Above, the North Facade of Sudbury Hall; below, the South or Garden Facade. On July 7, 2018, this blog visited Lyme Park, the setting for exterior scenes of Pemberley in the 1995 BBC miniseries of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (the version starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy). The interior scenes of the series were shot here at Sudbury Hall, though of course there are many other excellent features of the estate we can visit.
George Vernon (1635-1702) designed and oversaw the creation of this house beginning in 1660, after Charles II took the restored throne, and continuing into the 1690's. Vernon, descended from the Vernon family of Haddon Hall, married an heiress and inherited this estate, to which he devoted his life. Below the magnificent plasterwork ceiling of the Long Gallery on the top floor.
The Long Gallery is more than 165 feet long, topped by the work of Robert Bradbury and James Pettifer in the 1670's.
In this scene from Pride & Prejudice, the BBC 1995 version, the housekeeper shows family portraits to the visiting Elizabeth Bennet and the Gardiners.
Obviously the gallery serves as an excellent exhibition space for the family's art collection as well as other treasures.
The ceiling designs are intricate indeed. All sorts of flora and fauna are included, such as the shells above, and even grasshoppers elsewhere.
A brilliant Oriental Laquered Cabinet.
The Red Room is also known as the Queen's Room. After her husband's death, Queen Adelaide lived here for portion of the 1840's.
The alabaster chimneypiece was carved by William Wilson in 1670.
Above and below, scenes from Pride & Prejudice, where Darcy changes his coat.
The elaborately decorated staircase
The elaborate Staircase is a work of art in itself.
The Gardiners and Elizabeth follow the housekeeper upstairs.
Above, part of our tour group admires the staircase and ceiling.
Even in the film, everyone admires the staircase. Below, under the stairs is a painting by Laguerre of Juno and the Peacock, c. 1692. Louis Laguerre (1663-1721). a French artist, painted numerous ceilings in British houses such as Chatsworth, Blenheim and Burghley, as well as here at Sudbury.
A great deal to admire.
As we have seen, the ceilings throughout the house are amazing. The painting above, on the Drawing Room ceiling, is entitled Venus petitioning Jupiter, though the artist's name is unknown.
Among the best known of the many artists whose work is on view in Sudbury Hall, is the sculptor Grinling Gibbons (1678-1721) whose exquisite wood carvings can be found in the Drawing Room. His work was accomplished in 1678 and records book show a payment to him of £40.
In addition to touring the house and gardens, the NT hosts the Museum of Childhood on the premises.
Victoria Hinshaw, Author