Sherlock at Tyntesfield

Sherlock fans were treated to a Victorian special on 1 January featuring Tyntesfield, near Bristol, as its Gothic backdrop.

The Abominable Bride saw the ever popular BBC drama and its stars transported back to the time of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original creation.  The one-off Victorian special saw Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman filmed in period costume and in the very authentic setting of Tyntesfield.

Filming took place in January last year, with Tyntesfield being closed for the entire month.  However this was not the glamourous experience staff expected when they were told that the stars of BBC’s Sherlock were coming to Tyntesfield.

Assistant house manager Rachel Kavanagh said: “I spent the first day of the shoot sitting on the roof with one of the lighting crew while a dead body was discovered on the floor below.

“It was also hard to keep it all secret from everyone. But I’m so proud of what we achieved, we worked really hard to make it a success and it was exciting to be involved in such a high profile show.”

Besides being the setting for Sir Eustace Carmichael’s house, the TV crew dressed Tyntesfield for other locations including rooms in Dr Watson’s London home. They also brought in replacement furniture to avoid damage to the Tyntesfield collection.

Rachel explained: “We had to move over 1000 items from the collection. But most of what they brought in looked the same at ours so I was pleased to see that the house is still very recognisable.”

With a collection of nearly 60,000 objects the task of filming at Tyntesfield was particularly challenging. Sherlock location manager, Ben Mangham said: ‘A major film production in such a space could turn into a nightmare, but in the end the house looked amazing and it was the smoothest location of the entire episode.’

Tyntesfield previously featured as a location for an episode of Doctor Who, filmed in 2013 and will appear in Dr Thorne, Julian Fellowes’ adaptation of the Anthony Trollope novel, due to be broadcast on ITV in March.

Francesca Hollow, Tyntesfield’s House Manager said, ‘Our places are popular with film companies and seeing them on screen generates additional interest from visitors.

‘We make sure the money from these productions stays with the place used – in this case it will go towards the costs of keeping the house and estate as an authentic gothic Victorian family home.’

Tyntesfield will be hosting a Sherlock family mystery trail inside the house from 4 January, as well as a more in-depth tour for those interested in the specific locations used in the filming. There will be props, photos and scripts to discover from the program and an opportunity to perform scenes as filmed in the house.