Thornfield Hall in Masterpiece Theatre’s “Jane Eyre”

Jane Eyre miniseries 2006 Toby Stephens

One of my favorite novels is Jane Eyre, and I’ve probably seen every TV and movie version they’ve made over the years. I especially love the Toby Stephens-Ruth Wilson miniseries produced for Masterpiece Theatre in 2006. I watch it at least once a year (cold, rainy days are best), and I never get tired of it.

Haddon Hall, a fortified medieval manor house in Derbyshire, England, dating from the 12th Century, was used as the setting for Thornfield in the film. Here’s a photo the Long Gallery from their website:

If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s been used in lots of other productions, including the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

Jane Eyre Haddon Hall

According to Property Planet, Haddon Hall was used again for the more recent movie version with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska.

Jane Eyre miniseries 2006 stone bridge Thornfield

Ruth Wilson was cast as Jane for this version when she was barely out of drama school.

Jane Eyre miniseries Thornfield Hall

The red scarf flapping in the wind outside this upper-story window is Jane’s first clue about Thornfield’s secret inhabitant:

Haddon Hall Thornfield Jane Eyre red scarf

They made Haddon Hall look gloomy and grim onscreen.

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (2)

Here’s a similar shot of how it looks in real life with the gardens in bloom, via the Locations Hub website:

real Thornfield Haddon Hall

Production designer Will Hughes-Jones says, “We were walking around with custodians of the building and said we needed a secret door for the cast to go through. One of the custodians said, ‘Like this?’ and held back a tapestry to reveal a real-life secret door.”

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (32)

He adds, “You can get lost in Haddon Hall for hours. It can feel dark and frightening, but then again, when the sun is shining on it, it’s a beautiful place.”

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (24)

I love the old door behind Rochester:

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (19)

In his book 1000 Best Houses, Simon Jenkins described Haddon Hall as “the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages.”

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (7)

It was difficult to get good screenshots because the interior scenes are so dimly lit.

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (29)

Ruth Wilson as Jane Eyre four-poster bed

Jane looking and feeling hopeful on her wedding day (sadly short lived):

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (31)

On Haddon Hall’s website they state:

Haddon Hall is probably the finest example of a fortified medieval manor house in existence. Present-day Haddon Hall dates from the 12th Century to the early 17th Century, whereupon it lay dormant for over two hundred years from 1700 until the 1920s, when the 9th Duke and Duchess of Rutland restored the house and gardens, and once again made it habitable.

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (23)

Rochester’s study, which looks as dark and brooding as he is:

Rochester's study in Jane Eyre

In his behind-the-scenes production notes, producer Diederick Santer wrote about filming at Haddon Hall:

Haddon is a magical place. The rooms are rugged and beautiful, and are made all the more so by the brilliant decoration and propping of designer Grenville Horner and his team. Our base is close by, and it’s an extremely comfortable location in which to work.

Except that it is FREEZING.

I wear more layers than ever before — three on my LEGS! And a coat that’s more like a duvet. And I’m still FROZEN! Heaters are no use. We line up about a dozen in the long gallery (which serves as the drawing room of Thornfield Hall) and our breath is still condensing.

Brrr. Gives me new appreciation for how well Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens managed to heat up the screen!

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (3)

Jane has breakfast in the servants’ quarters:

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (6)

Adele’s school room:

Adele in the school room Thornfield

The woodwork in the house is gorgeous.

Jane and Adele in the school room Thornfield

It makes me sad every time Jane returns to find Thornfield has burned down in her absence:

Jane Eyre Thornfield Hall (43)

Any other Jane Eyre fans out there? Do you have a favorite TV or movie version of the novel?

Julia-simple-teal-signature2

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Comments

  1. Wingnut says

    I thought of a good movie house you could do: the mansion from Sabrina (the Harrison Ford version). That would be a neat one.

  2. says

    It’s been a long time since I read this book; I was probably 12. I need to try it again.
    Regarding Haddon Hall, I’m always blown away to think of a building, a home, that’s been in existence since the 1100’s ! What amazing, and mundane, things have gone on behind those walls?
    Anyway, great post!

    Holly’s last blog post..I Heart Pottery Barn

  3. says

    Great post, Julia. You have me wanting to see that movie now. I need a cold day to snuggle up and really appreciate it. :-)

    I’ve left you an award on my blog. Have a great Monday!

  4. Tara says

    I LOVE that version of Jane Eyre. I wish I had it right now to watch.

  5. says

    Hi Julia :)

    I am ashamed to say that I’ve never read the book, but my absolute favorite movie version is the one with Orson Welles. I think he was hot then (I know, weird). I’ve never seen this version, so I think I’ll have to. Great post!

    rue

    rue’s last blog post..Letter to our weatherman

  6. Kellye says

    I’ve not read the book, but I have seen a few versions of it. In fact, I saw one BBC version just last week. I forgot the names of the stars.

    That manor house is a freakin’ castle! It’s beautiful, but I would not have wanted to live in that time. I like all of our modern conveniences and the fact that we don’t have to wear four layers of clothing! Although, it seems they need it there.

  7. Tracy says

    Beautiful post. I haven’t seen this version of Jane Eyre and will look for it. As for my suggestion for a future post, I don’t recall seeing you mention this one before so, if you have, sorry for being redundant: the “Practical Magic” house. Saw a bit of this movie a few nights ago and remembered that the house was almost more interesting than the story. And I remember reading about it (in Country Home or Country Living maybe?) when the movie first came out. Thanks for this fun “movie house” series!

  8. says

    Yes,love these classic homes. Every time I see one of these beauties I think, “I was mean to live in THAT era.” Then I look around and quickly remember that my bathroom, as simple as it is, is a modern miracle! I’ll settle for the 6 hour A&E Pride and Prejudice with Collin Firth. Ahhh…. love me some good chick flicks and some yummy chocolate!

    PrettyOrganizer’s last blog post..Mirrors for Game Day

  9. says

    I never saw that version, but will see if I can get it from Netflix! Have you been watching Masterpiece Theater this year? They just aired a two part series of Tess of d’Urbersville (you can watch it on-line) and it was REALLY good!

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

  10. says

    I’m ashamed to say that I’m not familiar at all with Jane Eyre but I’m interested now. That’s a beautiful castle.

    Amy’s last blog post..Drat!

  11. says

    I just found your blog through twitter today. What a fun blog! I have subscribed to it!

    Katrine’s last blog post..Henry

  12. Melinda says

    One of my favorite books and I loved this version of the movie as well. An amazing “home” but just a tad chilly – oh and you’ve got that crazy first wife cruising aroung in the dark too!

  13. says

    Julia, I adore this post! Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorite books, and I’ve seen every version, too. Yeah, this Rochester is pretty good – but a bit young and hot for my taste. Ciaran Hinds is my personal pick – so gruff and dreamy. But back to the post; it’s a terrific look at the house – more homes-of-literature, please, maybe “Rebecca’s” Manderley?

    marilyn @ simmer till done’s last blog post..The Secret Life of Oven Mitty

  14. says

    Great post. i need to rent the movies it’s been awhile. Thanks for the great reminder.
    LuLu

  15. says

    Hi Julia,
    I’ve been looking around your blog this afternoon, wow. A lot to see! So, I’ve noticed the fixture above your kitchen dining table and was wondering if you might know the model? I’m looking to replace mine and think that would work for me. Thanks!

  16. says

    I love the ceiling in that reat hall/drawing room. I always think I want to live in a house like this back then with the gowns and manners, but then I remember the BBC documentary Manor House (now THERE’S a house!) and I think I’d rather have central heating and deoderant.

    Robin’s last blog post..New bird on the block No. 24

  17. says

    One of the greatest novels ever and this screen version was amazing. I had to giggle when I read the comment above mine! I have had the same thoughts…oh to live there but oy. Now hot showers, deodorant or central heat.
    No wonder so many people died of consumption. *grin*

    One film I would love to see you do is Sense and Sensibilities. I LOVE the book and the Emma Thonpson/;Kate Winslet version. So many gorgeous manor house, London townhomes and the girls an dthei Mothe lived in after their father’s death.

    Thank you for always providing us with such eye candy and smiles.

    Love,
    Sue

    Sue’s last blog post..Ah…I Feel So NOT Alone!

  18. says

    That is so amazing! I love being able to take closer looks at houses that are in movies! Thank you for doing this!!! :) If you ever do TV show houses…I LOVE Nora’s house on Brother’s and Sister’s! Look forward to the next house!

    Beth’s last blog post..I couldn’t have said it better myself…

  19. Mary Grace says

    I’m absolutely obsessed with the Toby Stephens/Ruth Wilson version of Jane Eyre. What I love best about it is that Rochester is so lovable … he’s gruff, to be sure, but his tender looks when he’s gazing at Jane simply melt one’s heart. He’s a much softer Rochester who smiles a lot, and though in Bronte’s book he’s not supposed to be good looking … I prefer Toby Stephens’ handsome face. And Ruth Wilson and he have such great chemistry. Two really fine performances.

    ‘Scuse me … must go off and watch it again … for perhaps the umpteenth time … Honestly, for me, it never gets old.

    Mary Jane-aholic :)

  20. ZANDRA says

    i LOVE THIS PBS VERSION OF JANE ERYE AND THE BEAUTIFUL HADDON HALL AS BACKDROP. I HAVE A PLATE FROM 40 YRS. AGO WITH A PICTURE OF HADDON HALL ON IT AND I LOVE LEARNING OF ALL IT’S HISTORY FROM 1100 YRS. BACK. THANK YOU, ZANDRA

  21. wictoria says

    I love this version of Jane Eyre, I’ve been watching it since a week every day (so I improve my english language, I write terms I don’t understand and I look in the dictionnary after the film, the next time, I understand better :)
    I’m in love with those Rochester :)

  22. Nikki says

    I am a period drama nut!! just like my Mam and she has come up for a visit to take care of me as I am sick right now so we are planning to watch dvd’s of period drama’s that us Brits do so well and also movies on the British monarchy throught the ages so we are going to be kicking back in our pj’s doing each other’s hair and nails and wearing face masks (yes the whole girly thing mother and daughter style to spend time together as I am married and live 3 hrs away by train and a hour on top to get to me).
    And I am going to get her to watch Jane Eyre Materpiece of course as I know she will love it so will have to break out the drinks and nibbles!! cannot wait.