The houses and castles that grace the UK have often been used as the settings for some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.
Whether it’s a period drama or an action thriller, England’s finest homes provide film directors with the perfect settings to create their masterpieces. So which stately homes have hit the big screen? Come and take a look at the top ten houses that have made it in the movies!
Pride and Prejudice – Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House represented Pemberley, Mr Darcy’s home, in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice staring Keira Knightly. This stately home is in North Derbyshire and has housed the Cavendish family since 1549. It costs £4 million a year to keep this huge house looking lovely and is preserved by The Chatsworth House Trust which pays an annual rent of just £1!
Brideshead Revisited – Castle Howard
In addition to being used as Brideshead in both the TV series and 2008 film adaptation of this classic novel by Evelyn Waugh, Castle Howard has been used in the films The Buccaneers and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. This stately home situated in North Yorkshire was built between 1699 and 1712 for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. Up until the 1950’s Castle Howard was served by its own railway station, also called Castle Howard.
Harry Potter – Lacock Abbey
This abbey has seen its fair share of celebrities, from Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films, to Scarlet Johansson and Natalie Portman in the film adaption of the historical novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Both the abbey and the town of Lacock itself have featured heavily in most of Harry Potter films and were also used as the setting for the BBC television series of Pride and Prejudice. The abbey was founded in the early 13th century by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, as an Augustinian nunnery.
The Young Victoria – Ham House
The 2009 film, The Young Victoria, used Ham House to resemble Kensington Palace. Located in Richmond beside the River Thames, the National Trust claims this house is “unique in Europe as the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power”. Ham house is also said to be haunted by the Duchess of Lauderdale and her dog! Numerous visitors have claimed to see a dog running up and down the corridors though no dogs are allowed in the building!
The Dark Knight Rises – Osterley Park
Osterley Park and Houses became Wayne Manor in this summer’s blockbuster smash, The Dark Knight Rises. This stunning mansion and the land surrounding it are situated in the west London suburb of Hounslow. To celebrate Osterley’s contribution to film and TV, the house has opened up a new exhibition, Real to Reel, showcasing the talent that has used the building over the years.
The Awakening – Lyme Park
The mansion house of Lyme Park played the role of the spooky boys’ boarding school in the supernatural thriller, The Awakening. The house is the largest in Cheshire and like all the other houses on this list, it is Grade I listed.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – Knole House
This English country house is located in west Kent and is one of England’s largest houses. It is often referred to as a calendar house as it has 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards.
Alice in Wonderland – Antony House
Tim Burton chose this stunning location to be the backdrop for his film production of the 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland. Built between 1711 and 1721 this 18th century house is currently inhabited by Sir Richard Carew Pole along with his family.
The Duchess – Kedleston Hall
The impressive Kendleston Hall starred as the home of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire in the 2008 film, The Duchess. The house is often seen as one of the best examples of famous architect Robert Adam’s work.
Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle
Last but not least is Highclere Castle, best known as the backdrop for the extremely successful TV drama, Downton Abbey. This Jacobethan stately home, located in Hampshire, has been home to the Carnarvon family since 1679.