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Solving mysteries with the filming of Enola Holmes

Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes, movie filming took place at Benthall Hall in Shropshire, and Ashridge, in Hertfordshire
Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes, movie filming took place at Benthall Hall in Shropshire, and Ashridge, in Hertfordshire | © Legendary 2020

National Trust places Benthall Hall, in Shropshire, and Ashridge, in Hertfordshire, took starring roles in the mystery film Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown. Hunt down the places that appeared on screen in the Netflix adventure when you visit.

Follow in celebrity footsteps

Based on the beloved book series by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes introduces the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, to his fiercest competition yet – his teenage sister.

Here’s how to follow in the footsteps of the cast (Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes, Henry Cavill and Sam Clafin as Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes and Helena Bonham Carter as their mother Eudoria) at National Trust places.

Benthall Hall, Shropshire

Surrounded by Shropshire countryside, and with a fine stone building and grand courtyard entrance, Benthall Hall was chosen as the filming location for the exterior of ‘Ferndell’, – the Holmes family estate. However, a lot of work was needed to make this well-cared for historic place look wild and unkempt for the film.

‘In the story we have the brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft, arriving home for the first time and Mycroft expressing dismay at the state of their home. He’s been sending his mother money for upkeep, but she has more important things to do with the money.  ‘The gardeners and the people taking care of the house at Benthall were brilliant in allowing the gardens to get really overgrown and letting us drape vines all over the exterior.’ 

A quote by Michael Carlin Enola Holmes production designer 

Front of house

Along with the return of Sherlock and Mycroft to their family home, this location was also used to film carriage rides through the horse chestnut avenue and through gates behind the church into the front courtyard.

‘It actually takes a lot of work to make a place look neglected. At Benthall the film crew added creeping vines, uncut grass, fake weeds and a shabby fake fountain. It was a really interesting comparison with how the house and grounds would normally appear.’ 

A quote by Harvey EdgingtonNational Trust Head of Filming and Locations

Ashridge, Hertfordshire

Lying in close proximity to the major London film studios, the woods at Ashridge are no stranger to the silver screen. They’ve been used as a film location for a huge number of productions, from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to Les Misérables. However, Enola Holmes was the first production that called for a temporary treehouse to be built in one of Ashridge’s beech trees.

Fortunately, the local ranger team have plenty of experience when it comes to working with film crews and were on hand throughout the filming process to make sure that the tree and its surroundings were well looked-after.

‘All of the film kit was carried in rather than being transported by vehicles, which minimises damage to the ground and the roots of important trees.  ‘The construction team made sure that the tree bark was protected wherever the treehouse touched it, and a scaffold tower was erected to make it easier to get the kit, crew and actors up into the tree. On filming days we always had a team member on set to make sure that everything went smoothly and answer any questions the crew had.’ 

A quote by Chrissy HardyNational Trust Area ranger

Supporting special places

As well as showing off beautiful locations, filming directly benefits the places that star in the production. The income from location fees goes straight back into conservation work to care for historic houses and landscapes, so that we’ll all be able to see them both on screen and in real life for years to come.

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Ancient trees, rolling chalk downlands and lush meadows in an area of outstanding natural beauty

Near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

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The front of Benthall Hall, Shropshire, situated on a plateau above the gorge of the River Severn.

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A family home for 500 years

Broseley, Shropshire

Fully open today