Is Manderley Real? Rebecca Was Filmed in These English Manors
- Rebecca, Daphne Dumaurier’s classic gothic novel, takes place in Manderley, the stunning estate of Maxim Dewinter.
- manderley isn’t real, but the house was inspired in part by menabilly, a historic property in cornwall that du maurier restored.
- The upcoming Netflix adaptation of Rebecca was filmed in real English mansions like Hatfield House and Cranborne Manor.
Last night I dreamed I was going to Manderley again. Thus begins Daphne du Maurier’s gripping 1938 novel Rebecca, about a young woman who meets and marries a wealthy older widower while she is in Monte Carlo, only to discover the secrets that still linger in her home. One of the most famous opening lines in English literature, the words indicate the importance in the novel of Manderley, Maxim Dewinter’s estate on the west coast of England.
manderley isn’t real, but given his lingering presence in pop culture, he might as well be. At its core, Manderley is an innovative haunted house game. Years after the events of the novel, Manderley stalks the unnamed protagonist of Rebecca, just as Rebecca, Maxim’s first wife, stalks the townspeople of Manderley.
while du maurier devotes magnificent prose to describing the house, netflix’s recent film adaptation had to show manderley. Here’s what you need to know about Manderley and the movie’s filming locations.
netflix’s rebecca was filmed in several english mansions, including cranborne mansion.
pro tip: if you’re planning a visit to rebecca’s set in 2020, don’t type “manderley” into google maps. According to director Ben Wheatley, Rebecca was filmed in about five historic houses in England. “We put together the best parts of as many houses as we could,” Wheatley said at a press trip.
one of those houses is the impressive cranborne mansion, located in dorset. Cranborne provides the exterior for Manderley’s first reveal in the film. Initially built as a hunting lodge for King John in 1207, Cranborne is one of the oldest domestic buildings in England. although cranborne was remodeled in the 16th century, the original walls remain in places.
Other filming locations include 400-year-old Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and Mapperton House in Dorset, home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. While we may not be able to visit Manderley, these privately owned houses are open to the public.
manderley was inspired by du maurier’s childhood visits to milton hall.
As a child, Du Maurier visited Milton Hall, a Georgian mansion in Cambridge, and was struck by its majesty. According to her son, du Maurier first conceived the stern lady in cardigan. danvers during her visit to milton hall.
“‘He saw this tall, dark housekeeper. They always called them Mrs, even if they weren’t married, like Mrs Hudson in Sherlock Holmes,'” Browning told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2013. “That’s where she he first saw this terribly sinister looking lady. I don’t think he ever spoke to her, it was just a sinking look.”
although it shocked rebecca, milton house does not appear in the film. Director Ben Wheatley explained that the production inspected the house, but that it was not as imposing in real life as it was in du Maurier’s memory.
“We visited the actual house. It was a perfectly cool house, but it wasn’t as grand as described in the book. It’s the memory from a child’s perspective. It’s all huge and overwhelming and doesn’t really exist,” he said wheatley.
rebecca was also inspired by du maurier’s own house in cornwall, called menabilly.
du maurier was born in london. When his family bought a country house in Boddinick, a riverside town in south Cornwall, he discovered the region that would eventually become his permanent home and the setting for many of his novels, including Rebecca and jamaica inn.
cornwall is a peninsula in south-west england, jutting out into the atlantic. There, she wrote that she found “the freedom she longed for, long sought, not yet known. Freedom to write, walk, wander, freedom to climb hills and be alone.” she lived in cornwall most of her life.
du maurier first came across menabilly, a georgian mansion in cornwall, at the age of 21, and immediately fell in love with the house, despite the fact that it was abandoned. In 1943, many years after that first meeting, Du Maurier and her husband, Commander Tommy Browning (who initially tracked down Du Maurier on his yacht after reading his book The Loving Spirit) and her three children settled down. in menabilly. she used the proceeds from her soap operas to fix up virtually every aspect of the very rustic dwelling, which had no heating and a north wing that was collapsing after being abandoned for 20 years.
Still, du maurier loved the house, even though he knew it might not last. Menabilly belonged to the Rashleigh family; du maurier managed to get a lease for a limited time.
in 1969, du maurier had to leave menabilly, as he was to pass to another rashleigh heir. by then he had already written Rebecca in the Garden Shack, in addition to other novels. Menabilly is most openly mentioned in his novel The King’s General, about his role during the 17th century English Civil War. Today, Menabilly is once again in the Rashleigh family and cannot be seen from land. But the atmosphere of that ivy-colored mansion by the sea lives on in Du Maurier’s famous words.
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