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Movie Mansions: Atonement

When buying or selling a house everyone knows you have to remember Location Location Location, and for a Hollywood director it’s exactly the same!

Movie Mansions sees interior designer to the stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who counts Cher and Sir Elton John amongst his clients, travel the UK and jet over to Hollywood to explore the mansions made famous by the movies.

He’ll visit The Queen’s study and bedroom, find out where Batman hung his cape at night, go Back to the Future to Doc Brown’s House and visit the castle that was an inspiration for arguably the greatest movie ever made, Citizen Kane, but the series starts with Stokesay Court, setting for Atonement.

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When Caroline Magnus inherited Stokesay Court it needed major repairs. The roof required extensive work to avoid Caroline’s regular bucket patrol when it rained, not to mention extensive rewiring. To finance the repairs, Caroline had to sell everything in the house, leaving her with nothing! So when the producers of the film Atonement - a future Oscar winner starring Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy - asked if they could film there, she didn't hesitate to agree, not just for the fee that was offered, but also for the extensive redecoration the producers planned to carry out for the film.

Caroline gives Martyn the Atonement tour she uses to help pay the bills, including pulling back the panelled lounge walls to reveal the batons and staple guns used to construct them; the fake walls in the bedroom that hide the Grade II listed originals; and the highly unusual place she keeps the giant polystyrene statue of Triton which used to reside on her fountain!

Martyn also talks to Atonement's BAFTA-winning production designer Sarah Greenwood.

With thanks to

Caroline Magnus at Stokesay Court

Watts of Westminster for supplying their Stokesay Range wallpaper

(c) National Trust Images/ Andrew Butler for kind usage of the image of Tyntsfield House

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