Ice on the Fountain Pool at Mapperton (2020-01-01) by MappertonHistoric Houses
A Family Home
Mapperton is home to two generations of the Montagu family, the Earl and Countess of Sandwich and Luke and Julie Montagu. In the 21st century, the outstanding gardens that surround “the Nation’s finest Manor House”* have been finding a role on screen.
Welcome to Mapperton House & Gardens! (2020-06) by MappertonHistoric Houses
Julie Montagu and the Countess of Sandwich in the Front Court at Mapperton (2020-11) by MappertonHistoric Houses
The Countess of Sandwich and Julie Montagu
Mapperton’s secret weapon is in the family. It is home to two generations of Montagus. Luke Montagu was a founding director of the Met Film School while Julie Montagu is an accomplished TV presenter and veteran of the Smithsonian Channel, now presenting her own You Tube channel
Autumn at Mapperton Gardens (2020-10) by MappertonHistoric Houses
Along the Valley
Mapperton has a sense of timelessness which filmmakers have not failed to notice. The formal gardens run the length of a steep-sided Dorset coombe with diverse locations - woodland, terraces, topiary, pools, summerhouses and barns – all two hours from London's film studios.
Autumn colours at the heart of the gardens at Mapperton (2020-10-15) by MappertonHistoric Houses
The Garden as Stage Set
There is a theatricality about Mapperton which suits its new role as a film location. Like two stage sets, The Fountain Garden, a formal Arts and Crafts garden of steps, terraces and topiary, spreads out above The Pool Garden where shaped yews march along a pair of ponds.
Restoration starring Robert Downey Jnr and Hugh Grant was filmed in The Fountain Court at Mapperton. This part of the garden dates from the early 20th century but its pots of tulips and topiary echo the fashions of the 1660s and made an ideal location for the Oscar winning film.
Springtime in the Fountain Court at Mapperton (2020-05-01) by MappertonHistoric Houses
The Fountain Court
The Fountain Court at Mapperton was designed by Mrs Ethel Labouchere in the 1920s, where she enjoyed painting watercolours. A Georgian-style Orangery was added in 1969. The Orangery is home to a profusion of tender plants including lemon and pomegranate trees and strelitzias.
The Orangery at Mapperton (2020-01) by MappertonHistoric Houses
Gwyneth Paltrow starred in Emma with Jeremy Northam in 1996, filmed in Mapperton Gardens. The drama, based on Jane Austen's novel, concludes with true love under the specimen trees of the arboretum. The manor house appears as Mrs Weston's home, Randalls.
The Arboretum at Mapperton in Dorset (2020-06) by MappertonHistoric Houses
The Arboretum at Mapperton
Planted by current owner’s grandfather, the arboretum at Mapperton is enjoyed not just for its rare trees but for its seclusion. It was consciously planned to form a link between the formal gardens and the surrounding countryside. In 1996, Mr Knightley proposed to Emma here.
The approach to Mapperton, Dorset (2020-06) by MappertonHistoric Houses
The Front Court
Historic gardens offer an authenticity to film makers that is hard to replicate. At Mapperton, the group of manor house, church and barns have survived centuries of change. The garden in the Front Court needs little dressing by filmmakers to evoke earlier centuries.
Far from the Madding Crowd, 2015
Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd was filmed at Mapperton in 2015, when The Front Court was transformed into the farm inherited by Bathsheba Everdene, played by Carey Mulligan. The production team make it clear why this was the perfect location.
Far From the Madding Crowd | 'Locations' | Featurette HD (2015) by Fox Searchlight Pictures. All Rights Reserved.Historic Houses
The formal gardens at Mapperton blend into the Dorset countryside beyond (2020-05-01) by MappertonHistoric Houses
The Pool Garden
There is drama in the lines of shaped yews planted down the length of the Pool Garden at Mapperton. The trees were planted later than the pools, which were formalised in the 1920s from a series of medieval fish ponds.
The gardens at Mapperton were immediately recognisable in Netflix's version of Rebecca. In the ball scene, strings of Chinese lanterns added to the spectacle of the topiary while in a later scene, an image of Manderley on fire was superimposed over the 17th century summerhouse.
The arboretum and Orangery at Mapperton were also locations for Rebecca, based on Daphne du Maurier's novel. Max and Mrs de Winter (Armie Hammer and Lily James) flirt among the trees while the Orangery at the top of the garden was the setting for an awkward family meeting.
The Upper Pool in the Pool Garden at Mapperton (2020-05-01) by MappertonHistoric Houses
Mapperton on film
In the 2020 pandemic, Julie and Luke Montagu led online You Tube tours. Mapperton Live is now using film as a key way of reaching new audiences, attracting visitors and subscribers. Mapperton Gardens, hidden in a Dorset valley since the 1670s, has become a digital media pioneer
Mapperton House & Gardens www.mapperton.com
Mapperton Live www.mappertonlive.com
*Country Life poll, 2006
Restoration: Miramax Films, all rights reserved
Emma: Miramax Films, all rights reserved
Far from the Madding Crowd: Fox Searchlight Pictures, all rights reserved
The Locations of Far From the Madding Crowd: the voices of Allon Reich, Producer; Kave Quinn, Production Designer; Andrew MacDonald, Producer.
Rebecca: Netflix, all rights reserved
Julie Montagu: Yoga, Tea and the British Aristocracy