English stately homes made famous through film and TV

Discover Britain's most popular stately homes through the lens of a movie camera. Here are the mansions, castles and stately homes that have been made famous through blockbuster hits like Pride and Prejudice, Bridgerton and Bridget Jones's Diary

Queen Charlotte on her throne in the Single Cube Room of Wilton House for Netflixs Bridgerton
Published: September 20th, 2022 at 5:20 pm
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Many of Britain's historic stately homes double as film sets for classic films and TV shows throughout the years. Plan a day trip, or even stay the night, at one of the estates of the silver screens to revisit the lives of your favourite characters.

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Stately homes that appear in film and TV

Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

Likely the most well known British stately home, Highclere Castle is the main set used in TV show Downton Abbey. The great hall, dining room, library, music room, drawing room, salon and several of the bedrooms were used as backdrop to the Crawley family's life, as well as the exteriors and grounds. It has also been announced that Highclere will again be used as the backdrop for the second Downtown Abbey film, due to be released in 2022. This iconic stately home is also open to the public - so visitors can glide down the grand oak staircase like Lady Mary on her wedding day, or take take a seat in the state dining room, where the Dowager Countess spoke many a satirical line.

Rousham House (The Pursuit of Love)

This country house in Oxfordshire served as Alconleigh, the Radlett family home, in the recent BBC adaptation of Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love. Rousham provides key interiors for Alconleigh, including the entrance hall and Red Dining Room, of which the Radlett children are desperate to escape.

Chatsworth House (Pride and Prejudice)

It's believed that Jane Austen based her vision of Pemberley House on Chatsworth for her novel Pride and Prejudice, so it is only fitting that this estate served as Mr Darcy's home in the 2005 film. When touring this Derbyshire estate, visitors might recognise the grand staircase and Painted Hall that Lizzie and the Gardiners walk through, or the veiled Vestral Virgin in the Sculpture Gallery. Others might recognise the interiors of Chatsworth from other period dramas, such as The Duchess or Death Comes to Pemberley.

We included Chatsworth House in our round-up of the most haunted stately homes and castles in the UK.

We also included Chatsworth in our list of the best stately homes in the UK.

Hatfield House (Batman)

This 17th century Jacobean mansion, a childhood home to Elizabeth I, has been the backdrop several prolific protagonists: Wayne Manor in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, Lara Croft’s mansion in Tomb Raider, George VI's home in The King’s Speech and most recently Queen Anne's dwelling in The Favourite. The grounds of Hatfield also served as location for the Greenwich fireworks in Shakespeare in Love.

Wilton House (Bridgerton)

The rooms of Wilton House is a particular favourite for period films and TV shows - Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte is filmed seated on her throne in the Single Cube Room, while the Double Cube Room is used as young Queen Elizabeth II's office in The Crown. The interiors have also acted as sets to the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice and 2020's Emma.

BRIDGERTON GOLDA ROSHEUVEL as QUEEN CHARLOTTE in episode 101 of BRIDGERTON Cr. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020

Alnwick Castle (Harry Potter)

Harry Potter fans might recognise this location as the stand-in for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two films. Scenes from The Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets were filmed at Alnwick Castle, namely the Madam Hooch's infamous flying lesson, or where Oliver Wood teaches Harry the rules of Quidditch. The courtyard was also used as backdrop to film the students walking to and from classes.

Harry Potters first flying lesson at Alnwick House
Harry Potters first flying lesson at Alnwick House

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Kenwood House (Notting Hill)

Hugh Grant can be seen walking across the grounds of Kenwood to reunite with Julia Roberts' character, Anna Scott, in Notting Hill (which she is ironically working as an actress in a period drama). Kenwood is also the location for the 1999 adaptation Mansfield Park and 2007’s Venus.

Castle Howard (Brideshead Revisited)

Castle Howard first hit the big screen as the double for as Brideshead in the 1981 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited (and once again in 2008). Since then, it has been used for numerous other films and TV shows, such as ITV's Victoria and the aforementioned Death Comes to Pemberley.

We included Castle Howard in our list of the best stately homes in the UK.

Castle Howard is a famous stately home for "Brideshead" remake being filmed here and is also part of the National Trust in North Yorkshire, England. stanciuc / Getty Images

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Blenheim Palace (The Young Victoria)

World Heritage Site Blenheim Palace has been used as the filming location for numerous films and TV programmes. Lilliputian Castle in 2009’s The Young Victoria and Gulliver’s Travels, as well as 2015's Cinderella and Spectre and 2017's Transformers: The Last Knight.

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We included Blenheim Palace as one of the best dog-friendly stately homes to visit in the UK and the best stately homes in the UK overall.

Wrotham Park (Bridget Jones's Diary)

Charlotte Bronte's timeless classic Jane Eyre (2011) was shot at this Neo-Palladian English country house, doubling as Jane's childhood home, Gateshead Hall. Wrotham Park can also be seen in 2012's Great Expectations, 2004's Vanity Fair, or Bridget Jones's Diary.

Bridget Jones, Renee Zelwegger, and Daniel Cleaver, Hugh Grant, in one of the bedrooms at Wrotham Park
Bridget Jones, Renee Zelwegger, and Daniel Cleaver, Hugh Grant, in one of the bedrooms at Wrotham Park.

Lacock Abbey (Harry Potter)

Another location familiar to any Harry Potter fans, Lacock Abbey was used as the halls of Hogwarts, as well as many classrooms, such as Snape's potion class or Professor Quirrell's Defence Against the Dark Arts class. Alongside its numerous Harry Potter features, Lacock Abbey was also used in Wolf Hall, Cranford, Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

We included Lacock Abbey in our list of the best stately homes in the UK.

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Chavenage House (Poldark)

This 16th century Gloucestershire country house is most notable for its screen time as Trenwith House in the Poldark series. The interior was left practically untouched since its construction in 1576, making it the perfect backdrop for any period drama.

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