Manderley, the estate at the centre of Daphne du Marier’s Rebecca, is one of the most iconic properties in the history of literature – forming the backdrop for most of the narrative following the opening sections in continental Europe.
Unfortunately, though, Manderley is not actually a real place – and so a lot of work had to be put into finding the perfect filming location for Ben Wheatley’s new Netflix film.
Ultimately, the crew decided on more than one location, with a number of different properties used to create the Manderley seen on-screen – read on for everything you need to know.
Where was Rebecca filmed?
Director Ben Wheatley spoke to RadioTimes.com and other press about the importance of finding the perfect locations for Manderley, given the significance it has to the film’s narrative.
He said, “I felt when I looked at Menabilly, which was the house that Daphne DuMaurier wrote in and a lot of it is based around, that Menabilly is quite a small house.
“And it’s in Cornwall so it’s on the cliff, but the actual house that she’s based it around was a house that she visited when she was a kid. And when we went to that house, it was an amazing house but it wasn’t as described in the book.
“And we started to realise that maybe the book is like her memory of it when she was a kid, everything is grander and bigger and huger. So I started to understand that Manderley itself is a dream space, it’s not a real place, it’s an amalgam of memories and feelings. So we realised that we were never going to find one house that was going to do it.
“So Sarah Greenwood, the art designer, kind of sent out her scouts and they found all these amazing bits of houses. I think the film was shot across five or six different spaces and that gave it that feeling of… kind of… the architecture is really variable, the corridors don’t quite make sense in terms of where they go to, the shapes of the places don’t quite make sense – and I think that that helped with the idea that it was the second Mrs De Winter’s memory as much as it was a real space.”
As for the properties themselves, there were, in fact, eight different houses used: Cranborne Manor (Wiltshire), Hatfield House (Hertfordshire), Mapperton House (Dorset), Loseley House (Surrey), Petworth House (West Sussex), Hartland Quay (Devon), Blegberry Farm (Devon), and Osterley House (Isleworth).
Of course, not all of the film is set at Manderley, and the early segments were actually shot on location in Europe.
Locations including Ancien Hotel Regina in Nice, the Villa Eilenroc in Antibes, and the Exotic Garden of Monaco were all used for filming, and producer Nira Park said that shooting there was magical.
“Filming in France was really special,” she said. “I think we all felt very lucky indeed to have had that experience.
“It was an amazing way to start the shoot. A brilliant way for everyone to bond. We were really lucky with the weather, we shot in stunning locations and we ate fantastic food every night.
“I’ll never forget arriving at the hotel set on the very first day when we were shooting the opening of the film with Lily getting out of the taxi. We were completely blown away by the production design. Ben, Lily and I were wandering around just picking up props and getting overly excited about the incredible attention to detail.”
Rebecca streams on Netflix from Wednesday 21st October. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.