Riding on the coat tails of smash-hit period dramas such as BBC’s Downtown Abbey and ITV’s Victoria, Netflix released its own romp through Regency England called Bridgerton on Christmas Day 2020.
Bridgerton has been described as ‘Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl’. It follows the eldest daughter of the wealthy Bridgerton family, Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, as she comes of age and enters the fierce maelstrom of the London marriage market. Starring opposite her is Regé-Jean Page, who plays her love interest Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.
The period locations for the drama were filmed throughout England, but some key parts of the series were filmed here in Yorkshire.
Key scenes were filmed at the wonderful stately home of Castle Howard, set in stunning landscaped grounds and gardens. In the Netflix series Castle Howard played Clyvedon Castle, the Duke of Hastings’ family estate. Once Daphne and Simon are married they retreat to Clyvedon Castle where a number of the more raunchy scenes are filmed both indoors and outdoors in the gardens!
Castle Howard really is one of the gems of Yorkshire. Before Covid-19 I would regularly bring overseas visitors here to witness its splendour. The house has some wonderful artworks and sculptures along with its impressive grand baroque architecture. It’s landscaped gardens include water features, walled gardens, woodland and classical folly’s such as The Temple of the Four Winds.
As well as Castle Howard, the local estate village of Coneysthorpe also featured in the TV drama as Clyvedon Village. This quaint village close to the North estate entrance of Castle Howard with stone cottages is a delight.
Sitting on the village green also lies the small Wesleyan Chapel built in 1835 (after Bridgerton’s regency period) but still a lovely icon of the village.
The stone cottages used to house many of the workers from the Castle Howard Estate but nowadays there are a number of holiday rentals and homes of commuters who work locally in Malton or York.
Whilst the historic City of York was not used as a location in Bridgerton, York is full of Recency and Georgian architecture,
With crescents of houses, grand civic buildings or large Georgian family homes, York was a key player as a destination for the wealthy during Regency times. York even had its own season where the wealthy would come from all around the UK to create family ties through the marriage of their daughters to eligible wealthy young (on not so young!) men.
With the growth of turnpike roads, it made travel between York and London much faster. There are many locations where wealthy society patrons would have met and mixed. Places such as the Georgian Assembly Rooms, The Mansion House and grand homes such as Fairfax House all play their part in the story of this period. Stories of the key York based families such as the Fairfax family, the Scropes or the Carr’s and how they conducted themselves during this period are fascinating tales..
With Bridgerton becoming Netflix’s 5th highest viewed series and a second season already commissioned, Yorkshire is a great place to come and immerse yourself in some of the locations used for Season 1 and explore life in Recency York.
With the series popularity in the USA, I am hoping when travel starts to open up again that fans of Bridgerton will flood to Yorkshire and I will have the pleasure of showing them these wonderful locations and bringing regency York to life.