The stately homes that would be Pemberley
“She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!”
In film adaptations, Lizzy is stunned when she sees the Pemberley — and so is the viewer. What real-life stately homes have stood in for Darcy’s (sadly fictional) estate? Here’s a sampling:
Chatsworth House in Derbyshire in northern England was the shooting location for some Pemberley scenes in the 2005 “Pride and Prejudice” and 2013’s “Death Comes to Pemberley.” Although it’s undergone many changes over its lifetime, Chatsworth has been the home of the Cavendishes (Duke and Duchess of Devonshire) dating to the 16th century.
When you watch the films, keep an eye out for the checkered floor of Chatsworth’s grand Painted Hall. And in the 2005 film, you’ll see the sculpture gallery, too. Fun fact No. 1: Yes, Chatsworth does still have that bust of Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen) from the movie. Fun fact No. 2: If the house and Keira Knightley give you deja vu, it’s because she returned to Chatsworth to film her role as Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, in the 2008 film “The Duchess.”
Other interior scenes in the 2005 “Pride and Prejudice” were filmed at Wilton House, the home of the Earl of Pembroke since 1544, in Salisbury, England. If the room looks familiar in the scene where Lizzy meets Georgiana, it’s because it was also used for scenes in the Netflix series “The Crown.” The exterior was recently seen in 2017’s “Tomb Raider” with Alicia Vikander.
In “Death Comes to Pemberley,” some of the interior scenes were filmed at Yorkshire’s Harewood House, which dates to the 18th century. Fun fact: Jenna Coleman — who played Lydia in “Death Comes to Pemberley” — stars as the young titular queen in the PBS TV series “Victoria,” which has also filmed at Harewood.
The Pemberley in the 1995 “Pride and Prejudice” is also an amalgam of a number of stately homes in Britain. Lyme Park in Cheshire, with its Italianate facade, served as the exterior of Pemberley in the 1995 “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s been the home of the Legh family for 600 years. If you go, it offers a “Pride and Prejudice” walking tour, including, yes, The Pond (the site of the Darcy “wet shirt” scene — although several ponds were used in filming).
Sudbury Hall was used for the interiors of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, including the flashback scene to the library at Pemberley with Darcy and Wickham. The late-17th-century house is situated in Derbyshire, about 30 miles from Chatsworth. Sudbury is also home to the National Trust Museum of Childhood, highlighting the lives of children over the centuries.
Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire was also used for Pemberley’s interiors, as well as acting as Cambridge in the Darcy-at-university flashbacks. The abbey was founded in 1232, although the original cloister was torn down in the 1400s and replaced with the current structure. The home, which has undergone many renovations, is also the birthplace of photography: William Henry Fox Talbot created the first photographic negative here in 1835. (You might also have seen Lacock Abbey in “Wolf Hall.”) The village of Lacock also stood in for Meryton.
Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire was Pemberley in the 1980 Pride and Prejudice. It’s been home to the Sitwell family for well more than 400 years. It’s said to have inspired D.H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” The home is known for its Italianate gardens.