An Austen fan’s dream.
On September 13th, 2016, I experienced one of the best days of my life. My husband and I were visiting England on our honeymoon and were staying in the darling country town of Bakewell. Quaint stone homes, bright flowers, gardens, and rowdy pubs are in no short supply there! Our accommodations were in an adorable bed & breakfast, and we woke every morning to a fully prepared (and exceptionally hearty) British meal. Porridge, eggs, baked beans – our sweet hosts even cooked me veggie sausage. But on this particular morning, despite the delicious spread of food I could barely eat a bite – because this day was the day we were going to Pemberley.
In 2005, Joe Wright directed the film Pride and Prejudice starring my ultimate girl-crush Keira Knightley as the vivacious Elizabeth Bennet. Almost immediately after the movie was released, I became addicted. Many a day after high school would find me curled up watching Jane Austen’s beautiful storyline play out across our small TV screen at home. This movie actually kickstarted my love of Jane Austen – I have now read every one of her novels (and watched every movie rendition I can get my hands on).
And on this very beautiful English day, my husband Peter and I were going to tour the very house and grounds that served as Mr. Darcy’s stately home Pemberley in Wright’s adaptation of my favorite love story. The house is named Chatsworth and it still belongs to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire who have opened their home to the public. For a small fee you can tour the house and grounds (and even have afternoon tea!).
We arrived right as the house opened for visitors and stayed until it closed. Even after spending the full day at Chatsworth, we still didn’t get to see everything! While we were there I tried to capture as many sights from the Pride and Prejudice film as I could so that I could share it here with you all. So, for those other crazed Jane Austen fans who want a glimpse at Pemberley as it stands today, I hope you enjoy my little tour below
PS – I must give Peter some credit here; he is the best husband in the world for loving me enough to spend all day dealing with my star-struck and nerdy self!
Although the current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have incorporated some modern art on the property (like the reflective discs in the what we dubbed the “white mushroom” right in front) you can still get a great view of the house. This is how Elizabeth first sees Pemberley.
This is a side view of the house, across a little river that runs along the right side. You can see some scaffolding to the left of the photo – they were renovating quite a bit of the building when we were there. I guess that just means that we have to go back and visit it in its fully-updated splendor
I had to get a little creative with my angles to avoid some of the scaffolding, but this offers a great look at the beautiful front of the house. This is where Elizabeth is filmed running outside after being caught by Mr. Darcy visiting Pemberley. They have a verbal exchange on these steps as their first time seeing each other since his initial proposal.
When Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle first enter Pemberley on their tour, they are filmed walking through this stunning room (sans furniture).
As they walk through the room in the previous picture, the film offers a gorgeous shot of the ceiling here. I’ve never quite seen anything like it – it’s absolutely stunning in person.
This has since been moved to a different room inside of the house, but it’s one of the pieces that Elizabeth looks at while in the statue room.
Here is another statue that is filmed as Elizabeth and her family tour Pemberley. This one is still in the original room it was filmed in.
And here is a look at the complete statue room! Most of it has been moved around to replicate how it was actually presented historically inside of Chatsworth, so it looks quite different from the film. But it’s absolutely gorgeous and stately with all of the marble artwork.
And last (although certainly not least) the bust of Mr. Darcy still remains inside of the house! It’s been relocated to the gift shop, so I stumbled across it quite by accident, but it looks just as handsome in person. Oh, and the plaque at the bottom says “Please do not kiss.” Fair enough!
Other views of the house and grounds not filmed in the movie:
What great British home is complete without a hedge maze? Peter and I definitely got lost in this one.
The fanciest spring house you’ve ever seen.
This is the chapel located inside the house – it’s incredibly ornate. If you ever saw the movie The Duchess (based on a real person who actually lived in Chatsworth house) they filmed the wedding scene in this room.
Known as the floating staircase, this was an architectural marvel at the time it was built.
I hope that you have enjoyed this tour of Chatworth / Pemberley with me!