Where was The Secret Garden filmed? Filming Locations Guide

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Set in the North York Moors, The Secret Garden is based on 1910 Frances Hodgson Burnett’s popular novel, a classic of English children's literature.

However, this new adaptation takes place in 1947, in the aftermath of World War II and the partition of India.

The starring cast

Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx) is an orphaned young girl who discovers a mysterious garden on the grounds of a gloomy isolated mansion owned by her uncle Lord Craven (Colin Firth).

The supporting cast includes Julie Walters (who you've seen in countless productions including Mamma Mia!, Paddington or the Harry Potter film series), and Amir Wilson (who starred in The Letter for the King and His Dark Materials).

The curated filming locations of the movie are a visual delight. The Secret Garden pictured in the film is an amalgam of locations, shot all over the United Kingdom:

Abbotsbury Subtropical
The colonial house of Mary's parents in India is located at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens in Dorset.

The top floor was CGI'd to a cabin of this 18th-century park, noted for having a unique microclimate that enables rare and exotic species from all over the world to thrive.

The short railway wagon scene was filmed in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Map

The swimming pool in India
The swimming pool was filmed in the historic Trematon Castle near Plymouth. Within the castle, courtyard stands a Georgian house.

The pool, dating from the 19th-Century, was built following the style of India colonized by the British Empire.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Map

The Secret Garden house
The exterior of the Misselthwaite Manor, the ancestral home of Mary's uncle Archibald Craven in the Yorkshire Moors, is based on the front facade of the Harlaxton Manor in Lincolnshire.

Built in 1837, the estate currently serves as the British campus for the American University of Evansville.

This Jacobethan style manor has been used before as a filming location in several other productions including The Ruling Class (1972), The Last Days of Patton (1986), The Haunting (1999), and more recently in the Victoria series (2017).
Image courtesy of Heyday Films and Jules & Jenny - Map

The stone entrance gate
The railings outside the courtyard are from the Duncombe Park house near Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

The land of this privately owned stately home extends 30-acres between the meanders of the River Rye within the North York Moors National Park.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films and Alh - Map

Duncombe Park tunnel of trees
The tunnel of trees and the Father Time Sundial sculpture pictured above were also filmed on the grounds of Duncombe Park.

A few scenes were also set at Helmsley Walled Garden, an orchard originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit, and flowers to the family living at Duncombe Park.

Misselthwaite Manor
We also discovered that some ornate rooms of the mansion belonging to Knebworth House in Hertfordshire (the drawing-room and picture gallery).

The grounds of this 16th century Tudor manor have been the venue of many top festivals and major concerts since 1974.

The site is also a popular filming location and has been featured in tons of movies and TV shows including Harry Potter, Midsomer Murders of 1989' Batman.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Map

Knebworth kitchen
The 16th century Osterley Park and House in the outskirts of London was a bit hard to find in the movie.

The filmmakers just used the period kitchen of the large mansion that lies in the center of the park.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Map

Giant plants in Trebah
When the naughty girl starts exploring the area around the house she finds the exuberant sub-tropical Trebah Gardens in Cornwall.

She walks through a jungle of exotic tree ferns from Australia, the Brazilian gunneras of enormous leaves, or the bamboos originating from several corners of the world.

During the Second World War, the beautiful secluded beach and boathouse of the property was the last thing that many soldiers saw before assaulting Omaha Beach in Normandy.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Map

Sunken church ruins
The dramatic ruins with a pool is a small temple filmed in the stunning medieval remains of Fountains Abbey near Ripon in North Yorkshire.

Founded in 1132, this ancient Cistercian monastery and the 18th-century Studley Royal Water Garden are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Fountains Hall country house located here was used to picture the Misselthwaite Manor in the 1993 Secret Garden film.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films and Google Maps

Puzzlewood forest passage
This glorious gardens compilation could not miss the enchanted world of Puzzlewood near Coleford in the Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire).

This ancient woodland seems out of a fairy tale. It was featured recently in the Netflix series Cursed and Star Wars: The Force Awakens filmed.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Map

Laburnum Arch
The scene when Mary and Dickon find Grace's garden gate was filmed at Woodhall Estate, an 18th-century neoclassical country house in Hertfordshire.

The yellow flowered-passage is the Laburnum Arch at Bodnant Garden near Tal-y-Cafn in Conwy, Wales.

Created in 1880, this 55 metre-long pergola walkway is the highlight of this National Trust site.

The golden Laburnum flowers bloom only for three weeks at the end of May and the beginning of June.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Maps: Woodhall Estate - Laburnum Arch

Harold Peto Pompeian terrace
The Peto Garden is an Italianate courtyard surrounded by an arcade at Iford Manor in Wiltshire, near Bath.

This historical Romantic park has never been on the Big Screen before.
Image courtesy of Heyday Films - Map

The wallpaper room and hall
And what about the beautiful hall and interior rooms of the house? They were built in a soundstage in Pinewood Studios.

According to National Trust, Calke Abbey wasn't used for filming, but the interiors of this early 18th-century Baroque mansion near Ticknall (Derbyshire) became a key inspiration for the film crew.

Can you help to improve this article about the shooting locations of The Secret Garden? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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  1. Oh my! I was wondering about the massive overuse of the green and blue in the interiors. Thinking someone may have painted over the gorgeous wood stairs, railings, trim etc was ruining my day. Could not imagine a sane person doing that! Other than that, lovely visuals.😉

  2. Oh my! I was wondering why the massive overuse of greens and blues in the interiors. Who would paint over precious wood, trims, doors ect. in peacock colours? It was ruining my day. However, the rest of the visuals are wonderful. Glad this article settled my dismay. Thanks. 😉👍

  3. The fresco or wallpaper in Mary’s room is similar to frescoes forma Prima Porta Villa of Livia (wife of emperor Augustus). The same you can see during end credits. https://it.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affreschi_del_ninfeo_sotterraneo_della_villa_di_Livia#/media/File%3ARom-Villa-Livia.jpg

  4. Some lovely old gardens the nation must treasure as too many have been lost to time and war. We cannot afford to lose more. Then changing ages have made it hard for landowners sons grandsons and down to me to keep. I had to seek cheaper land abroad and build again acres of gardens and a home from nothing over 9 years into an estate. Still at it in my 70s but being titled English, never never give in as Churchill told me personally at the age of 6, and never never never will I give in.


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