Location Spotlight – Waddesdon Manor

Location Spotlight – Waddesdon Manor
Waddesdon Manor and Frog Fountain

In the latest of our Location Spotlight series, we go behind the scenes at Waddesdon Manor, a French Renaissance-style chateau in the heart of Buckinghamshire.

We spoke to head of public events and filming Marie Stewart to hear about all that Waddesdon Manor has to offer.

When was Waddesdon Manor first used for filming?

The first major film to use the North lawns as a location was Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head back in 1967. From that date there was a considerable gap until 1983 when the team from James Bond arrived! Never Say Never Again, with Sean Connery and Kim Basinger, was the first production to use the interiors.

East view of Waddesdon Manor

Can you tell us about some of the productions that have filmed there since?

Since the very first film in 1967 we have been lucky to have featured in hundreds of TV shows and photoshoots and over 30 large feature films.

The design of the building and its interiors suit period dramas, such as Queen Charlotte, that filmed at the house in 2022 using The Aviary, South Front, Parterre and Estate, but can equally work for modern productions. Factual shows we have hosted include George Clark’s Amazing Spaces (due to tx in July) and Grand Designs (due out later this year).

Recent films we have accommodated include Cinderella a few years ago and a new Netflix one due out in November, which I can’t name!

Breakfast room

Does the house double for other locations?

The main rooms in the Manor have been transformed into palaces, hotels, cafes and even luxurious lairs. For The Crown S5 (2022), interiors doubled as The Ritz in Paris and in The Queen (2006) the Manor stood in as Buckingham Palace. In Sherlock Holmes, we were the Paris Opera.

The Crown, via Left Bank Pictures/Netflix

Is there a limit on crew sizes?

Due to the nature of the building, its contents and the size of some of the rooms we do restrict crew sizes but we pride ourselves on being flexible – we try not to say no!

Waddesdon is managed by the Rothschild Foundation on behalf of the National Trust. Who runs the filming side of things?

We have regular check-ins with the National Trust but filming projects at Waddesdon are managed by our in-house team.

What kind of notice period is needed to close off the house for filming?

The House closes from January to March for conservation cleaning, so depending on what’s wanted, we can be more flexible in those months. We are also closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in the main season, so can fit in smaller projects then.

What is the insurance situation?
We ask for insurance from all crews, and there are various other specific restrictions for conservation reasons.

Can you describe some of the exterior features that are also available for filming at Waddesdon Manor?

The Manor is a 19th century version of a 16thcentury French chateau, so it is very ornamental outside with turrets and towers. Inside, there are several grand interiors which can be used, spiral staircases, a library, a Smoking and Billiard Room and several bedrooms.

Back staircase

There’s a working Edwardian lift and many other interesting spaces. The formal gardens have a parterre, lawns, seasonal bedding, 3D planted birds, artificial rock formations, a bridge, a small cavern as well as fountains and numerous statues. On the wider estate we have pasture, woodlands and private roads.


We can offer all crews a 1,000 space hard standing car park to use as a unit base – we can also rent this for nearby crews to use for additional unit or tech base as required.

With many thanks to Marie Stewart of Waddesdon Manor for participating in this feature. You can take a virtual tour of the interiors here

Images: Tom Le Bon.

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