page features Hampton Court then and now, drawing
together memories of cast and crew, publicity and
production photos and finally information about visiting
the location today.
We based ourselves in
Monmouthshire and Herefordshire because the two counties
weren't heavily overflown and a silent countryside was a
necessary prerequisite for the series. Once again we had
to consider the best use of our facilities. Since we had
to videorecord at least twelve minutes of material a day
(at a time when the output of the average filming day was
around three minutes of cut film), the only way we
thought we would be able to achieve this was by parking
the scanner in one spot for the greater part of each
"The house was convenient
for the actors in that there was plenty of shelter when
it was cold and wet, and very pleasant lawns to lounge
about on when the weather was fine. The house wasn't, of
course, available to us for the second season as by 1976
the face-lift was complete and had completely changed
"I didn't like the place very much, no. It was very gloomy and a bit spooky. It was all right when you were outside though."
Below: Lucy Fleming and Ian McCulloch relax between takes in the kitchen at Hampton Court during production of Starvation.
"I enjoyed [Hampton Court] very
much. It gave us a permanence. That's when the children
came up and we ended up being able to have a sort of life
as well as the work. We had cottages close by, I had a
farmhouse that I lived in."
[The above memories are taken from interviews conducted by Kevin Marshall in the mid-90s]
Below: BBC publicity photo of Ian and Carolyn.
1: Greg and Jenny. One of the
many official BBC publicity photos taken during recording
of Starvation, used to promote the
series both in the UK and abroad.
3: Ian McCulloch plays with Tanya
Ronder in front of the castle. Eileen Helsby [Charmian]
is also visible in the background along with the caravan
from Spoil of
5. BBC photo of Emma and Wendy taken at Hampton Court.
6. Mean and moody BBC photo of Ian and Lucy
7: Hana Maria Pravda [Emma Cohen],
Stephen Dudley [John], Anne Christie,
9: Lucy Fleming with Tanya Ronder [Lizzie] and Stephen Dudley [John].
10: Filming underway, presumably during Starvation, given the presence of the Commer van and Julie Neubert sitting in the grass in her white outfit. This is most probably the close up of Carolyn when she sits in the van after having pulled up at the entrance.
The Van Kampen Gardens
The Kitchen Garden, which produces organically grown vegetables and fruit and cut flowers, was the setting for scene in Something of Value in which Abby and co. try to salvage some crops after the flood.
The Herbaceous Borders beyond lead to the beautiful Wisteria Arch. This arch was planted in the 19th century and is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the gardens. This can be seen 'out of season' during an early scene of Spoil of War [see below]. The scene towards the end of Starvation in which Tom and Barney discover some carrots and potatoes [also below] was also shot next to the Wisteria Arch.
The other highlight of the gardens is the Maze with its impressive central tower, which mirrors the gothic style of the castle's towers. The centre of the Maze provides access to a secret passage to a luxurious Sunken Garden with a waterfall and a large pool. Stepping stones lead up the stream to the vast lawns that lie behind the castle, where many more Survivors scenes were filmed.
Below: The castle viewed from the back lawns in June 2001.
The corner of the castle, which was derelict when Survivors was filmed, is known as the Orangery [pictured on the left above]. This is now a restaurant, from which a very reasonable cream tea can be purchased. The unmissably large tree beyond the other back corner is where Greg utters the classic "I think we're home" line to Abby at the end of Starvation.
feature of the gardens which is no longer present is the
ornamental fountain, at which Abby and Greg talk at the
start of Law and Order. The photo below right was
taken in 1994 by Bob Meade before the fountain was
removed from the lawn.
A River Walk can be enjoyed at the perimeter of the grounds. This takes you past the place where Abby and Jenny discuss the latter's pregnancy in A Beginning. If you follow the path further along the river so you can see the front of the castle, you will notice the large pond between the river and the castle, at which Greg showed John and Lizzie how to fish at the start of Something of Value, before they were approached by Jim Buckmaster.
part of the castle which visitors can enter is the
Orangery, the rest is unfortunately 'out of bounds'. The
impressive drive leading up to the castle is also
private, but this won't stop you getting a good
photograph of it from the impressive entrance gateway,
which is also a new addition to the estate. A flag does
fly atop the castle but as yet not a 'GP' one.
How to get to Hampton Court
Court can be visited from 13th April to 28th October 2002
on every day of the week except Mondays and Tuesdays, but
including Bank Holidays. Charges are as follows: Adults -
£4.00, Children - £2.00, Senior Citizens - £3.50,
Family Ticket - £10.00.
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Page last updated: 22nd November 2002 All text © Andy Priestner Screen Captures © BBC