Last week I was lucky enough to be granted permission to photograph The Old Rectory in the village of Teigh in Rutland,which served as Mr Collins’ Rectory in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
Today we shall look at the exteriors, and in the next post, the interiors.
We first see the Rectory in the adaptation when Elizabeth, Sir William Lucas and Maria Lucas visit the Collins’ in their home.
The gravelled drive sees the first meeting of Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte since her ruthlessly sensible marriage to Mr Collins.
And, it is, of course, the back ground to Fitzwilliam Darcy’s hasty retreat after his disastrous marriage proposal to Elizabeth, which was so roundly rejected.
It is interesting to note that while the church used as Mr Collins church was, in reality, on the Belton estate, the Belton parish church of St Peter and St Paul…
…the parish church and the Old Rectory at Teigh are nearly 20 miles away. Luckily, the church has a tower that is very similar to the church at Belton and as you can see, it is very difficult to spot the difference, especially during the small amounts of screen time either church was given.
This was, of course, one of the main reasons the production team chose the Old Rectory to serve as Hunsford Rectory. The owner, Victoria Owen confided to me that the reasons they chose her home was because of the church, the house was of the right period, and because it does have a parlour that faces “backwards” like Charlotte’s favoured room at Hunsford.
Elizabeth was thankful to find that they did not see more of her cousin by the alteration, for the chief of the time between breakfast and dinner was now passed by him either at work in the garden, or in reading and writing, and looking out of window in his own book-room, which fronted the road. The room in which the ladies sat was backwards. Elizabeth at first had rather wondered that Charlotte should not prefer the dining-parlour for common use; it was a better sized room, and had a pleasanter aspect; but she soon saw that her friend had an excellent reason for what she did, for Mr. Collins would undoubtedly have been much less in his own apartment had they sat in one equally lively; and she gave Charlotte credit for the arrangement.
More on that in the next post.
Teigh is a tiny, beautifully peaceful village in Rutland, England ‘s smallest county, set in some fabulously serene countryside. This is the view from the church over the surrounding fields…
The parish church at Teigh, Holy Trinity, is ancient, but the interior, very suitably, dates from 1782. I have not taken any photographs of the interior, for it didn’t appear in the adaptation, but if you go here you can see just how stunning this rare survivor of a church interior of the Georgian era truly is.
The church is very close to the Rectory as you can see from this photograph.
Perfect for filming.When I visited sheep were safely grazing in the churchyard, amid the ancient headstones…
and this delightfully friendly lamb made my acquaintance. Idyllic.
Next, the interesting interiors.