Jane Eyre | 1996
Unlike the studio-bound Forties Hollywood version with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles, florid Italian director Franco Zeffirelli went on location for ‘Thornfield Hall’, using Haddon Hall, just south of Bakewell in Derbyshire.
Possibly the country’s finest fortified Medieval manor house, Haddon – dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries, its screen credits include Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth, with Cate Blanchett as the Virgin Queen; Joe Wright’s 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice; Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride; historical romance The Other Boleyn Girl, Trevor Nunn’s Lady Jane, with Helena Bonham-Carter – and as ‘Thornfield Hall’ again in Cary Fukunaga’s 2011 version of the story, with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Gainsbourg) first meets Mr Rochester (William Hurt) at the strange – and photogenic – rock formations at Brimham Rocks, near Pately Bridge, North Yorkshire. It’s a National Trust property.
‘Thornfield’ after the fire is Wingfield Manor, South Wingfield west of Alfreton in Derbyshire, the ruins of a Medieval manor house. Built in the middle of the 15th century, it’s famous for having housed Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment and, in 1596, is believed to have been graced with the first flushing toilet.
After the Civil War, Parliament ordered that it be partly demolished so it could no longer be used for defensive purposes. It was finally abandoned in the 18th Century. An English Heritage property, it’s currently closed to the public for safety reasons.