National Trust Film LocationsPosted: 2014-02-13
It is getting closer to the time of year when the film industry stands handing out awards, so it seems like an appropriate time to highlight some of the National Trust properties that have appeared in recent major films and television series.
Many of the Trust's stately homes have acted as a setting for period dramas, but the Trust also looks after areas of countryside that have been used as a film setting (most recently Cheddar Gorge was used for Jack the Giant Killer). Here's a list of several major National Trust properties and the films and TV shows that have been filmed there.
Antony House, Cornwall
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
This classically beautiful house was used by director Tim Burton for his adaptation of Lewis Carrol's 'Alice'. Filming took place in September 2008, and the film was released in 2010.
Basildon Park, Berkshire
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
The elegant Palladian mansion appeared in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley. Basildon’s dining room was used for several ballroom scenes, and both the interior and exterior were used for background filming.
Beatrix Potter Gallery & Tarn Hows, Cumbria
Miss Potter (2006)
The popular biographical film of the celebrated children’s author Beatrix Potter used many actual locations from around Potter's Cumbria home. Potter was one of the Trust’s biggest benefactors. The Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead was the office of Potter's husband, William Heelis, a solicitor.
Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
The Libertine (2004)
The life of John Wilmot, the libertine 2nd Earl of Rochester, came to the screen in 2004. Johnny Depp played the lead, as the grounds of Charlecote Park was magically transformed into the East End of London. Depp is rumoured to have taken a bath in the Brew House!
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Yorkshire
The History Boys (2006)
The medieval ruins of Fountains Abbey were used as the backdrop for a school visit in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play. The film followed a group of young men as they strove to earn a place at one of the best universities in the country.
Ham House, Surrey
Anna Karenina (2012)
Joe Wright directed this sweeping tale love and adultery. Ham House was transformed into ornate Russian apartments, and the Long Gallery on the first floor was used for Vronsky’s empty apartments in nineteenth-century St Petersburg. Other recent film projects to use Ham House include John Carter, Never Let Me Go and The Young Victoria.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
The Stone Court of Knole was transformed into the courtyard of a Swiss Castle as Professor Moriarity battled Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock Holmes. Knole was also used for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and in 2008, it took was used in the adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s, The Other Boleyn Girl, the story of the Boleyn sisters, Anne and Mary, as they vied for the love of King Henry VIII. In real life, Knole did have a link to Henry; for the king was so struck by the beauty of Knole that he compelled Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, to turn the property over to him.
Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001)
The atmospheric former monastery retains its medieval cloisters, which have been used as the classrooms of Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films. Lacock was where Harry discovered the ‘Mirror of Erised’. The Abbey appeared as the chambers of Catherine of Aragon in The Other Boleyn Girl.
Lyme Park, Cheshire
The Awakening (2011)
Lyme Park is a stunning country house and estate, set on the edge of moorland in eastern Cheshire, on the edge of the Peak District. In 2011 Lyme was a setting for the supernatural thriller, The Awakening. The house exterior was used for Rookwood, the isolated boys’ boarding school in the film. Also appearing in the film was ‘The Cage’, a tower folly on a hilltop in the parkland surrounding the house.
Osterley Park, London
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
It took 2 full months for film crews to transform Osterley into Wayne Manor, then the actual filming with Christian Bale and Michael Caine took just a week. Osterley’ was chosen for its opulent interiors, including the Long Gallery, which stretched 130 feet. Director Christopher Nolan was able to use a real secret passage, disguised as a bookcase in the Library, to act as the entrance to Batman’s bat cave. Other films to use Osterley include Burke & Hare, Gulliver's Travels, The Young Victoria, and Miss Potter.
Easy Virtue (2008)
Wimpole was the setting for Noel Coward’s comedy of manners, with Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes and Colin Firth. Filming took place in early 2008. The two lovers were discovered at the folly in the grounds, and the exterior of the house was used as the backdrop for a comic hunting scene.
That's really just a taster, as so many National Trust properties have appeared in films over the years - and continue to do so. The Trust has a 'Movie Map' section on their website that might help track down exactly what was filmed where. Or, you can use our list of National Trust properties to find a place in any given county.