Yes I know it should be revisited, but as it’s my first visit I can hardly revisit can I? Though I will admit when we booked our trip to Yorkshire last year Castle Howard was high on my ‘to visit’ list, which may just have been swayed by the TV series which aired in the early 80s. MOH though, was of course, completely unaware of this.
In fact the walled garden was fantastic and by far exceeded my expectations of a walled garden, I’d like to a post, but it seems I’ve not shared them yet. Clearly I’ve been keeping them for myself (and the other hundreds of thousands of people who visit each year!)
But once we were in the house, I was on Brideshead watch. So I was pleased with the Brideshead Restored exhibition.
The rooms from this exhibition were completely destroyed by fire in 1940, five years before Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited novel. While the original series was filmed at Castle Howard, it also hosted the cinema version released in 2008. The burnt out shells of the rooms still remained when Miramax were looking for locations, and the producers quickly realised there was an opportunity to turn these rooms into film sets.
In 2007 the area was cleared for carpenters, set builders and painters to transform it into a dramatic painted interior. The murals have been “convincingly distressed” to look as if they have been part of the fictional Brideshead Castle for many years.
This room was used for two scenes in the film - dinner on the first evening when Charles Ryder stays with the Marchmain family, and Lord Marchmain’s deathbed scene if you must know. I don’t think I’m breaking any secrets by saying in both cases some licence was taken by the film makers.
The view from the windows also featured strongly in the film, and when it’s this good, why wouldn’t it?
And I couldn’t end this post without a glimpse at the Brideshead cast reunion. Sigh.
I’ve a feeling I’ll be dipping into the book for a top up of some teenage memories. Let’s just call it the Downton effect…