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Last Updated: Monday, 19 July, 2004, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Austen story filmed at old house
Groombridge Place
Groombridge Place will be the home of Jane Austen's heroine
A country house near Tunbridge Wells is to be the main location for a new film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice.

Groombridge Place, in Kent, has been chosen to be the home of the heroine Elizabeth Bennet and her family.

Location manager for Working Title Films, Adam Richards, said most of the action would take place there.

"The house has immense charm and is untouched by post-17th Century development," he said.

Working Title Films has produced some of the most popular films ever in this country and we are very excited to be a part of Pride and Prejudice
Roly Rickcord, director, Groombridge Place
Filming at the moated manor house, whose gardens are open to the public, got under way on Monday, and will continue throughout most of August.

Stars of the film include Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland and Dame Judi Dench.

Mr Richards said the company had scoured the country looking for a suitable house, but as soon as it saw Groombridge Place, it knew it was the right one.

"It is very comfortable in its setting and the landscape seems to merge seamlessly with the house.

"In the book, the Bennets were a wealthy family who had fallen on hard times, so we were looking to create the look of a grand house but with nature coming right up to the house and barely kept at bay," he said.

Scene from BBC's Pride And Prejudice
Most of the film's action will take place at Groombridge Place
Groombridge Place director Roly Rickcord said he was delighted at the prospect of the house starring in such a high profile film.

"We were absolutely thrilled when Working Titles Films approached us about using the house as Longbourn, the Bennets' home," he said.

"As the filming takes place in the house and in the part of the gardens not open to the public, our visitors will not be inconvenienced in any way."

"Working Title Films has produced some of the most popular films ever in this country and we are very excited to be a part of Pride and Prejudice," he added.

The gardens at Groombridge Place have been voted the top garden attraction in the UK, and the best family attraction in Kent.

The house was also used as the setting for Peter Greenaway's cult film, The Draughtsman's Contract, in 2003, and by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for his Sherlock Holmes mystery, The Valley of Fear.

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