The Houses and Halls of Pride & Prejudice

Chatsworth House

February 2013

As we celebrate in 2013 the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s acclaimed and enduring novel Pride & Prejudice, take the opportunity to visit some of the locations that made the story come alive in the book’s numerous film and television adaptations.

Many of the spectacular houses, halls, parks and gardens featured in the films and television series are open to the public and promise to enthral fans of Jane Austen and those with a fondness for the English aristocracy.

Chatsworth House

The Pemberley Estate belonging to the novel’s romantic hero, Mr Darcy, has been portrayed in film by various spectacular properties around England. Perhaps the most famous is Derbyshire’s imposing Chatsworth House, which featured in the 2005 film starring Kiera Knightley.

Lyme Park

Lyme ParkThe 1995 BBC television series of Pride & Prejudice favoured three different locations for Darcy’s Pemberley Estate, with shots of the exterior completed at Lyme Park, Cheshire. Lyme Park is famous as the location of what quickly became known as the ‘lake scene’ that sees Mr Darcy, played by Colin Firth, emerge fully clothed from Pemberley’s lake. Though not a part of the original story, the scene had the effect of simultaneously shocking the fictional Elizabeth, securing the real Firth’s status as sex symbol extraordinaire and making Lyme Park one of television’s most recognisable backdrops.

Lacock Village and Abbey

Lacock AbbeyThe BBC chose Lacock Abbey for some of their Pemberley interior scenes. The Abbey is in Lacock Village in Wiltshire, used for portraying the village of Meryton in the BBC’s take on Pride & Prejudice, and where the Bennet sisters sought the latest gossip, the latest fashions and the latest dose of attention from the officers. Any budding Elizabeths in search of their own Mr. Darcy would do very well to pick up a National Trust Touring Pass – the pass includes access to Lyme Park, Lacock Abbey and Lacock Village!

Lady Catherine’s Rosings Park

Aside from venues used as the Pemberley Estate, there’s still plenty of Pride & Prejudice-themed exploring to be done elsewhere. Lincolnshire is home to Burghley House and Belton House which have been used as filming locations for Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s home, Rosings Park.

Unlike in the days of Pride & Prejudice in which only a select few would have the privilege of being invited to the home of the formidable Lady Catherine, Burghley and Belton are now open to the public.

Belton House in particular has been home to the kind of extravagant hospitality and trappings of wealth so beloved of Lady Catherine, and the property’s ‘Below Stairs’ tours offer an insight into the working lives of the servants who made it possible.

Many more National Trust properties have been used as filming locations, not just for Pride & Prejudice but also adaptations of Jane Austen’s other works such as Emma and Sense & Sensibility, and even big Hollywood blockbusters. If you’re still unsure which pass to choose, our heritage pass comparison page can help you decide.

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