Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A COTSWOLDS CHRISTMAS FOR BRIDGET: SNOWSHILL, GLOUCESTERSHIRE



The nation’s favourite singleton, Bridget Jones, first transferred from page to screen in 2001 with the release of Bridget Jones’s diary, the film version of the first of a trilogy of books by Helen Fielding charting the ill-fated love life of the heroine, played by Renee Zellweger, in a modern day take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  Much of the action centres around London, but when Bridget heads home for Christmas it is the charming North Cotswolds village of Snowshill which takes centre stage, improbably covered in snow in these days of climate change.

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Photo by Cameraman, via Wikimedia Commons


Of course, the snow was artificial, in fact the film makers covered the entire village in snow for the scenes, which must have been a strange experience for the locals and visitors, this being the month of July.  Christmas lights were put up in some of the village houses as well in order to complete the festive atmosphere.  They even put a Christmas tree up in the village and the house that featured as Bridget’s parents’ home had a Santa on the roof.  Sadly, the tourism boom that the village might have enjoyed as a result of playing a role in the film was curtailed due to the foot and mouth crisis of the time, which led to the closure of the main attraction in the village, the National Trust owned Snowshill Manor.

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Snowshill Manor. Photo by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net), via Wikimedia Commons


Snowshill occupies a location near the northern edge of the Cotswolds, a few miles from the more famous Broadway.  Snowshill Manor is good enough reason in itself to pay a visit, with  its fascinating collection of artefacts collected by its eccentric former owner Charles Paget Wade.  The collection includes a whole room devoted to Japanese samurai armour, and there are also musical instruments, clocks and a host of other interesting objects.  The gardens are lovely to wander round, and there is a tea room with lovely views over the surrounding countryside.  The Manor did not itself feature in the film, but the staff car park was used for shots of Bridget in the car with her parents.

Map of the area.

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