My fellow blogger and most elegant and erudite correspondent,Emile de Brujin of the National Trust’s Treasure Hunt blog has recently posted some interesting articles about Lyme Park in Cheshire, a place that has dual associations with Jane Austen.
The most obvious of the two is that it was used for the exterior shots of Pemberley in the 1995 BBC TV production of Pride and Prejudice,( my pictures above of the house and the sunken garden were taken by me ona visit in 20o6 when the magnificent facade of the house was being restored) The scenes featuring the house and estate included the infamous pond where Mr Darcy took his somewhat unlikely (in my humble opinion) dip into a stagnant pond….
The second is that the house was owned by the Cheshire branch of the Leigh family from whom Jane Austen’s mother’s branch of the Leigh’s was descended. Just like a certain Elliot family of Persuasion…..
Then followed the history and rise of the ancient and respectable family, in the usual terms: how it had been first settled in Cheshire; how mentioned in Dugdale, serving the office of High Sheriff, representing a borough in three successive parliaments, exertions of loyalty, and dignity of baronet, in the first year of Charles II., with all the Marys and Elizabeths they had married; forming altogether two handsome duodecimo pages, and concluding with the arms and motto — “Principal seat, Kellynch hall, in the county of Somerset,” and Sir Walter’s hand-writing again in this finale –
“Heir presumptive, William Walter Elliot, Esq., great grandson of the second Sir Walter.”
Here for your delight is Emile’s article on real and fictional aspects of viewing the house . Here and here are interesting Treasure Hunt articles on the restoration fo flock wallpaper in the Library at Lyme