The 1995 A&E production of Pride and Prejudice has always been my favorite. Not only was it my first exposure to the wonderful world of Austen (yes, even before the book!), but it also seems to be the most authentic and the most accurate to Jane Austen’s original text. Not only that, but the scenery and locations are incredible, and really set the tone or the entire miniseries. In honor of those scenes, I thought I would be interesting to go back and learn a little about the real-life estates which were used during the filming. So, in no particular order, I give you the top estates used in the filming of A&E’s Pride and Prejudice.
The setting for Longbourn is Luckingham Court, just outside the village of Luckington in Wiltshire. The house itself is dated from the 16th century, and if one looks back in the mists of time, the house is said to be built on the site of a manor owned by King Harold before 1066. Both the interior and exterior of the building was used for filming.
Interesting fact: The owner, Mrs. Angela Horn, was offered a part as an extra, but turned it down. She spent the five months during filming living the servants’ quarters!
- Netherfield Park
Edgcote House, located in southwest Northamptonshire, is the setting for Mr. Charles Bingley’s leased estate. The building was built in the 18th century, and was at one time owned by Anne of Cleves, who was Henry VIII’s fourth wife, and one who was actually allowed to keep her head!
Interesting fact: The current house and estate is threatened by a proposed high speed railway, which would cut across the estate lands within view of the house.
- Rosings Park
Lady Catherine’s imposing abode was shot at Belton House near Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. It was also built in the 17th century, and was the seat of the Brownlow family for more than 300 years. It was modeled after the famous Clarendon House in London.
Interesting fact: Edward the VIII, who reigned as King of England for less than a full year, stayed at Belton house many times with Wallis Simpson, with whom he was was having an affair. He abdicated the throne in order to marry her, as it was forbidden for a member of the Church of England to marry a person who had an ex-spouse who was still alive.
You can’t do one of these without touching on Pemberley! The site used in the A&E version was Lyme Park, south of Disley in Cheshire. Built in the latter part of the 16th century, Lyme Park was in the possession of the Legh family of Lyme for exactly 600 years, when it was given to the National Trust.
Though Lyme Park was used for the exterior scenes, the interior shots were completed at Chatsworth, which is near to where the fictional Pemberley is supposed to be. And yes, if you’re wondering, that is a twelve-foot statue of Mr. Darcy emerging from the lake, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice!
- Pemberley (Bonus)
This last one is not from the 1995 miniseries, but the 2015 movie with Keira Knightley. The setting for Pemberley in Knightley’s version is Chatsworth itself, one of the most famous buildings in England, dating back to the middle of the 16th century. Since that time, it has been the home of the Cavendish family, built at the direction of Sir William Cavendish.
Many believe that Chatsworth was Jane Austen’s inspiration for Pemberley, as her description of the estate is similar to that of Chatsworth.