I actually really enjoyed the new Emma movie, but I’d need to watch it more times to write a post about it (the fabrics alone are incredible!), but I am going to be talking about a different movie this month: Downton Abbey. I did not know that the movie had filmed at Harewood before I went last year, but as I started reading more about it I was pleased to see they’d filmed scenes there. Mary, the Princess Royal (daughter of King George V and Queen Mary) features in the film along with her parents, and she was married to Viscount Lascelles (who was later Earl of Harewood), so it’s natural that the movie would film in a place she actually lived.
You can see some of the architectural marks she left upon the house, such as her dressing-room, which includes her cipher:
It’s a pretty room, although of a later architectural period than I’m generally interested in. The lapis lazuli inlaid fireplace is particularly beautiful:
As you can tell, however, the view of the best feature of the room is blocked by a giant dress, for unfortunately I when I visited they were putting on an exhibition of crafts. While I’m all for them doing things like this, and I might even have enjoyed seeing the crafts had they been exhibited elsewhere (at Nostell, exhibits were kept in the lower level in old service rooms that had not been restored), when they’re interrupting the design and architecture of the rooms, they’re just annoying.
I’d come to the house because it was another Robert Adam / Thomas Chippendale collaboration, and frankly to put local craftspeoples’ work up against the masterpieces of these two who were the pinnacle of an entire era, executed by master craftsmen, just made a lot of the modern stuff look crass and poorly executed. I think that’s why I started focusing on details of the Georgian-era craftsmanship even more than I usually do; when I went back through my photos I found tons and tons of details. So I thought I would share even more photos than I usually do, with less commentary, although I will pop in with some occasional bits on the most noteworthy items.
We’re heading below stairs, now, to the servants’ quarters…
That’s all for the inside of the house: I hope you enjoyed this close look at some amazing Georgian-era craftsmanship. But of course there is an outside as well, and it’s really lovely.
If you have seen the Downton Abbey movie you may recall from the exterior shots that it’s incredibly well-situated, with a terrace behind the house and then the landscaped grounds beyond. Be warned, there’s some prominent statue nudity, although it’s not super defined.
Beyond the formal terrace garden is landscape done by Capability Brown and later additions were made by Humphrey Repton, so this house has truly seen the work of FOUR of the greatest artists of the Georgian era!
I really loved the mix of formal and informal. The formal terrace came later, in the Victorian era, but I can’t imagine the house without it.
That’s all for this month’s post, but I’ll be back with another Robert Adam house next month, so we’re not done with my architectural tours just yet!