“That’s Bleak House!” [the driver] put his horses into a canter and took us forward at such a rate, uphill though it was, that the wheels sent the road drift flying about our heads like spray from a water-mill. Presently we lost the light, presently saw it, presently lost it, presently saw it, and turned into an avenue of trees and cantered up towards where it was beaming brightly. It was in a window of what seemed to be an old-fashioned house with three peaks in the roof in front and a circular sweep leading to the porch. A bell was rung as we drew up, and amidst the sound of its deep voice in the still air, and the distant barking of some dogs, and a gush of light from the opened door, and the smoking and steaming of the heated horses, and the quickened beating of our own hearts, we alighted in no inconsiderable confusion.
Again, the BBC did a fantastic job of choosing a location which perfectly represented the house in its 2005 series adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel: Ingatestone Hall.
Ingatestone (which I cannot help but initially read “Inga’s testosterone” every time I see it…) is a 16th c. manor house in Essex built by Sir William Petre (secretary of state to Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I) where his descendants have lived, and still live, to this day.
Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, the entire BBC series can be watched online:
NOTE: The image of Ingatestone Hall is via VisitEssex.com.