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sBO_Ye2NuciCK2dzdIj1sBw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
    the track they were driven along in the open-topped carriage:
    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.1967172,-1.8987873,3a,31y,24.07h,90.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNw8XL8cQBVdmIrJXgYdITA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
    the church where Wickham and Lydia were married:
    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4795055,-0.0250798,3a,75y,53.31h,88.18t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOOMlN-Sm-xvARaAxKvJe_g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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