Saltburn | Owner of stately home used in the film dismayed by trespassers

Share this Article:

“I never envisaged the amount of interest there would be,” says the owner of the stately home used in Emerald Fennell’s saucy streaming hit, Saltburn.

In a leafy tract of Northamptonshire countryside, the owner of a vast stately home shudders behind his curtains as the sound of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder On The Dancefloor drifts in from the garden.

It’s a curious situation triggered by Emerald Fennell’s drama-thriller Saltburn, which, thanks in no small part to some of its saucier moments, has emerged as one of the most talked-about films of 2023. And as the film’s fame has spread, so too has interest in the huge stately home in which the bulk of its drama takes place.

Called Saltburn in the film, the 700 year-old pile is in reality Drayton House, located in the village of Lowick near the A14. (Fun fact: the village pub, The Snooty Fox, had a Jackal arcade cabinet in the late 1980s.)

The ancestral home of its owner, Charles Stopford Sackville, Drayton House had never previously been used as a location in a film or TV show. Fennell was intent on using a real house for her drama rather than a set, but also didn’t want to use a stately home that might be recognisable by audiences.

Fortunately for Fennell, her privileged upbringing – her 18th birthday was covered in Tatler – meant that she had tenuous connections to Sackville and his house (he and Fennell’s parents are friends). After receiving a financial offer he couldn’t refuse, Sackville eventually agreed to letting Drayton House be used as a filming location – but according to a feature published in Vanity Fair, there was a condition: nobody could know the location of the estate or its owners.

Read more: How to watch Saltburn with your nan (with timestamps)

Needless to say, that anonymity didn’t long, and Sackville has since found the grounds of his estate swamped by Very Online visitors trying to take selfies or video clips.

“I never envisaged the amount of interest there would be,” Sackville told a UK newspaper (via The Guardian). “It’s quite weird.”

To make matters more difficult for Sackville, there’s a public footpath running through his grounds, which has meant that he’s been forced to have his staff patrol the area in search of visitors who might have felt compelled to get a closer look at the house itself. “Most people are fairly good,” said Sackville, “but some get a bit inquisitive, let’s say.”

All of which explains why Murder On The Dancefloor has been heard reverberating around the grounds of a 14th century mansion, as eager TikTok users make videos reprising a particularly memorable scene from Saltburn. Here’s hoping they at least keep their clothes on.

“How would you feel if people were taking pictures outside your house?” Sackville complained. “I’d prefer the interest to blow over but I can’t make it blow over.”

Share this Article:

More like this