The Remains of the Day, 1993
- Anthony Hopkins
- Emma Thompson
- James Fox
- Christopher Reeve
- Peter Vaughan
- Tim Pigott-Smith
- Hugh Grant
- Michael Lonsdale
visit the film locations
Dyrham Park, Dyrham, near Chippenham (tel: 0127.937.2501) A special bus link to Dyrham leaves Queen's Square, Bath (8 miles) at 10.20am. Telephone Dyrham park for details (rail: Bath Spa, from London Paddington)
George Inn, High Street, Norton St Philip, (tel: 01373.834.224) six miles southeast of Bath
Corsham Court (tel: 01249.701610), four and a half miles west of Chippenham
Powderham Castle, Kenton (tel: 01626.890 243/252)
Weston-Super-Mare (rail: from London Paddington)
Royal Pier Hotel, Birnbeck Road (tel: 01934.626644)
Highbury Hotel, Atlantic Road (tel: 01934.621585)
For more Kazuo Ishiguro on-screen, see Never Let Me Go
The Remains of the Day location: the exterior of ‘Darlington Hall’: Dyrham Park, Chippenham, near Bath, Somerset
The Merchant-Ivory team’s thirteenth outing is a film of Kazuo Ishiguro’s prizewinning novel, with Anthony Hopkins as Stevens, the ultimate gentleman’s gentleman, putting duty to the pro-Nazi Lord Darlington (James Fox) before his buttoned-up feelings for housekeeper Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson).
As ever, director James Ivory makes ingenious use of real locations. The fictitious ‘Darlington Hall’ is a conflation of several houses, most recognisable of which is the exterior. This is Dyrham Park, about six miles north of Bath, Somerset, on the A46. It was built between 1692 and 1704 by William III’s Secretary of State, William Blathwayt, on the site of a Tudor manor house. It’s a National Trust property, open to the public from April through October, except Thursdays and Fridays.
Most of the interior is Badminton House, about 10 miles north of Bath off the B4040 in Gloucestershire, which provided the entrance hall, Miss Kenton’s and Stevens’ parlours, and the conservatory where Stevens’ father (Peter Vaughan) collapses (see the house’s exterior in Michael Bay’s WWII epic Pearl Harbor). It's no longer open to the public.
Powderham Castle, a medieval pile dating from 1390 set in a deer park, supplied more interiors. It was damaged during the Civil War, then restored and much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s now the home of Lord and Lady Courtenay, and open to the public from May to October. The house is eight miles south of Exeter off the A379, Devon. Here you can see the Blue Staircase to the right of the entrance hall, the Library, Music Room, and the domed ceiling of the final scene with the trapped pigeon.
The Remains of the Day location: the conference in the cabinet room: Corsham Court, Wiltshire
Corsham Court, an Elizabethan and Georgian house, is the site of the conference in the ‘Cabinet Room’. Four miles west of Chippenham off the A4 in Wiltshire, it’s open from the beginning of January to the end of November It’s also seen in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece Barry Lyndon.
Benn (Tim Pigott-Smith) proposes at the historic George Inn, High Street, Norton St Philip, six miles southeast of Bath, while Stevens spends the night at the Hop Pole Inn, Woods Hill, Lower Limpley Stoke – a village used for another British classic. Limpley Stoke, a couple of miles south of Bath, appeared as the village of ‘Titfield’ in the Ealing comedy The Titfield Thunderbolt.
Stevens eventually travels to meet Miss Kenton in Weston-Super-Mare, a resort on the Somerset coast, about twenty miles west of Bristol.
The hotel where he pulls up is the Royal Pier Hotel, Birnbeck Road and Miss Kenton’s boarding house is the Highbury Hotel, Atlantic Road.
The pair go for tea in the Pavilion and sit morosely together on the town’s Grand Pier.