“ Strawberry Hill is a really unique place to film. The restoration has returned the rooms to their 18th century grandeur of vivid colours and gold leaf and some very atmospheric transitions between rooms. The rooms are virtually empty of contents as the historic collection was sold in 1842 which enables shoots to bring in their own furnishings suitable to the production. ”

Valerie Beard, Events Manager

Architectural History

Strawberry Hill was created by Horace Walpole between 1747 and 1797. It was the first Gothic Revival domestic building and takes the form of a fairy-tale castle. It has been restored to its 18th century glory by the Strawberry Hill Trust which began in 2008 and culminated with the reopening of the house to the public in 2010. Walpole called his castle a ‘plaything house’ and in choosing the Gothic style for Strawberry Hill he deliberately avoided the fashionable classical architecture of his time. In collaboration with a group of amateur architect friends he based his designs on the architecture of the great Gothic cathedrals and abbeys. Medieval tombs, arched doorways, rose windows and carved screens were models for his fireplaces, windows, doors and ceilings. Instead of carved stone, the rooms and ornaments of Strawberry Hill are wood, plaster and papier mache. Walpole intended a tour of Strawberry Hill to be a theatrical experience. You enter a gloomy hall and pass up a staircase of grey stony appearance before finally entering the sumptuous state apartment – a burst of crimson and gold.

Architectural Features

The exterior of the house is painted a stunning white which highlights the large two-storey bays, crenellations, pinnacles and the impressive Great Tower at the western side of the building. Quatrefoil and ogee windows and arched cloisters add further fantasy elements. Inside the building each room contains an array of intricately carved ceilings, cornices and fireplaces. Wall coverings (papers, woollen damasks, and silks) are brightly coloured and accurately restored to their original appearance. The arrangement of the rooms and corridors creates dramatic effects of light and shade. A great deal of gold leaf is also used to enhance the interior décor. Many windows feature stained glass.

Filming Attributes

The site is easily accessible from the M25 London orbital motorway, or from central London by road and rail and we have a car park of 25 spaces as well as a limited amount of hard standing outside the house. Further space for a unit base could be made available by prior arrangement. Mobile reception and wifi connections are available inside the house and the rooms have a generous provision of electrical sockets. The use of candles, animals, smoke machines and heavy plant machinery may be permitted by prior arrangement. Night shoots are welcome respecting the suburban nature of the site.

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Special Considerations

  • Accommodate Unit Base
  • Night Shoots
  • Weekend Shoots

Topography

25 space 1 acre car park. 4.5 acre formal gardens including open lawns, groves of trees, flower borders, and vegetable garden. A small woodland borders the site. A 1.5m wide paved apron surrounds the building and a formal driveway with hard standing at the front of the house, enclosed by a wrought iron fence and impressive oak gates. The house is adjacent to the 19th century Gothic buildings of St Mary’s University College which are visible from the gardens.

Crew and Relevant Links

Contact

Email: nancy.sheridan@heritage4media.com

Phone: Heritage4Media: 07736 364722

Website: http://www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/visit.php