Film Locations: Where Was Sense and Sensibility Filmed?

As one of the earliest archetypes of feminist fiction, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen offers a vivid description of the 19th century old-fashioned way of life intertwined with romantic dispositions. The period drama adapted by director Ang Lee brings the scenic locations on screen with its quintessential all-star cast, including Actress Emma Thompson. She received an Academy Award for writing the Best Adapted Screenplay. 

The lives of the Dashwood girls may be embroiled in scandals, but the choices in locations are certainly not. Curious to know where the hit screenplay was filmed? Read on to learn more! 

Where Was Sense and Sensibility Filmed? 

It must not come as a surprise that most of the scenes are filmed in the countryside of England. The gorgeous yet archaic estates beautifully capture the essence of the Victorian period and add a hint of the vintage aesthetic to numerous scenes. 

When film researchers stumbled across the weather-beaten stone village of Devon, they were enamoured by the rustic ambience of the region. The country residences on the private Flete Estates in Plymouth were used for most of the film’s locations. 

Some scenes were even shot in London and Wilshire to break away from the monotony of the rural elements. If you want to know precisely where every scene was filmed, including the well-renowned final wedding scene where Marianne (Kate Winslet)  marries Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman), then continue reading!

1. Saltram House, Plymouth, Devon 

We glimpse this first filming location where Mr. Dashwood asks his son, John Dashwood, to look after his second wife and three daughters. If you are familiar with the novel, you know that women were not allowed to inherit property in the early 1900s. Thus, John inherits Norland Park and is entrusted with the responsibility of Marianne and Elinor. 

This scene was shot in the Saltram House of Plymouth. It is a rather Georgian mansion that looks quite posh and sophisticated.

2. Efford House, Plymouth, Devon 

The following Sense and Sensibility location features a rustic-style house of the Dashwood family. The Barton Cottage is battered and weather-worn, which perfectly depicts the state of the Dashwood sisters after departing from their previous estate. 

A lot of monumental scenes are shot here, such as Edward (Hugh Grant) proposing to Elinor (Emma Thompson) and John Willoughby (Greg Wise) carrying Marianne ( Kate Winslet). The Flete Estate stone cottage appears in many more scenes throughout the screenplay. 

3. Mompesson House, Salisbury, Wiltshire 

The Dashwood sisters and a family friend, Lucy Steele, accompany Mrs. Jennings on a short trip to London. The actual scene is shot far away from the alleyways of London, in Mompesson House, located in Salisbury. 

4. Compton Castle, Devon 

An emotional and heartbroken Marianne watches over Mr. Willoughby’s estate in the rain. She is betrayed after Willoughby decides to leave her for a duchess. The scene was filmed in Compton Castle, a medieval disfigured location that looks quite ghastly if you visit it at night. 

5. Somerset House, London

Balls were relatively common in the Victorian Age at every nook and cranny. The four ladies attend the extravagant ball that is filmed in Somerset House. With robust hallways and stone pillars, the lavish location would have been the most popular in the 1800s. 

6. Adam House, London 

Before inheriting Norland Park, John and Fanny Dashwood lived in an elegant monochrome London townhouse. The opulent Adam House is used, a private members club with a restaurant in the present day. 

7. Blickling Estate, Norwich

Colonel Brandon’s sprawling Delaford Estate is a marvel with its tree-lined lanes and natural hedges. Despite losing Marianne to Willoughby, Colonel Brandon invites the Dashwoods, the Palmers, Mrs. Jennings, and Mr. Middleton for a picnic on his lawn. 

8. St. Mary’s Church, Berry Pomeroy 

One of the most famous film locations, St. Mary’s Church, makes an appearance in the wedding scene of Sense and Sensibility. The serene ambience of this 14th-century historic building is perfect for the wedding scene between Marianne and Colonel Brandon. 

9. Trafalgar Park, Salisbury 

The real-life Barton Park, owned by Sir John Middleton, is situated in Salisbury, Wiltshire. The 19th-century manor is the home of Sir Middleton and his mother-in-law. 

Wrapping Up

The filming locations of Sense and Sensibility are a perfect representation of the landscape of the time. The use of the ancient medieval buildings and grandiose halls enriches the overall setting of Sense and Sensibility and gives justice to the play’s enigmatic characters.