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Last week, I imagined a Hogmanay, New Year, trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
I’m participating in Jane Austen January, hosted by Erin at Cracker Crumb Life and Lisa at Boondock Ramblings. They welcome all posts related to Jane Austen but are particularly promoting four movies to watch. This week, I watched the first, Sense and Sensibility (1995).
I’m sure this is at least the third time that I’ve seen this movie, but I didn’t remember all the details or how delightful the experience is. There are splendid performances, particularly by Emma Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay), Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman. There are beautiful landscapes and charming houses. And, of course, there is a complicated but satisfying story.
I’m sure that Erin and Lisa will say much more about the film, so I thought I’d see what I could learn about the filming locations. The most complete list of filming locations that I found was this post on the Almost Ginger website.
I’m going to focus on the places that we can visit, in the order that they appear in the film.
Saltram House, Plymouth, Devon. This Georgian Mansion stands in for Norland Park where Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and three daughters with a pittance while his eldest son inherits the estate. This National Trust site is open to visitors year-round. For another Jane Austen connection, there is a display of letters between Miss Austen and Frances Talbot, the first Countess of Morley, a resident of Saltram House.
Efford House, Plymouth, Devon. The Dashwood ladies move to Barton Cottage in an attempt to live within their means and not rely on John and Fanny Dashwood, who become more ungracious when it’s apparent that Fanny’s brother is forming an attachment to Elinor Dashwood. Efford House is available as a holiday let, housing up to 12 people. The interior has been modernized, but you’ll recognize the deep windowsills, the exterior, and the view.
Blickling Estate, Norfolk. This is Delaford, the estate that Colonel Brandon will inherit and the location of a disrupted picnic. Blickling is another National Trust site. The house is Jacobean, but the estate was mentioned in the Domesday Book and was once owned by the Boleyn family. Blickling is open from 10-4pm most days. The 4600-acre park is open from dawn to dusk and welcomes dog walkers.
Mompesson House, Salisbury, Wiltshire. When Elinor and Marianne Dashwood visit London, they stay with Mrs. Jennings in her house in Chelsea. The filming location, however, was far away in Salisbury, one of the buildings of the Cathedral Close. The house is run by the National Trust. It’s closed in the winter but is open to visitors at other times of the year.
Mothecombe House, Plymouth, Devon. The drawing room of Mrs. Jennings’ Chelse house was filmed in a different building. Mothecombe House is now a holiday let, run by the same operation as Efford House. It sleeps six and is a five-minute walk to the beach.
Wilton House, Wilton, Wiltshire. The interior scenes for the ball were filmed in Wilton House, the country seat of the Earls of Pembroke since 1544. The house is currently owned by the 18th Earl. The house and gardens are open to the public, except in winter. Wilton House is a popular filming location. Many of the interiors of Buckingham Palace for The Crown were filmed here.
Montacute House, Yeovil, Somerset. This masterpiece of Elizabethan architecture stood in for Cleveland House, the residence of the Palmers where Elinor and Marianne break their journey on the way home from London. Marianne becomes ill due to her broken heart and a walk in the rain. Montacute House is another National Trust property. It is closed for much of January but open the rest of the year.
Compton Castle, Devon. This is John Willoughby’s Combe Magna estate, the house that Marianne looks at in the rain, leading to her illness. Compton Castle is a rare medieval fortress and is another National Trust property. It’s open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the warmer months.
St. Mary’s Church, Berry Pomeroy, Devon. The final scene of the film, the wedding, was filmed at this church.
I would love to visit all of these sites, but it would take learning to drive on the left. Fortunately, the Virtual Driving School lets you “practice your practical driving in realistic environments based on real UK locations.” That sounds like a fun way to learn!