Sunday, July 24, 2016

Kingsman: Golden Circle filming at Althorp when we visited

It was yet another warm but not too sunny day today (Sunday) so we chose to visit Althorp, using our H.H.A. membership  (Historic Houses Association) to gain free entry. It's no more than a 45-minute drive up the M1 and off near Daventry (following the instructions given by our Garmin SatNav.) Carol went there around 10 years ago to see a Bryan Adams concert around the time we first met. An impressive drive into the estate and we were surprised to see a lot of vehicles parked, which then got me thinking it was rather familiar, having worked as a television and film extra and 'Walk-On.' It turned out to be a film unit and we discovered, having asked a member of the crew what it was and it turned out to be for a film called 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle." I have never heard of 'Kingsman' as I'm not a follower, particularly of Hollywood films. I think it must be the sequel and it turns out (having searched on I.M.D.B. that one of the stars is Colin Firth.)

The house and gardens didn't open until 11 a.m and so we had to wait 10 minutes. A number of other people turned up and we stood around until we were let into the grounds. A half-mile walk then followed to the house, quite a pleasant enough walk, but why didn't they put the carpark closer. There was one couple walking along, the husband (I presume he was her husband, but who knows.) seemed in a world of his own. He walked along the middle of the road and a vehicle, presumably from the film unit, came up behind (we were walking along the path next to the road, so we were clear of any vehicles which came along.) and the old man was totally oblivious of any vehicle and one of the men in this vehicle got out because he wouldn't move out of the way, and had to go up to him to get him to move out of the way in order to let the vehicle through.


Althorp House

We got to the house and went into the front hall (or 'Salon' as it was called.) to wait to go on a guided tour of the house. Lots of chandeliers and a very grand staircase leading to the upper floors of the house. About 20-30 people gathered and we sat in a circle waiting for the lady who was going give us the tour and then we moved off around the rooms for about an hour. Interesting what we learned and I wasn't aware that Althorp had so many historic connections. I was aware of course that Diana, Princess of Wales, had lived there, and was buried there, but not that Winston Churchill was connected to the Spencer family. We saw,  no end of paintings of the Spencer family over several generations. I don't think we would have visited if we hadn't been members of the H.H.A. because the cost for an individual adult to enter was £18 which seemed to be a bit steep considering there wasn't really a great deal to see. It is an interesting enough property and we didn't have to drive far to get there, but nothing special. Also, if it hadn't been for the SatNav I doubt we have found it, knowing our inclination to get lost when attempting to find places.
We didn't see any filming. I don't think there was any going on. I reckon they were setting things up for filming later in the week. We saw a lot of cables running across a lawn from a generation truck and black drapes over the windows of one section of the house which presumably was being set up for filming, but that was all. A lot of staff wandering around, with clipboards etc, from the film unit and other paraphernalia.

We sat and had our lunch sitting in a picnic area and left for home. Not over-impressed by the place but a nice enough day out.
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