National Trust's Felbrigg Hall Joins Steve Coogan On Big Screen

By Graham Spicer | 18 January 2006
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Shows a photo of three men sat around a dinner table in frock coats and wigs

Felbrigg Hall featured extensively in A Cock and Bull Story, directed by Michael Winterbottom. Photo courtesy NTPL/Fisheye.

Norfolk’s Felbrigg Hall is the latest National Trust property to star in a major new film.

The house's 18th century interiors will feature alongside a host of big names in the new Michael Winterbottom film, A Cock and Bull Story, which opens on January 20 2006.

Comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon together with actors Stephen Fry, Greg Wise and Gillian Anderson star in this adaptation of the Laurence Sterne comic novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

Filming took place in October 2004 and although some of the house’s 18th century furniture had to be removed, National Trust staff ensured there was minimum disruption to visitors.

Shows a photo of a film crew in an ornately decorated red walled Georgian room

Most of Felbrigg Hall's rooms were used in the filming. Photo courtesy NTPL/Fisheye.

“I think many people were quite intrigued by what was going on and it actually made their visit more enjoyable,” said Felbrigg property manager Ray Sandham. “Some visitors even managed to get a small ‘starring’ role when the production team were filming the present-day scenes.”

For the first time in more than 100 years, the house’s dining room was candlelit for the filming. Candles were placed in front of the room’s tall ‘pier glass’ mirrors to create more light - as they would have been in the 18th century.

Properties owned by the National Trust have made a series of starring roles in recent films. Montacute House in Somerset was used in the 2005 Jonny Depp film The Libertine. Also in 2005 an adapatation of Pride and Prejudice featured scenes shot at Basildon Park in Berkshire. All proceeds the Trust receives from filming is ploughed back into conservation work.

Shows a photo of the comedian Steve Coogan in Georgian costume with a white wig sat at a dinner table

Comedian Steve Coogan starred alongside Stephen Fry, Rob Brydon, Gillian Anderson and Greg Wise. Photo courtesy NTPL/Fisheye.

Felbrigg Hall, near the coastal town of Cromer, is one of East Anglia’s finest 17th century houses and contains its original furniture and an important collection of paintings along with a walled garden, park and lake.

Its large library was used in the filming, as well as its drawing room and the Chinese bedroom, with its period hand-painted wallpaper.

The house and gardens reopen after the winter on March 25 2006 although visitors can use the estate’s waymarked walks all year round.

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