Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Castle Howard Bridgerton’

The Bridgerton locations you can actually visit

Dearest Readers, As we countdown to Bridgerton season 2, here’s a look back at the filming locations from the first season that you can visit in real life…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Regency period drama must be shot on location in the English city of Bath. And so in opulent new Netflix series, Bridgerton (the name of a family not a place), Bath’s picturesque Georgian architecture stands in for London in 1813. All the exterior shots of “Mayfair” were actually filmed against the honey stone facades of Alfred, Bath and Great Pulteney Streets as well as Beauford Square and Royal Crescent.

Based on the popular romance novels by Julia Quinn, the television series centres around two high society families, the sophisticated Bridgertons and the gauche Featheringtons, as their daughters aim to find eligible husbands during the London Season. Described as Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl, the show is an over the top extravaganza of ultra bright colours, sumptuous costumes, steamy sex scenes and stunning locations.

As well as Bath, various historic buildings around England, many designed by England’s first starchitect Inigo Jones, were used as locations. The interiors are 50 per cent real, 50 per cent set design, Bridgerton’s production designer Will Hughes-Jones told me via email. Some of the real life locations are not open to the public, for instance *that* staircase scene with the anti-hero, Simon, the Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton was filmed is a private house on Queen Anne’s Gate, London. Below though are the locations you can visit when the lockdown is lifted. 

Bath, Somerset

Bridgerton, Netflix, Royal Crescent Bath

The grand exterior of No 1 Royal Crescent, a Georgian era museum, is the Featherington’s Grosvenor Square house (the interiors are set designs). Holburne Museum of Art at the end of Great Pulteney is the exterior of the Duke’s godmother Lady Danbury’s mansion while the Bath Assembly Rooms, the scene of many real life Georgian balls, was the setting for Danbury House’s ballroom. Double bay windowed Pickled Greens café on Abbey Green is the location of Modiste couture dress maker while 12 Trim Street (in reality a hair salon) is Gunter’s Tea Shop, both featured throughout the series.

Ranger’s House, London

The exterior of Bridgerton House, also supposedly in Grosvenor Square, is this eye catching building in Greenwich, south east London (the interiors were shot at RAF Halton House, not open to the public). This Palladian style villa which the production team bedecked with wisteria now houses The Wernher Collection, an impressive range of artworks collected by Sir Julius Wernher in the 19thcentury. 

Wilton House, Wiltshire

Bridgerton, Netflix, Wilton House
Bridgerton Netflix

When the debutantes including Daphne and the Featherington sisters are presented to Queen Charlotte at St James’s Palace it’s in Wilton House’s stunning Single Cube Room, so called because of its dimensions of 30 ft long by 30 ft wide and 30 ft high. And when the displeased Queen confronts her nephew Prince Friedrich of Prussia at her home, Buckingham House, it’s in the even more splendid Double Cube Room. 

The house multi tasks as the exterior and interiors of the Duke’s London residence, Hastings House, too. The Cloisters features in several corridor stomping scenes and that fabulous ariel shot of “Hastings House” with is courtyard garden in the series finale of Bridgerton is Wilton. 

The Queen’s House, London

Also in Greenwich, this impressive Classical building – the first of its style in the UK – stands in for Somerset House where the debutantes flock around Prince Friedrich. The house was originally built for King James 1’s bride in the early 1600s and now houses an art gallery (though not the one seen in Bridgerton which was filmed inside Somerley House, a private events venue).

Painshill, Surrey

BRIDGERTON (L to R) NICOLA COUGHLAN as PENELOPE FEATHERINGTON, POLLY WALKER as PORTIA FEATHERINGTON, HARRIET CAINS as PHILLIPA FEATHERINGTON, BEN MILLER as LORD FEATHERINGTON and BESSIE CARTER as PRUDENCE FEATHERINGTON in episode 102 of BRIDGERTON Cr. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020

The 18th century landscaped gardens in Cobham appear in the “Botanical Gardens” scenes where London society meets to picnic and promenade. The lake and both the Chinese and Five Arch bridges feature prominently – with the Netflix design additions of gazebos and a profusion of flowers. 

Syon House, London

While several of the Buckingham House interiors were shot at Lancaster house (owned by the British Government and not open to the public), some were also filmed inside this 16th century house in west London. The neo classical gem also serves as the location of the Duke’s Hastings House study and dressing room. And the distinctive neo classical Great Hall is where the Duke’s belongings are packed up before he intends to leave England. Syon House’s garden courtyard inspired the set design for the London Season’s final ball.

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire

Bridgerton Netflix, Hatfield House

Lady Trowbridge’s Ball, featuring pivotal scenes for all the major Bridgerton characters, was filmed at this country house just north of London. As well as shots of the Jacobean exteriors and the ornamental East Garden, the Marble Hall with its black and white checked floor and wood carved walls features as the ballroom. The house has links with Queen Elizabeth 1 and a portrait of her circa 1600 hangs in the Marble Hall. 

Castle Howard, Yorkshire 

Bridgerton, Netflix at Castle Howard

Both the magnificent exterior and interiors, including the centrepiece dome, of Castle Howard were shot for the Duke’s country seat, Clyvedon Castle. The Temple of the Four Winds in the grounds is the setting for another passionate scene between Simon and Daphne. Clyvedon’s dining room was actually filmed at Wilton House though and if you’re looking for the library – setting of yet another steamy encounter – you’ll need an invite to The Reform Club in London.

This article was originally published in January 2021

A Castle is not just for Christmas – You Can Stay at A Very British Scandal’s Inveraray

Paul Bettany and Claire Foy in A Very British Scandal – BBC

It was love at first sight when glamorous Margaret Sweeny the future Duchess of Argyll set eyes on Inveraray Castle on the west coast of Scotland. Understandable, despite the castle’s neglected state, given the romantic looking conical roofed turrets and glorious position in vast parkland edging Loch Fyne.

Rich and spoilt Margaret, debutante of the year in 1930 and the “Mrs Sweeny” namechecked in the Cole Porter song You’re The Top, is said to have become enamoured with restoring the castle inherited by her married lover, Ian Campbell, the eleventh Duke of Argyll.

In the new BBC and Amazon Studios drama series, A Very British Scandal, Ian (played by Paul Bettany) is depicted taking Margaret (Claire Foy) to Inveraray and dismissing it as “a plague pit” and “a pile”. But Margaret responds, “You didn’t tell me it was so beautiful. It just needs love and attention”.

Inveraray Castle

And that’s what Margaret gave it, investing a small fortune of her father’s, self-made millionaire George Whigham, money in restoring it. There was not to be a happy ending for the couple who married in 1951 (his third, her second). The duke was debt ridden, alcoholic and seemingly fond of marrying heiresses, the television drama reveals. When Margret’s father cuts off the money supply he moves to divorce her.  The series shows eyebrow raising behaviour from both the duke and duchess though Margaret’s step daughter in law and royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell says on her youtube channel that the actions attributed to the duchess are erroneous.

An ugly divorce case spanned the late 1950s and early 1960s resulting in Margret being dubbed “the dirty duchess” on account of her diaries and love letters supposedly showing her promiscuity and infidelity. Not to mention an infamous Polaroid showing Margret, recognisable by her trademark pearl necklace, engaging in a sexual act with a “headless man” the identity of who she refused to reveal. In recent years (Margaret died in 1993) Lady Colin Campbell has said the duchess told her it was the Pan Am Airlines executive Bill Lyons.

Inveraray Castle

Today there is no mention of Margaret on the castle’s website. The current duke, Torquhil Campbell, however allowed the cast and crew to film at Inveraray which is about 60 miles from Glasgow. 

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s an important part of our family history. I’m not sure my grandfather will come out of it in the best light, but what happened, happened,” he told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper. 

The story of Inveraray Castle begins well before the eleventh Duke and “Marg of Arg”. An earlier castle on the site was built in the 1400s by the Campbell Clan who date back to 1260. The existing castle was commissioned in 1719 based on a sketch by John Vanbrugh who designed Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard in England. The latter was the filming location for the Duke of Hastings’ fictional Clyvedon Castle.

Armoury Hall, Inveraray Castle

Inside, the striking Armoury Hall has the highest ceiling in Scotland and a staggering display of ancient weapons at every turn. Both the State Dining Room and the Tapestry Drawing Room have walls hand painted by French artists. Behind a secret door is the China Turret featuring a collection of Eastern and European porcelain. The relaxing Saloon includes a Gainsborough and a grand piano on which songs for the musical My Fair Lady were composed. Downton Abbey fans may recognise Inveraray as the fictitious “Duneagle Castle” from the 2012 Christmas Special currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

It was Margaret who first opened Inveraray to the public in 1953 to raise funds. The castle and its grounds will be open to the public from March 28th to October 31st this year with private tours available. Or you can hire the place for an exclusive stay through Scottish castle specialist Loyd & Townsend Rose with use of the State Dining Room for which you can engage a chef, and the Saloon which I can vouch for being a splendid place for a nightcap.

State Dining Room – Inveraray Castle

The six bedrooms all have en suite bathrooms (thanks to Margaret, Torquhil says). I have stayed in the exquisite, Duchess’ bedroom – in a turret complete with floral designs, four poster bed and a view of the grounds from its many windows. As well as the formal gardens, there’s 60,000 acres of estate for stalking, shooting or just walking. And the loch is famed for its oysters which you can sample at the nearby Loch Fyne Oyster Bar.

Margaret was not the first famous chatelaine. Princess Louise, one of Queen Victoria’s daughters, married the future ninth Duke of Argyll. The elaborate covered entrance was said to have been created for her wedding to shield the princess and the monarch from the elements and a writing desk given by Victoria on her daughter’s marriage can still be seen here. 

The present day duke and duchess and their children live in the castle but in an apartment tucked away in the former servants’ wing. They are a personable couple, magnanimous about opening their home to around 100,000 paying visitors a year. As the duchess has said, “Thanks to them, I’ve got a roof above me.”

%d bloggers like this: