This is the second post about Stamford, in Lincolnshire which was the town of Meryton in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Keria Knightley and Matthew MacFadeyn. The first post can be accessed here. This give many details of how the St George’s Square area of Stamford in Lincolnshire was transformed into Meryton. This post will detail the filming of the other Meryton scenes. (Do note you can as usual,enlarge all the illustrations in this post merely by clicking on them)
The scenes when the militia arrived in Meryton are some of the most colourful and chaotic in the film.
The “militia” were formed of extras from the local area including my daughter’s English master’s son.
They were filmed marching together with a military band of fifes and drums-
…both up the hill to St George’s Square in Stamford, and then in the opposite direction, from St Mary’s Street down the hill.
This is the shot- walking down the hill- that eventually made the cut:
We were able to watch as Lydia ( Jena Malone ) and Wickham (Rupert Friend) were very kind during the filming of this scene. They played and comforted a very young little girl,who was one of the extras, and was finding it all too much with which to cope. We also saw the fishing rods complete with Lydia’s handkerchief-the one that, rather prophetically, was trampled on by the marching militia.
The roads in the area were covered with a thick layer of gravel-which also covered the road markings and the pavements as you can see from this picture taken in St George’s Square.
The doors of the buildings in the area were all covered by false doors and the window frames were all “distressed” and repainted after the filming had ended. Television aerials and satellite dishes were also removed for the duration of the three days filming.
Some people didn’t care to have their houses/business premises ”distressed’ and these buildings were clad in wood which was painted and then “CGI-ed” later in the production process. This is a picture of the local vacuum seller’s shop, which prefered to retain its own decor.
I did admire the tremendous amount of props collected for the event….
And the geese were corralled in the churchyard of St George’s parish church.
The butchers shop -seen at the end of the film in the scene where Mrs Bennet and her daughters are informed that Mr Bingley is returning home to Netherfield, does not exist.
This was built in order to block the view/traffic from the lane.
It was also fitted up remarkably
(and butchers shops in this era were mostly open to the elements, see this example, below, of a child’s toy of such a shop circa 1820).
Even pheasant feathers were stuck down individually to ensure they stayed in place during the filming.
The stone “hitching post” was completely false. It does not exist, and was made of fibre glass.
I adored the extras and their costumes.
Most were happy to chat and have their pictures taken…
Others just wanted to get to the local Servicemen’s Club which was providing teas and refreshments during the filming.
The carters were very friendly, as were their beautiful horses -in their resting place of the local car park….
…a fitting place for their curricle, though I don’t remember seeing this in the film. I did see the film in the theatre in the Stamford Arts Centre: it was quite a surreal moment watching the Meryton scenes, filmed as they were just outside the door of the cinema! This does not happen very often in my part of the world.
Next in this series,a post about one of the locations used in the BBC’s 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I do hope you will join me on this trip down memory lane.