The Adventures of Quentin Durward, 1955


Richard Thorpe


visit the film locations

Bodiam Castle, near Robertsbridge in East Sussex (tel: 1580.830436, admission charge)

Chateau de Chambord, eleven miles east of Blois in the Loire Valley. (tel:, admission charge)

Ch‚teau de Chenonceau, six miles southeast of Amboise (tel:, admission charge)


The previous year, Robert Morley starred as another monarch in another colourful period romp, as George III in Beau Brummel

The Adventures of Quentin Durward location: Bodiam Castle, Sussex

The Adventures of Quentin Durward location: the ‘Scottish’ castle of Lord Crawford: Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Photograph: iStockphoto / David Garry

Brash, colourful period romp from a Walter Scott story, with a host of Brit character actors strutting their stuff.

A somewhat wooden Robert Taylor (now there's a change) is the titular Durward, sent by Lord Crawford (camp old Ernest Thesiger) to woo Countess isabelle (Kay Kendall). Robert Morley is the devious monarch Louis XI and George Cole the devious gypsy spy Hayraddin. Credibility is not the film’s strong point.

Lord Crawford’s ‘Scottish’ castle is Bodiam Castle, a medieval fortress near Robertsbridge in East Sussex. The 14th century castle crops up (albeit briefly) as one of the few non-Scottish locations of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The French locations, however, actually are in France. The Duke of Burgundy’s chateau at ‘Peronne’, where Durward first meets Isabelle, is the Chateau de Chambord, eleven miles east of Blois in the Loire Valley. The largest of the Loire châteaux, Chambord was built by François I between 1520 and 1535.

The court of Louis XI at ‘Plessis les Tours’ is another Loire château, Château de Chenonceau, six miles southeast of Amboise. Built earlier than Chambord (1513-21) by tax collector Thomas Bohier, it was later owned by François I, Henri I – who gave it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers – and Catherine de Medici (Henri’s widow, who snatched it back on the king’s death). Its gallery is built out on arches over the river Cher.

There was more filming at Château de Maintenon, twelve miles north of Chartres, the home of Madame de Maintenon, mistress of Louis XIV, it’s now a golf club.

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