Just as the new Mrs de Winter lives in the shadow of her predecessor, Netflix's new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca has some big shoes to fill. But there's at least one way this version can outshine the Hitchcock classic and that's the setting. Manderley, Maxim de Winter's sprawling coastal estate, plays an integral role in the novel and here we finally get to see it in all its glory. While the 1940 movie was primarily shot on Hollywood backlots (with a miniature tabletop house), the Netflix film takes us into the heart of the British countryside and to Manderley on a grand scale.
Starring Lily James and Armie Hamer, Rebecca is now streaming on Netflix and although it may not measure up to the original, it's still wonderful to see du Maurier's classic novel brought back to life. Filming took place in the south of France and at several different locations around England. Instead of du Maurier's beloved Cornwall, the producers opted to film the coastal scenes over the border in North Devon at Heartland Quay. With its rough seas and history of shipwrecks, the area's craggy shore lent itself perfectly to the story.
Acclaimed production designer, Sarah Greenwood (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice), was tasked with the impossible job of finding a house that matched du Maurier's descriptions of Manderley. In an interview with Dorset Magazine, Greenwood explained that seven stately homes were used in the production, with Cranborne Manor in Dorset taking a starring role as the main exterior of Manderley. The Cranborne estate is owned by the Marquess of Salisbury, whose main seat is Hatfield House in Herefordshire, which was also used as a filming location for several interior scenes, including the climactic costume ball.
Another Dorset estate featured in many of the garden scenes as well as some of those in Manderley's west wing. Mapperton, near Beaminster, is a stunning Jacobean manor house and home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. You may recognise the exterior from the 2009 adaptation of Emma, where it appeared as the Weston's Randalls. Or from the 2015 version of Far from the Madding Crowd when it featured as Bathsheba's Everdene Farm.
Scenes in the east wing bedrooms were filmed at Loseley House in Surrey. Three National Trust properties also appeared in the film, including Osterley House near Heathrow (the servants quarters), Ham House in Surrey (Mrs Danvers' room) and Petworth House in West Sussex, where that pivotal moment involving a family portrait was recreated in the sculpture gallery.