FROM PRIDE & PREJUDICE TO TREASURE HUNT
FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY
Groombridge Place & Enchanted Gardens offers an extensive range of filming and photography locations for film, TV, fashion shoots, commercial shoots, and wedding shoots.
The Heir, a novel by Vita Sackville-West, was inspired by Groombridge Place and the house was reputedly the model for Birlstone Manor, the setting for the first part of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Valley of Fear.
There have been manor houses on the site of the present Groombridge for centuries. The earliest mention of one of these is from 1239 when the Lordship of Groomsbridge was granted to William Russell. William and his wife Haweis built a small moated castle at Groombridge, and, later that year, were granted a charter by Henry III of England to build a chantry. When William died in 1261, lordship was granted to Henry de Cobham, 1st Baron Cobham, heir of the influential Kentish family, the de Cobhams.
By the mid-14th century, the lands were held by Sir John de Clinton, whose grandson, Lord Clinton and Saye, sold Groombridge to Thomas Waller of Lamberhurst c.1400. Here, his descendant Sir Richard Waller detained Charles, Duke of Orléans, as his prisoner (following the Battle of Agincourt) for many years, until he was taken to the Tower of London.
The Wallers held Groombridge Place for over two centuries until it was sold in the seventeenth century.
In 1604, the estate was purchased by Sir Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset the Lord Treasurer of England. Sir Thomas also built a number of houses in the town of Groombridge. In 1618, Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset had to sell Groombridge to John Packer due to gambling debts. Packer was deeply religious and contributed mainly to the construction of nearby St John's Church.
A generation later, the estate belonged to English barrister and architect Philip Packer, who, in 1662, built the present-day house with the help of his friend Christopher Wren. Philip Packer married heiress Isabella Berkeley, daughter of Robert Berkeley and Elizabeth Conyers, in 1652. The marriage failed to resolve Packer's financial problems. Isabella died at the age of 32. After Philip died in 1686, the estate was vested in the Chancery.
Diarist and horticulturist John Evelyn's help was enlisted by friend Phillip Packer for the planning of the new leisure gardens. It is said Evelyn planted two Scots pines by the front moat bridge, one of which still exists. On the steep hillsides within the forest are a series of contemporary gardens created in recent years. One famous garden is the drunken garden, a favourite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's. It was at Groombridge Place that his Sherlock Holmes novel The Valley of Fear is set, although the House is renamed "Birlstone Manor". A zeedonk, a small donkey, and a herd of fallow deer inhabit the grounds.
While everything is done to assist film crews and photographers, the safety and enjoyment of visitors is a priority during opening times when crews are required to work around the public.
We are always happy to accommodate recces and advise on the iconic locations and settings to suit your brief. For filming and photography, Public Liability insurance is required and a contract must be signed prior to crews arriving on site.
These vary according to the type of filming and photo shoots and each enquiry is considered on an individual basis to cater for the needs of your crew.
Filming requests for historic documentaries or TV programmes which clearly identify the location as Groombridge Place are considered according to their PR value, and the production company may only be charged for extras such as hiring a green room/dressing room for the day or where additional onsite staff are required for the shoot.
Similarly, location fees for Fashion Shoots are charged according to the location credit and any additional editorial coverage Groombridge Place receives within the magazine.
To discuss your requirements for the above or arrange a recce, please contact our Press and Marketing Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +44(0) 1892 347150
Commercial shoots are charged on an hourly rate (min half day). Please email email@example.com stating your company name and contact details, date/s required and a brief outline of the project for current rates.
The use of drones is not permitted on or over Hever Groombridge Place without prior approval. If use is approved by Groombridge Place then the following conditions will apply:
Operators must hold current and valid evidence of CAA qualifications
A risk assessment for the proposed flight
Evidence of valid insurance policy compliant with EC 785/2004
A flight plan for the proposed flight
A method statement outlining what equipment will be used and a flight plan outlining where flying is proposed
No flight over persons outside of your control
Flights must be kept within visual line of sight (VLOS)
All drone operators and fliers must also provide details of their Drone Registration Identification numbers.
Please note: for all commercial and personal filming, drone flying will be treated as a commercial hire and the appropriate fees will apply.