Get to know Britain's biggest stars
The much-anticipated Downton Abbey Christmas Special saw the Crawleys and their servants travel to London, where we got our first glimpse of Grantham House, their residence 'in town'. The grand interiors of Grantham House actually belong to Basildon Park, a Georgian mansion in the Berkshire countryside. Britain’s impressive stately homes have been lighting up the silver screen for years – in fact, Basildon Park also starred as Mr Bingley’s home in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice film. Here are a few more of our favourites on film:
We can’t talk about stately homes and the Crawley family without mentioning Highclere Castle , which doubles as Downton Abbey itself.
The imposing Victorian castle was always destined to become Downton, as writer Julian Fellowes had it in mind as he wrote the series. But the award-winning series isn’t Highclere’s first brush with fame – it also appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut in 1999.
Chatsworth is one of Britain’s most magnificent stately homes, nestled within 1000 acres of parkland in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. It’s believed that Jane Austen actually based her idea of Pemberley House on Chatsworth as she wrote Pride and Prejudice in the nearby town of Bakewell.
In 2005, Jane’s vision was realised as Chatsworth became Mr Darcy’s residence in the film adaptation of the book. The house and gardens have also starred in The Duchess , starring Kiera Knightley, and the 2009 horrorThe Wolf Man.
This extravagant stately home has quite a lot to boast about. Not only has it starred in several blockbusters, it’s also a World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
The magnificent Baroque architecture, stunning interiors and Capability Brown-landscaped gardens have madeBlenheim the perfect setting for movies like 2009’s The Young Victoria and Gulliver’s Travels , where it starred as a Lilliputian castle.
What do Shakespeare, Sherlock and Batman have in common? They’ve all graced the big screen alongside the magnificent Hatfield House .
You might recognise the beautiful 17th century Jacobean mansion as Wayne Manor in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns ; Lara Croft’s mansion in Tomb Raider and the backdrop for the Greenwich fireworks inShakespeare in Love .
It also appeared in the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech , but Hatfield has real-life royal connections: it was the childhood home of our Tudor queen, Elizabeth I.
This grand mansion is an A-lister among Britain’s stately homes. Englefield House and its stunning 400-year-old gardens starred as Charles Xavier’s home in X-Men: First Class , and Miss Haversham’s house in the 2012 adaptation of Great Expectations , starring Helena Bonham Carter. Scenes from The King’s Speech and Woody Allen’s Match Point were also filmed in the grounds.
This luxurious Buckinghamshire country club has featured in some of Britain’s biggest films – from Bond toBridget Jones’s Diary . It’s on Stoke’s famous Championship golf course that Sean Connery’s 007 takes onGoldfinger in cinema’s most famous 18 holes.
And when the dastardly Daniel Cleaver whisks Bridget Jones away on a romantic minibreak, Stoke Park is their destination. The club also features in great British gangster movies Layer Cake and RocknRolla.
Notting Hill fans will recognise the magnificent Kenwood House as the backdrop to the Henry James film being shot by Anna Scott, but it also appeared in 1999’s Mansfield Park and 2007’s Venus .
It may look like a grand countryside estate, but Kenwood is actually nestled on the edge of north London’s leafy Hampstead Heath, and is one of the capital’s hidden gems.