Stately homes for hire in the film industry

Occasionally, here at Landed Houses, we have freelance writers scribble a bit in our Blog, and this time, we’d like to welcome Michael Goodwin, who’s written us a piece on how stately homes play their part in popular culture – available to hire or rent to the very starriest names in film.


Manor Houses and Palaces in UK used in famous Films

England is famous for its many fine stately homes and manor houses. England had a troubled history in the last century, with much social upheaval forcing a lot of families to sell their manor houses off, or donate them to The National Trust. The very worst cases (especially in the 1950’s-70’s) pulled down their inheritance, levelling centuries of history; the families left no choice but to sell the estate and parkland.

Happily though, a good percentage escaped such an awful fate, and families have been able to monetise from their mansions.

 Those who do use their building as a wedding venue or rent it out to filmmakers do need to have the right kind of business insurance, but there are certainly rewards to be reaped when they do – including a place in cinema history. Here are some manor houses and palaces you may recall from the movies.

 Castle Howard

 This majestic palace is best known as the shooting location of the classic British TV series Brideshead Revisited as well as the recent film adaptation of the same novel. Castle Howard is a stately home in North Yorkshire, England, 15 miles north of York. One of the grandest private residences in Britain, most of it was built between 1699 and 1712 for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, to a design by Sir John Vanbrugh


Chatsworth is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and has been home to his family, the Cavendish family, since Bess of Hardwick settled at Chatsworth in 1549. I am sure you’ll recognise it at Darcy’s house in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

 Lyme Park

Lyme Park is a large estate located south of Disley, Cheshire, England. It consists of a mansion house surrounded by formal gardens, in a deer park in the Peak District National Park. The house is the largest in Cheshire, and a Grade I listed building. This was also Darcy’s house in the 2005 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

 Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle is best known as the filming location for providing its interiors for use in the Harry Potter films. It’s also famous for its poison garden – a garden specially cultivated with dangerous plants. All of us who thought that Harry Potter was all shot in sets, well it’s not true, these kind of mansions actually do exist! Yves de Vescy, Baron of Alnwick, erected the first parts of the castle in 1096.

Highclere Castle

This iconic home has recently been featured as the shooting location for the hit ITV series Downtown Abbey, I am sure all the viewers of this series will have no problems recognising this mansion. The present castle stands on the site of an earlier house, in turn built on the foundations of the medieval palace of the Bishops of Winchester, who owned this estate from the 8th century.



Thank you, Michael – we found the snippet on Alnwick Castle particularly interesting, and we’re all wpondering what plants we’d find in such a gruesome garden.

Should anyone like to get in touch with Michael, please email him on


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