13/08/2011

UK JULY 2011 - CASTLE HOWARD AND LACOCK


This is the last installment of my UK JULY 2011 series.  I promised you I'd  tell about our location hunting activities and here I am with this final post about Castle Howard and Lacock. 
Two different adaptations of Evelyn Waughn's Brideshead Revisited were set at Castle Howard and being there, well nearby, we couldn't resist the idea of a trip to this gorgeous, luxurious residence and its magnificent park, groves and lakes .
We were extremely lucky and had  fine weather, warm and sunny, that day. It was so good that we could have a quick snack on the meadows  -  we also had several  uninvited guests at our picnic - and could admire the lake,  sitting on a terrace while drinking cappuccino -yes,  you're right not  a very British drink .


Our cute uninvited guests
This is me at Castle Howard
Look at the beautiful sky!
Watching the lake and sipping cappuccino on the terrace

Brideshead Revisited 1981
Going  back to the adaptations of Brideshead Revisited, it is undeniable that in both  the real star was this wonderfully extravagant North Yorkshire country residence, but the human stars should be at least  properly mentioned. The 1981 series , one of television's most acclaimed adaptations, starred Britain's finest actors - including Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick, John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier - and was watched by millions of  viewers  for every one of  its 11 episodes. The newest one (2008) is a TV movie, only 133 min., with nowadays British popular actors : Matthew Goode, Hayley Atwell, Patrick Malahide, Ben Whishaw and Emma Thomson.


Brideshead Revisited 2008
After visiting the place,  I wished I could see the recent version I hadn't  seen yet , and I'm going do it soon, by the end of this month I hope.  I doubt I'll embark in a re-watching of the endless old one. Or maybe , I will. Who knows?
What really surprised me was to discover that this gorgeous palace was - though marginally - connected with another quite popular costume  movie, The Duchess (2008) starring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes and Dominic Cooper.

It was not shot at Castle Howard but the real protagonist's younger sister, I mean the real duchess's sister,  Lady Georgiana Howard (née Cavendish) and her husband, George Howard, 6th Earl of Carslile lived there  (they were married in 1801). 
As it usually happens, we were not allowed to take pictures while inside, so I've surfed the Net in search of good ones to show you the halls,  rooms, the chapel and the dome paintings. Just have a look on the right.
We liked the place, especially the huge park and the lakes. We were a bit disappointed because the fountains - all of them - weren't working. 


Lacock - The village
 And now, Lacock, the tiny village in Wiltshire that has been very often used as the set for TV costume series and movies. Just to name the most popular, Pride and Prejudice 1995, Cranford 2007, Emma 1996 and 2009. First we visited Lacock Abbey -  which you've surely seen in the first two films of the Harry Potter saga - and its Fox Talbot Museum (the museum celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography and host an exhibition dedicated to G.B Shaw, Man and Cameraman). Then we walked among the picturesque houses of the village centre - expecting to see Lizzy and her sisters walking down toward us any moment - we visited the souvenir shop and had  a delicious lunch at The Red Lion's, the pub which was used for the scenes of the Meryton Assembly - the place of Elizabeth's and Darcy's first meeting!


Lacock Abbey - One of the rooms used to film Harry Potter
Lacock Village
Well... we didn't meet him 

The Red Lion's Pub at Lacock
As you can see from the last picture above, the place is just as we saw it in the series and movies I mentioned ... if only there weren't all those cars everywhere!
That's all. This is the last of my posts dedicated to our wonderful tour of England (8/16 July). It has been so full of fabulous places and exciting moments that what I've been able to do is  to  give you  just glimpses of what it really was like. Unforgettable.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

From HJ - as a UK resident I have particularly enjoyed this series of posts. I'm filled with admiration at how much you packed into your visit! The photos and descriptions are excellent.

Sam said...

Hi, just wanted to let you know I've added your entry to the literary blog directory: http://tinylibrary.blogspot.com/p/literary-blog-directory.html

Hope you find some great blogs through it and also get some new readers. There's a button on my blog for you to use.

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Anonymous
Thanks HJ from the UK! It was a great tour and before leaving I was truly skeptical. But we only skipped one of the places we had in our schedule, Lyme Park (Pemberley 1995). IT'll be first in our next trip to England.

@Sam
Thank you, Sam. I'll add it proudly to my sidebar!

Musa said...

I loved the 1981 Brideshead Revisited and can't believe so much time has passed. Castle Howard was another character in the series. I don't know if I'll ever actually get to visit, so thank you for your post. I didn't see the new film, still have vivid memories of the old series.

maribea said...

Thanks for sharing, Maria Grazia. I can see how much you ejoyed your trip and it is fascinating entering old castles and tiny villages with you.
Still lots of things to see in the world. What a wonderful world we have.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so you were skeptical! You had no confidence in our planning skills! :-/
Hope you aren't disappointed, after all :)
I truly enjoyed your reports, and hope to be able to update my LG travelogue asap.
Have a nice long w-e,
BFN
K/V

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@K/V
Hello up there where you are! Is everything ok? I hope you had a wonderful trip and that you'll be back safe and sound in time for our next great meeting. I can't wait!
Your LG travelogue? Do you think we will ever see the rest of it? I doubt but ...dum spiro spero ;-) Maybe it is better to post his latest adventures in... no spoilers :X
Thanks for your comment. MEGAHUG!

Anonymous said...

Castle Howard - you lucky duck! Lovely to have travel blogs, especially those on a literary/film hunt. More please.

fitzg