Groombridge Place or Longbourn. (Image via www.flickr.com/photos/turboff)
The 2005 adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a period classic. The picture was filmed at a handful of stately homes, historic towns and rural locations. Here are five worth visiting.
Let’s begin with the home of the Bennet family, Longbourn manor, also known as Groombridge Place. In Austen’s novel, and the 1995 film, the real Longbourn was imagined in Hertfordshire. It is thought that the fictional home of the Bennets might lie in the small village of Redbourn(1) (there is even a resemblance in the name). However the 350 year old moated manor house, Groombridge Place, actually resides in the village of Groombridge four miles west of Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Groombridge Place is now a beautiful tourist attraction home to several stunning gardens, an ‘enchanted’ forest and a bird of prey centre. The house is even available for private hire and offers wedding receptions in the oak panelled Baronial Hall. Adult tickets are £8.95/9.95
Next, Basildon Park, the Georgian mansion that plays the part of Netherfield. Netherfield is the house that Mr Bingly rents near Longbourn and we first see it when Elizabeth visits her sister Jane.
The grand house was rescued from ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950’s and today the mansion is decorated with salvaged 18th century fixtures and fittings alongside fifties themed rooms like the 1950’s kitchen which is a still used today. If you visit in the Christmas period you might be lucky enough to sample a homemade mince pie from one of the volunteers.
Basildon Park is situated in Berkshire, seven miles north of Reading. For non-National Trust members, an adult ticket is £10.90.
Moving a little further north we have Burghley house, otherwise known as Rosings Park the home to Lady Catherine De Bourgh. In the Novel Rosings is described as an impressive mansion in which the glazing alone is worth over five hundred pounds. Burghley house certainly does not disappoint.
The Elizabethan house was built in the mid-16th century by William Cecil, and has well over one hundred rooms. The entrance to the house takes you through to the old Brewhouse which has been renovated into a modern visitor center. You can find Burghley House 20 miles from Peterborough, near Stamford where some scenes were also filmed. An adult ticket is £12.70
Two small yet significant locations worth noting are Stourhead Garden and Stanage Edge. Stourhead is a huge 2,650 acre estate with an impressive house built in the early 1700’s. But it is also home to one of the film’s most romantic locations – the Temple of Apollo – where Darcy first proposes while sheltering from the stormy rain. Without a National Trust membership, admission to the garden only is £7.70.
Stanage Edge is a spectacular place; it is four miles long and stands at 458m tall – the highest point of the gritstone crags. It is the peak which Elizabeth stands pensively staring into the distance on her visit to the Peak District. You can find the crag to the west of Sheffield City close to Hathersage. In the summer months buses run to Stanage Edge on Sundays.