Magnificent Burghley House buzzed with camera crews, sound technicians and make-up artists for the filming of Jane Austen's celebrated novel.

Burghley House became Rosings, the magnificent residence of formidable Lady Catherine de Bourg, played by Dame Judi Dench starring alongside Keira Knightly and Donald Sutherland. Harvey Pascoe, Burghley's butler at the time, found himself acting the role of his 18th century be-wigged counterpart to Dame Judi's Lady Catherine in the film.

A feast of authentic food was prepared to grace the table in a scene where the characters are having dinner. Harvey recalled barons of beef, dressed turkeys and peacocks decorated with artificial colouring. Filming involved a huge upheaval:

The State Rooms had to be stripped of major artefacts, and there always had to be someone from the house watching the whole time in case an arc light swung round suddenly.

Everything was put back by midnight ... because the house was open to the public again the next day.

Breathtaking Burghley also featured as the home of John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I’s astrologer in the Elizabeth the Golden Age starring Cate Blanchett as the young Queen Elizabeth, and Geoffrey Rush as her Lord High Treasurer William Cecil. Cecil, the queen's loyal and trusted confidant, who later became Lord Burghley, had the house built mostly to his own design. It is now acclaimed as one of the finest Elizabethan mansions in the country.

 

'Lights, camera, action!' - Lincolnshire's starring role

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