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National Trust News: The National Trust's Stars Of The Silver Screen

"On average, 3 film crews are using National Trust locations every day of the year. As we start to think about awards season, including the Oscars on February 26, we’re showcasing some of the best places to retrace the steps of famous characters and discover breathtaking backdrops that attract so many film-makers to our wonderful places,'' writes Phil Harper.

Here is a selection of the finest places to see where the movie magic happened:

Knole, Kent

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Last autumn, the cast and crew from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows came to Knole, transforming the Stone Court into the courtyard of a Swiss Castle for the arrival of Professor Moriarty, arch-enemy of Robert Downey Jr.’s famous detective.

One of the most popular National Trust film locations, Johnny Depp flew in to film crucial scenes for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film at Knole. In 2008, it took centre stage for the adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s best selling novel, The Other Boleyn Girl, the story of the Boleyn sisters, Anne and Mary, as they competed for love of King Henry VIII. In reality, Knole has a link to King Henry himself. He was so impressed by the beauty of Knole that in 1538 he forced Thomas Cranmer, his Archbishop of Canterbury, to hand the property over to him.


White Edge Lodge, Derbyshire

Jane Eyre (2011)

This stunningly located holiday cottage made its way to the silver screen in Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Jane Eyre. Surrounded by wide expanses of open heather moorland, this cottage has stunning views across the National Park in all directions. The lodge sleeps five and has many interesting and original interior features including a kitchen in the former game cellar and a beautifully designed bathroom with a fine moorland view from the bathtub.


Lyme Park, Cheshire

The Awakening (2011)

The stunning country house, set against sweeping moorland, played a starring role in the chilling supernatural thriller, The Awakening. Located in the wild remoteness of the Peak District, Lyme’s exterior was used to represent Rookwood, the secluded boys’ boarding school in the film. It is here that paranormal sceptic Rebecca Hall is invited by headmaster Dominic West to investigate rumours of an apparent haunting. Using the mile long drive and exterior for stunning effect, another key location was “The Cage”, a tower situated high on a hill in the medieval parkland.


Ham House, Surrey

Never Let Me Go (2011)

The Young Victoria (2009)

Ham House has proved to be a popular choice for the silver screen and it was a key location in the period film, The Young Victoria. The film chronicles Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne, focusing on the early and turbulent years of her reign and her legendary romance and marriage to Prince Albert. Both the interiors and exteriors of Ham House were used in the film, and represented Kensington Palace where Victoria was born and spent her early years.

The Trust property was transformed more recently to become the atmospheric “Hailsham”, a mysterious children’s home that was the setting for much of the film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed, bestselling novel, starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan.


Antony, Cornwall

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

This classically beautiful house is a beguiling mix of the formal and informal and has now been famously brought to life in the equally beguiling recent adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton. Filming took place over nine days back in September 2008, transforming the grounds and creating a ‘mini’ village of catering trucks and hair and make-up tents.


Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001)

The Abbey at the heart of Lacock Village has experienced its fair share of the limelight. Founded in 1232 and converted into a country house in the 1540s, the atmospheric monastic rooms include medieval cloisters, a sacristy and chapter house. The Abbey's cloisters and side rooms were transformed into the magical classrooms of the famous ‘Hogwarts’, while the location was also used for Harry's discovery of the mystical ‘Mirror of Erised’.

The Abbey was also immortalised as the beautiful chambers of Catherine of Aragon for filming of The Other Boleyn Girl.


Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

The Duchess (2008)

Designed to impress and amaze, Kedleston is a stunning example of 18th-century architecture and it comes as no surprise that it was chosen as one of the major locations for the blockbuster, The Duchess. Starring Keira Knightley, the film delves into the life of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, who lived a life of political and romantic intrigue in the 18th-century. Filming at Kedleston spanned four weeks and at least six different rooms in the property were used – find out which ones by following the Duchess trail.


Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire

Easy Virtue (2008)

Key scenes from Noel Coward’s timeless comedy of manners, starring Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes and Colin Firth, were filmed at Wimpole in early 2008. The two lovers were caught in a romantic tryst in the folly in the grounds and the exterior of the house formed the backdrop to a comic hunting scene.


Beatrix Pottery Gallery & Tarn Hows, Cumbria

Miss Potter (2006)

The eagerly anticipated biopic of the celebrated children’s author used several Trust properties in the filming, which hold strong links to the lady herself, who was famously one of the Trust’s biggest benefactors. The Beatrix Potter Gallery, which was once the solicitor’s office of the author’s husband, William Heelis, featured in the movie as did the stunning beauty of Tarn Hows – bought by Miss Potter in 1929 and later taken on by the Trust.


Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Yorkshire

The History Boys (2006)

The grand ruins of Fountains Abbey were the setting for a school visit in this adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play. Predominately featuring a British cast boasting Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour the film explored a group of young men with the brains, and will, to earn a place at the finest universities in the country - but with coaxing and encouragement to stir their inquisitive minds.


Basildon Park, Berkshire

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

For the first big screen adaptation of Pride & Prejudice in 65 years, Basildon Park played a starring role as the dreamy location for Darcy and Elizabeth’s first meeting at ‘Netherfield’. The house is also the setting for the film’s sumptuous ballroom scenes, which take place in Basildon’s dining room. With both the exterior of the house and many of the first floor rooms used in the lavish production, Basildon will be instantly recognisable to fans.


Charlecote Park, Warwickshire

The Libertine (2004)

The scandalous and decadent life of the 17th-century poet, John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, was brought to the silver screen in 2004, with Johnny Depp stepping into the shoes of the infamous ‘Rochester’. Charlecote, in Warwickshire, played a supporting role as its grounds were transformed into the East End of London, complete with pigs. It’s also said that Johnny Depp even took a bath in the Brewhouse.


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