Period dramas filmed at Haddon Hall
Haddon Hall has featured in a number of period dramas, the most recent being the feature film adaptation of Jane Eyre in 2011 where Haddon starred as Thornfield Hall.
The Hall recently staged an exhibition of costumes from the film alongside an exhibition of film stills featuring the hall as Mr Rochester’s home. The costumes included Jane Eyre’s blue day dress worn by Mia Wasikowska, Mr Rochester’s suit work by Michael Fassbender and Bertha’s dramatic nightdress as well as dresses worn by characters Blanche Ingram and Adele Varens. During 2012 the Hall will hold another special exhibition featuring costumes from the three major adaptations of Jane Eyre which have been filmed at Haddon. These will include costumes from the Franco Zefferelli film of 1995, the BBC series and the latest film version released in 2011.
In 2007 Haddon Hall was used as the setting for The Other Boleyn Girl. Banners were hung from the banqueting hall beams and a large oak table was put in the centre of the room. Oddly, the tapestry which normally hangs in the banqueting Hall which is reputed to have been given to the Vernon family by King Henry was deemed too late in the Tudor period and had to be removed. Also the long medieval table which stands on the dais was in the way. Because of its age and fragility this could not be moved out of the hall. Instead a team of specialists removed the table legs, built a cradle around the table top before lowering it to the floor where a stepped platform was built over it. This in itself took two days to establish!
Haddon also took on the role of Thornfield Hall for the BBC series of Jane Eyre in 2006. Between 50 and 100 people were on site during the filming and as the majority of the work was carried out before the hall opened in the Spring they were able to turn the car park on the main road into a film production base with special units on site for hair, make up and wardrobe as well as space for the actors and actresses to relax between takes.
Haddon also featured in the big screen production of Pride and Prejudice in 2005 which starred Keira Knightly, Matthew Macfadyen and Dame Judi Dench. The banqueting hall at Haddon was used as the inn at Lambton and the dining hall also appeared in the film but with a change of use when it was used as Elizabeth’s bedroom. Some of the Haddon staff and one of the resident dogs also featured as extras in the film.
Janet Blackburn, hall manager at Haddon Hall, has appeared as an extra in The Other Boleyn Girl playing the part of one of the courtiers in the Boleyn household when King Henry came to visit Mark Rylance (who played Thomas Boleyn) and also as a customer in the inn in Pride and Prejudice. “We get a great deal of interest from visitors all around the world because of the Hall’s use in these films which is great for Haddon and for tourism across Derbyshire,” said Janet.
History of Haddon Hall
Haddon Hall is probably the finest example of a fortified medieval manor house in existence. Present day Haddon Hall dates from the 12th century to the early 17th century, whereupon it lay dormant for over two hundred years from 1700 until the 1920s when the 9th Duke and Duchess of Rutland restored the house and gardens and once again make it habitable. Avoiding fire, warfare, family misfortune and changing fashions, little has changed over the recent centuries and Haddon provides a unique view of early English life and history.
Surrounded by terraced Elizabethan gardens and set in the beautiful countryside of the Peak District National Park Haddon Hall is a popular with visitors from both the UK and overseas.
Visiting Haddon Hall
The house is open to visitors from April to October and also has a number of special events taking place throughout the season.
For full details of opening times, admission rates and general information on Haddon Hall visit www.haddonhall.co.uk.