Director: Christopher Hampton
Cast: Emma Thompson , Jonathan Pryce , Steven Waddington, Rufus Sewell, Samuel West, Penelope Wilton, Janet McTeer, Jeremy Northam, Peter Blythe
Bolebrook Watermill Hartfield in Sussex. Tucked away up a winding track the Mill nestles in romantic seclusion surrounded by woodland, mill streams and pasture. This idyllically unspoilt setting was used as the film set.
Christopher Hampton's 1995 film, Carrington, marked his debut as a director. Emma Thompson stars as Dora Carrington , known simply as 'Carrington', an English artist born just before the end of the 19th century.
The film tells the true story of her complex life, which included many lovers, but only one true love; her devotion to writer Lytton Strachey. Her devotion is rendered purely platonic by Lytton's homosexuality but nevertheless the relationship is a deep and complex one.
The two were members of the 'Bloomsbury Group', a collection of English friends and relatives who influenced art, literature, politics and economics in England in the early part of the 20th century. The members of the group all had strong connections with the area of the West End of London known as Bloomsbury. The group also included other prominent names such as economist John Maynard Keynes and author Virginia Woolf .
The Bloomsbury area is set in the fashionable WC1 district of London and is a central location from which many of London's attraction are reached easily. Close by are the British Museum, London Zoo and the shops of Oxford Street and the West End. The River Thames, Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park are also within walking distance of Bloomsbury.
Lytton's sexuality forces both of them to take other lovers throughout the story, sometimes even shared ones. All of Carrington's lovers are fated to find that, ultimately, her love belongs only to Lytton Strachey and they are simply pawns in the game. Eventually, the pair moved out of London to Ham Spray House, near Marlborough in Wiltshire. Set in the tranquil beauty of rural Wiltshire, this picturesque setting must have provided artistic inspiration to both of them.
Ham Spray House, a magnificent 8 bedroom grade II listed country residence, was up for sale in December 2008 for a little under £3m. If you happen down that way, perhaps eyeing up a potential house purchase or simply on a film-goers pilgrimage, don't forget to visit some of the other attractions in the area. Nearby is the famous prehistoric monument Stonehenge, possibly the most famous ritual stone circle in the world. Even closer is Ham Hill, designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1971. The area is also in the heart of 'Thomas Hardy's Wessex' for those that wish to explore the land from which Thomas Hardy drew inspiration for his classic novels.
A Picture of Britain