LIFE & CULTURE

Inside Wilton House: The Estate Where ‘The Crown’ And All Your Favourite Period Dramas Were Filmed

You've definitely seen it before

When it comes to period dramas, the ornate and decadent castles they are set in can often start to look, well, the same.

And while one might argue that these chateaus vary greatly, from their history and architecture to their stunning interiors, there is one estate in particular that’s become the top choice when filming said dramas.

Introducing: Wilton House.

Most recently featured in The Crown, eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the castle that appears in season four has also played a recurring role in several other films and TV shows.

In The Crown‘s third episode, titled “Fairytale”, Diana dances out her stress beneath a stunning mural in Buckingham Palace. But as some have pointed out, Johnny Flynn’s Mr. Knightley fled to the same room after a ball, as seen in this year’s adaptation of Emma. And prior to that, the location also served as a room at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s sprawling mansion in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice.

Twitter
(Credit: @kniqtly)

And if that weren’t enough, others have also spotted the same room in an episode of Outlander.

Twitter
(Credit: @periodramaz)

According to House Beautiful, Wilton House is not only a director’s dream, but it’s also a centuries-old estate that resides on 22 acres of land near Salisbury in the United Kingdom. 

With its baroque interiors and sprawling grounds, it’s easy to see why Wilton House makes the perfect backdrop for an enthralling period drama, and it’s even less surprising given its impressive history.

Originally, the home belonged to the Earls of Pembroke for over 400 years, but now, it remains open to the public for tours and even hosts events, such as the Annual Antiques Fair

The Wilton House website also provides an entire list of every show and movie that’s ever been filmed on the grounds, from 1995’s Sense and Sensibility to Emily Blunt’s The Young Victoria.

If you’re wondering why this location is evidently attractive to filmmakers, Emma director Autumn de Wilde explained it perfectly.

Speaking to Travel + Leisure, she encapsulated the world of Wilton House eloquently and paid it the attention it deserves, saying:

“I think there’s a grace and beauty to Wilton that wasn’t imposing, but it was overwhelming,” she said of choosing the property. “It’s really incredible to be in there. It doesn’t feel homey. It’s like living in a museum.”

You can book—and dream of—your next post-COVID holiday with a tour of Wilton House here.

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