Part 4: South Wingfield
The final stop on the journey before heading home was to be Wingfield Manor in South Wingfield. It’s a bit further south than all the other places we’d been to during the day, so would make a good stop on the way back home to Nottingham.
Getting to South Wingfield wasn’t a problem. There were roadsigns. We could even see the ruins from the road. How to get to Wingfield Manor, however, was another matter. There were no roadsigns at all. We couldn’t find a place to stop to take pictures either, so had to go in a big circle back and see if we could find a place the second time around. The first time, when we had reached the post code for the hall according to the website, all we saw was a road saying that wasn’t a public road to the manor so sod off. It was a lot clearer than the Hathersage “satnav users, this is a private road, y’all, just so you know” to say the least.
|I looked with timorous joy towards a stately house: I saw a blackened ruin.|
On the second passing, I said “what if you turn in there? Maybe we could just stop and I could take a picture” because I thought it was just a gated bit where you couldn’t drive in. Incidentally, this was actually the entrance we were looking for. A dark, wooden sign with an English Heritage logo (the Tudor rose) and the black text “Wingfield Manor” said so. We wouldn’t have spotted that sign if we hadn’t been standing next to it at the time! You definitely couldn’t see it driving past, and there were no friendly road signs saying the turnoff was there. There were plenty for other Derbyshire attractions we had passed during the day: Haddon Hall, Chatsworth House, the carriage museum, the Heights of Abraham, Gulliver’s Kingdom … Just not the places we were actually looking for.
The gate was open, even though the ruins themselves were closed because it was a Sunday, so we drove in on the little road a hundred metres or so, stopped, opened the passenger side window, took a few snaps and then turned around and drove away. Which is just as good, as I just noticed the “Please be aware” bit on the English Heritage site, saying “Visitors are reminded that Wingfield Manor ruins are located in a privately owned working farm. Visits without prior arrangement are not allowed.” So that could explain lack of signage. At any rate, we didn’t go up to the ruins or anywhere near and were only there for a minute or so anyway, so no harm done.
And there was the silence of death about it: the solitude of a lonesome wild.
What’s the credentials for Wingfield Manor as a filming location, you say? The outline is similar to that of Haddon Hall, which means it’s perfect for, say, portraying Haddon Hall in ruins. Such as, oh I don’t know, a Thornfield when Jane returns to it after the fire that killed the madwoman in the attic.
And that’s why I wanted to see it. It’s been used for exactly that purpose. I’m sure it’s been used in more than one Jane Eyre adaptation, but the Franco Zeffirelli 1996 version is the only one that lists it. I’m pretty sure the 2006 version also used it, and probably the new one.
It looks like a handsome building and must have looked magnificent when it wasn’t just a ruin!
After that, we went back home to Nottingham and thus concludes the tale of our Day Out in Derbyshire. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did (but without the scary roads). 🙂
The other parts of the Day Out in Derbyshire:
- Part 1: Bakewell and Rowland
- Part 2: Hathersage
- Filming locations: North Lees Hall in Derbyshire (to come)
- Part 3: Chatsworth, Darley Dale and Matlock Bath
Here’s the photo gallery of the day: