Where Was Sanditon Filmed? The Official Locations Guide
Where was Sanditon filmed? Discover the beaches, stately homes, and historic locations that bring Jane Austen’s fictional town to life, as seen on MASTERPIECE in the sweeping adaptation inspired by Austen’s final, unfinished novel!
Thanks to Seren Welch and VisitBristol for providing several images.
As Seen in Sanditon: Sanditon aspires to be “the finest resort on the south coast,”—just ask Tom Parker! But to create this world, the production team centered in Bristol, close to the heart of Georgian period Austen, filming at their ambitious set at Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios and drawing from the beaches and dunes around Bristol and Somerset and stately National Trust estates such as Dyrham Park.
Sweeping shots of the Dyrham Park’s main house were used extensively across all of Sanditon‘s episodes as Sanditon House, Lady Denham’s home. The front door and side entrance to the kitchens even doubled as Sanditon’s streets!
History: The baroque Dyrham Park, in the south of Gloucestershire, was built at the turn of the 18th century, but the land was recorded as early as the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1511, it was licensed to enclose its land for the maintenance of a captive deer herd for hunting; to this day, an historic herd of fallow deer roams freely in its ancient parkland. Dyrham Park it is now owned by the National Trust.
Did You Know? Dyrham Park has a history of being showcased on screen; it was famously featured in the 1993 Merchant Ivory film Remains of The Day and has appeared on MASTERPIECE as a filming location for Wives and Daughters (2000) and on PBS in Crimson Fields.
Iford Manor: The Peto Gardens
As Seen in Sanditon: The stone bridge at Iford Manor appears in Episode 1 of Sanditon, as Charlotte contemplates leaving Willingden and her father famously warns her to beware of…everything! Iford Manor was used for the Heywood family home’s interior, as well.
History: There’s been a dwelling on the site of Iford Manor, which was built in the late 16th century, since the Domesday Book. Located at the Willtshire/Bath border, Iford Manor was a central player in the history of Britain’s wool industry. But it’s perhaps the beautiful, Italianate Peto Gardens, deemed “Grade 1,” or of exceptional interest and national importance to Britain, that make the stately home one of Britain’s best kept secrets.
Did You Know? The Peto Gardens is a key location in the upcoming 2020 adaptation of The Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters—and with production design by none other than Sanditon‘s production designer, Grant Montgomery!
As Seen in Sanditon: Sanditon viewers will appreciate the beauty of Bowood House’s shell grotto, waterfall, and lake in Episode 7, when a regatta comes to Sanditon!
History: This original house of this stately Georgian estate in the heart of Wiltshire was built in 1725, but it was the second Earl of Shelburne (who was named Marquess of Lansdowne after negotiating peace with America after the Revolutionary War) who added the property’s orangery (and a small menagerie that would later house an orangutan and a leopard!). In the 1760s, renowned landscape designer Capability Brown (landscaper of Highclere Castle, the location for Downton Abbey) created a magnificent park that has been seen in many a feature film and TV show, including the Downton Abbey movie and, in Seasons 4 and 5 of Poldark, as London’s Hyde Park!
Did You Know? Fans of Downton Abbey will appreciate Bowood House’s historical contributions, as its orangery was set up as an auxiliary Red Cross hospital during World War I, and the main house was occupied by the Royal Air Force in WWII.
As Seen in Sanditon: The production filmed in the dunes and along Brean Beach for those sweeping shots that scream “resort,” such as the scene with the horse-drawn bathing machines set up along the beach (though the actual bathing occurred at nearby Weston-super-Mare’s Marine Lake…in March!).
Watch Theo James, Rose Williams, and Crystal Clarke describe what it was really like to film Sanditon‘s beach scenes!
History: At seven miles long, Brean Beach, in Somerset, is one of the longest stretches of sand in all of Europe. Low tides reveal Brean Beach’s wide, dramatic stretch of mud flats. Scenes were also shot on Brean Down, the 97-meter-high promontory that extends over a mile into the Bristol Channel, forming a natural pier.
Did You Know? There are a number of archeological sites on Brean Down, which is thought to have been inhabited in the Stone Age. Ruins of a Romano-Celtic temple have been excavated on the Down’s south side.
John Wesley's Chapel / The New Room
As Seen in Sanditon: In Episode 6, The New Room stands in for the Sons of Africa meetinghouse, where Otis Molyneux speaks before the group devoted to ending slavery.
History: The New Room (John Wesley’s Chapel) in Bristol is the oldest Methodist chapel in the world. Originally built in 1739, it was expanded in 1748 and used by Wesley and early Methodists as both a place of worship and a center for community service such as educating the poor and providing them with food, clothes, and medical care.
Did You Know? The New Room was the film location for the Bodmin Assizes Court, where Ross Poldark was tried on the charges of murder and wrecking at the beginning of Season 2 of Poldark.
St. James Church, West Littleton
As Seen in Sanditon: In Sanditon‘s Episode 2, Charlotte accompanies the Parkers to church, where the vicar, Mr. Hankins, delivers a (mildly lecherous) sermon to his congregation of Parkers, Denhams, and Griffiths. Two of Episode 8’s key scenes take place in the church and its churchyard.
History: Not far from Dyrham Park on the border of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire sits the St. James Church of West Littleton. It originated in the 13th century and was rebuilt in 1855 after a fire that largely destroyed the church. Its turret, bell, and bellcote, however, are originals dating from the 13th century.
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