Back to Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire for the final part of the series of posts on the rooms used for the Pemberley interior scenes in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Part 1 is accessible here and Part 2 is accessible here. The rooms under discussion in this post are both on the first floor of the Hall: you can see their positions clearly marked on the floor plan below: they are the Long Gallery and the Queen’s Room:
(©National Trust )
The Queen’s Room is found by climbing the Great Staircase and taking the door to the left of the stairs.
This room is the grandest bedroom in the Hall, and was originally the state bedroom, known as the Great Stairhead Chamber in the 1670s when the Hall was first built. Below, you can see the entrance to the room leading from the Great Staircase.
It was called the Queen’s Room after its royal inhabitant, Queen Adelaide, Queen Consort of William IV, who leased Sudbury Hall from Lord Vernon and lived there near the end of her life in the 1840s.
(Queen Adelaide by Sir William Beechey)
We see the room briefly in the BBC’s adaptation, on the morning after the evening at Pemberley when the Gardiners and Elizabeth Bennet had joined Darcy Georgiana, the Hurts and the Bingleys at dinner.
Mr Darcy is shown getting dressed in his own rather exact manner before the great bed and the magnificent fireplace, just prior to riding to Lambton to visit Elizabeth Bennet at the inn.
We are also shown his manservant hurriedly bringing a selection of jackets to him….
The bed is magnificent….
and the lustrous silk lining the walls was restored in 1969, the new silk copied from the 18th century fabric which then decorated the walls.
The great chimney-piece is made of alabaster and was carved by William Wilson, the Leicester born carver who also worked on Lichfield Cathedral(not far from a place Jane Austen knew well, Hamstall Ridware ) during its restoration in the 1660s.
The room is sumptuous and friendly despite its size. It is one of the least intimidating state bedrooms I know….
The final room on our journey around the virtual Pemberley is another favourite of mine: the Long Gallery.
This is simply a stupendous room. A relict of a past, even when it was built in the 1670s. originally long galleries such as this stunning example which can be found at Aston Hall near Birmingham,
were used as places where exercise could be taken on a wet or wintery day and many are found in Elizabethan and Jacobean houses. It was unusual to add one to a house built in the 1670s. They were also places where family portraits could be exhibited with ease- all grouped together in one long room, a metaphor for the continuity and longevity of the family concerned. In the late 19th/ early 20th century the fashion was to use the rooms as long reception rooms, divided by clusters of furnishings and, in Sudbury’s case, bookcases.This is how the Long Gallery appeared in 1904.
The bookcases and collections of Greek and Etruscan vases have now gone and left in their place is this elegant room,with little to detract from the magical detail of the plaster decoration of the ceiling.
The ceiling is again the work of the London craftsmen, Bradbury and Pettifer (who also worked in the saloon). Its detail is astounding-there are even grasshoppers on the rosette above the central bay window.
We first see this room in the adaptation on the tour of Pemberley conducted by Mrs Reynolds.
The Gardiners and Elizabeth are shown along the gallery…
to the spot where Mr Darcy’s portrait hangs…
And Elizabeth Bennet again contemplates what might have been….
The portrait was especially commissioned by the BBC,and I understand that it was given to Colin Firth,who played Darcy, as a gift at the end of filming: he in turn gave it to this mother….
But last year it was sold and the proceeds given to charity
Go here to read about it: it fetched am amazing amount of money…..
We also see the gallery lit by moonlight, in the scene where Darcy is on his way to the saloon in the company of his dogs, remembering just how well his rapprochement with Elizabeth Bennet is proceeding….
And though it is never shown, here is the view from the Long Gallery to the gardens and lake below…
And that ends our tour of the interiors of this version of “Pemberley” : I do hope you have enjoyed it. Next in this series, Burghley House, the setting for Rosings in the 2005 production of Pride and Prejudice.