For the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, two churches were used to portray Mr Collins’ church- a “tradition” that continued in the 2005 film adaptation starring Keira Knightley ( more on that later). The church used predominantly for Mr Collins parish church at Hunsford was the parish church St Peter and St Paul at Belton (shown above).
The location for the building used as the rectory at Hunsford was another rectory in Rutland some 20 miles away from Belton in Lincolnshire in the tiny village of Teigh near Oakham. (Much more on this later too!) Therefore the exterior shots of the Hunsford Rectory show the parish church of The Holy Trinity, Teigh not Mr Collins’ church in Belton.
Luckily, its tower looks very similar to the tower of the church at Belton, and is shown fleetingly so that only geeks like me can easily tell the difference. But it does help to confirm the feeling that Mr Collin’s home is very close to Rosings, as is demonstrated in the text of Pride and Prejudice:
“The garden in which stands my humble abode, is separated only by a lane from Rosings Park, her ladyship’s residence.”
The church used mostly in the adaptation is the parish church for Belton village, the estate village that nestles close to the park and grounds of Belton House. It is shown during the scenes of the reading of Mr Collins letter of reconciliation to Mr Bennet.
We do not see the interior of the church in the adaptation, but are shown a good view of the exterior of the church,
Then Lady Catherine leaving after morning service
The unctuous fool…..
Not forgetting to pay delicate attentions to Miss De Bourgh…..for the ladies like them, you know…..
And proudly giving thanks for all the blessings that Lady Catherine, his most noble patroness,
has bestowed upon him as the party of Lady Catherine Anne and Mrs Jenkinson make their way back along the path towards Rosings
If you visit Belton House you can access the church, if it is open, via the route that Lady Catherine and her party took. The church is not owned by the National Trust, being a working Anglican parish church.
When the gate from the park is open, you can gain access to it,and it is normally open from mid March to the end of October , Wednesdays to Sundays between the hours of 10.30 a.m till 5.30 p.m.
The church was originally built in the 13th century. The bottom part of the tower dates from this era, and the top of the tower from 1638.
The interior of the church was not used in the adaptation but it ought not to be missed as it is stunning, though tiny. The chancel, above, was renovated by Alice, Lady Brownlow who died in 1721,aged 62 and this is her monument in the nave.
The Church is, of course, closely associated with the Tyrconnel, Cust and Brownlow families who all owned Belton at one point or other during the past four centuries and it contains may stunning memorials to various family members.
The most outstanding of these is this monument to Sophia, Lady Brownlow nee Hume, who died in 1814 aged 26 and after only 4 years of marriage. It was beautifully executed in the neo-classical style by the esteemed sculptor, Antonio Canova.
The chapel that houses her monument was commissioned by her grieving husband and designed by the architect Jeffrey Wyattville.
Next in this series, the interiors used in Belton House.