This post is about the houses used in the 2005 film; for those used in the BBC 1995 series, click here.
Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice movie was admirable because of the space it gave to its starring cast – not only Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen but the beautiful houses and gardens that gave such a stunning look and feel to the film. If you are reading this from outside the UK and thinking of visiting England for a Pride and Prejudice pilgrimage, then here is a rundown of the country houses cast in this visually most agreeable motion picture. If you are in the UK then of course you will know where all the places are, but hopefully you will still find the links useful. The big question is, however, when you win the lottery, which one are you going to buy?
Longbourn – Groombridge Place
Groombridge Place in the English county of Kent plays the role of Longbourn in the movie. The house is surrounded by a moat, which was built in the 13th Century, and the current house was erected in 1662. Tunbridge Wells, the town in which Groombridge Place is located, is in the south east of England, and is easily reachable from London. Director Joe Wright uses Groombridge for wonderful camera swoops from the outside of the house to the interior. Wright said he liked the idea of a house with a moat, to suggest the idea of five virgin sisters on an island. The formal gardens are open to visitors and special events are also held there.
Here is the homepage of Groombridge Place.
Netherfield – Basildon Park
Netherfield is portrayed by Basildon Park, an 18th Century Palladian mansion, restored in the 1950s to its present glory. It has been in the ownership of the National Trust for 30 years, and currently has a program of events to celebrate this. Basildon Park is in Reading in Berkshire, again easily accessible from London. Joe Wright said that he was looking for a manor with a certain coldness or un-homely feel, to reflect the fact that Bingley was only renting the property. The house and gardens are open to visitors and there are regular events and guided tours.
The National Trust’s Basildon Park page can be found here.
Rosings – Burghley House
Rosings is played by the grand Burghley House in Lincolnshire, north of London but still in the south east of England. The house, built by Queen Elizabeth ‘s lord high Treasurer, took over 32 years to complete, and was finished in 1587. Burghley House has also starred in The Da Vinci Code and Elizabeth; The Golden Age. It is surrounded by a 2000 acre park and garden, which includes a deer park and sculpture garden. Public access to the park is granted 365 days a year free of charge.
This is Burghley House’s homepage.
Pemberley – Chatsworth House
Pemberley is played by the stunning Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, the county in which Mr. Darcy is, of course, said to live. Chatsworth House is the most visited stately home in the UK and has been repeatedly voted its most popular. It is at least a three hour drive from London, but contains an impressive art collection and is located in stunning countryside bordering England’s Peak District. It is therefore surely worth the journey for overseas Pride and Prejudice visitors to the UK. The main block of the house was built between 1687 and 1707, but a house has existed on the site since the 1550s. Various sources believe that Jane Austen had Chatsworth in mind when she conceived of the Pemberley estate.
Pemberley II – Wilton House
Wilton House is Chatsworth’s body double in the 2005 movie. Chatsworth was too expensive for use in all the Pemberley scenes, so Wilton House bravely stepped in. Wilton House is home to the current Earl of Pembroke, and has been his ancestors’ residence for the past 450 years. The beautiful interior, famed for its elegant, airy corridors, was used in, for example, the scene in which Elizabeth wanders around Pemberley until chancing upon Mr. Darcy and his sister, Georgiana. Wilton House is within a few miles from Salisbury, a beautiful historical city in the south west of England.