Jenna Coleman’s monarch didn’t go anywhere near Buckingham or Kensington Palace. ITV’s sumptuous period drama was all filmed in Yorkshire’s finest stately homes, and there are plenty to choose from.
Here’s where to find them.
This 18th century country pile near York doubles as Kensington Palace. You might also recognise it as Brideshead: it starred in both the 1981 TV adaptation and the 2008 film version of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited. It’s not Jenna Coleman’s first visit here. In 2013, it was used for the BBC’s Death Comes to Pemberley, in which she played Lydia Wickham.
For opening times and ticket prices, go to: castlehoward.co.uk
No, that’s not Buckingham Palace, it’s this country house on the outskirts of Leeds, or at least bits of it are. Also built in the 18th century, Harewood House is owned by David and Diane Lascelles, also known as the Earl and Countess of Harewood. Their home boasts a superior art collection, a petting farm, a bird garden, an adventure playground, over 100 acres of landscaped grounds and a rookery of Humboldt Penguins.
For opening times and ticket prices, go to: harewood.org
Bramham Park is an 18th century country house near Wetherby, which doubled as both Kensington and Buckingham Palace, as well as Hyde and Richmond Park and several other grand abodes.
It belongs to Nick and Rachael Lane Fox, their five children and five dogs. Unlike most stately home owners, they’re not coy about their descendants on their website: “After 300 years, which include the South Sea Bubble, the untimely death of the heir, dissipation by illegitimate children, crippling gambling debts, a devastating fire, the ravages of two World Wars and death duties, the same family still lives at Bramham and cares for its heritage.”
Hundreds of thousands of rock and indie fans have already enjoyed its grounds without realising because Bramham Park is the home of Leeds music festival every August Bank Holiday weekend, which is why its closed for much of September. The house, gardens and grounds are open for most of the rest of the year between 10am and 4pm, by appointment.
For more information: bramhampark.com
Wentworth Woodhouse also stood in for Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace… and a brothel. Located near Rotherham, in the village of Wentworth, it’s the largest private house in Europe and boasts the longest façade in Europe – the east front is 606 feet.
It’s actually two 18th century houses stuck together, the original brick one and the fancy Palladian one above. There are over 300 rooms but the exact number is unknown, presumably because anyone who has attempted to count them has got lost or collapsed with exhaustion by room no. 301.
Back in its heyday in the 1840s, 1000 people were employed by the owners, including a rat-catcher and a “state bed maker.” Nowadays it belongs to a chap called Clifford Newbold, who bought it in 1999 and has been restoring the house to its former glory. It’s open several times a month for guided tours.
For more information: wentworthwoodhouse.co.uk
Windsor Castle is really Carlton Towers, a 17th century stately home in the pretty village of Carlton in North Yorkshire. It was a chap called Lord Beaumont who renamed it Carlton Towers after getting the architect who designed Westminster Cathedral and the son of the architect behind the Houses of Parliament to extend it. Beaumont’s ambition was to create the greatest of all country houses.
Today it’s the home of Lord and Lady Gerald Fitzalan Howard. It’s not usually open to the public but you can hire it for weddings or book in for an evening of fine dining with friends in the Duchess’s Dining Room.
For more information: carltontowers.co.uk
Westminster Abbey is really Beverley Minster, which can be found in Beverley, a lovely little market town near Hull. This gothic masterpiece is one of the largest parish churches in the UK and dates back to the eighth century when Bishop John of York founded a monastery here (back then it was known as Inderawuda).
For more information: beverleyminster.org.uk
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