Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A trip to Sudbury Hall (or Ooh Mr Darcy!)


Recently when we were a bit fed up of the weather and being stuck at home we decided to use our National Trust membership and visit Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood.  I have to say it was a lovely place to visit. The Museum of Childhood was a great nostalgic trip down memory lane, showcasing a lot of long-forgotten toys and games and Sudbury Hall itself is a lovely building. (They also have a good tearoom with some pretty fantastic cakes).


If you didn't know, Sudbury Hall was used in the filming of the amazing BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. All of the interior shots of Pemberley (Mr Darcy's house) were filmed here and if you've watched it you may remember the long gallery where Elizabeth Bennett looked the large portrait of Mr Darcy. Right before he jumped into that lake. 


The gallery is awesome. There aren't really any other words for it. It stretches the entire length of the house and I don't think I've ever seen a room quite like it.

Psst. She's in the long gallery here, and I bet she is thinking
"darn it, I could have been mistress of Pemberley!"
Sudbury Hall is one of the finest Restoration houses in the country and was built in the 17th century by the Vernon family who owned it right up until 1967.  We were also treated to seeing Mr Darcy's bedroom or if we're going to be historically accurate, Queen Adelaide's bedroom. As a widow, Queen Adelaide rented the house for three years. She wrote out her wishes for what she wanted to happen on the event of her death whilst she was at Sudbury and these are on display in this room.


But my favourite room in the entire house has to be the library. I'd probably sell a kidney or a small child to have a room like this in the house. My photo doesn't do it justice (National Trust don't allow flash) and you may not be able to see it very clearly but there's a little staircase that goes to an upper level balcony.  I nearly fainted with joy when I came into this room. 


Visiting Sudbury Hall has reignited my love for Pride and Prejudice, not least because Mr M had neither read the book nor seen any adaptation of it which clearly needed rectifying immediately. We just finished watching the 1995 BBC adaptation and one question comes to mind.  Just how did that make Mr Collins so repulsive?


I know he's meant to be pretty ghastly, but the actor did it so well, he makes my skin crawl!  I'm also rewatching Lost in Austen which was on TV a few years back and well worth a watch if you've not seen it.

If you're nearby, a visit to Sudbury Hall is a good way to spend a few hours of your time. 


PS Next on my hitlist is Lyme Park.  That was used for the outdoor shots of Pemberley and of course that is where you find THE lake.

2 comments:

  1. What a lovely walk down memory lane. I love Lost in Austen, such a great twist on P&P.

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  2. We did Lyme Park the other week - couldn't find 'THAT' lake which was a bit if a disappointment! But lots of other bits to remember from P & P.
    Enjoyed your posting here about Sudbury Hall - that's our next stop!

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