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Image of The Dark Knight Rises

Osterley Park and House in The Dark Knight Rises

Date posted: 01.07.2012

The Dark Knight Rises is one of the year's most anticipated releases and opens nationwide on 20th July. The third and final instalment of writer/director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, the British director again returned to London to shoot the film. Requiring a stunning, period setting to act as Wayne Manor, the production utilised the National Trust's spectacular Osterley Park and House in Hounslow.

Despite Batman's tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took responsibility for crimes committed by Harvey Dent, the caped crusader - again played by Oscar®-winning Christian Bale - feels compelled to intervene to assist Gotham. He returns as Gotham's police force are struggling to cope with attacks from Bane (Tom Hardy) who is attempting to destroy the city.

As Wayne Manor Osterley Park offered the production the flexibility needed for the demanding shoot. With its extensive grounds, numerous rooms and maze-like qualities, it also provided lavish surroundings and the dark mood needed to represent the home of Bruce Wayne. Supervising Location Manager, Nick Daubeny, comments "the extremely wide 130 foot long gallery, with sash windows onto the grounds for unwelcome comings and goings, was perfectly in tune for the requirements of Chris Nolan's script".

Inside the House, the rooms endlessly lead into one another. Daubeny continues that the "the only escape was the library where, behind a hidden door in a bookcase, we were able to build a secret passageway that actually led to the studio set". The location provided both the nuances and versatility required for Nolan's thrilling story.

Although highly experienced in managing large and complex productions at National Trust premises, the Trust's Broadcast & Media Liaison Manager, Harvey Edgington, admits that the filming came with major challenges. The production requested that the House's main staircase was repainted to fit the dark and claustrophobic feeling of Wayne Manor. This required clearing and protecting valuable and rare furniture and artwork, for which Edgington praises his colleagues: "our brilliant conservation staff came up with imaginative and skilful solutions".

Osterley Park, originally a Tudor house, was remodelled by Robert Adam around 1760-80. The house has one of Britain's most complete examples of Adam's work, with exceptional carved and decorated plasterwork, beautiful carpets and exquisite furniture. 

The house is set in 140 acres of landscaped gardens including pleasure grounds, ornamental lakes and classical garden buildings. At Osterley House and Park a wide variety of rooms are available for filming, from basements to grand entrance halls. There is also a functioning red brick Tudor stable block within the grounds.

A much used as a filming location, other examples include the recent BBC production of Great Expectations, feature films Burke & Hare, Gulliver's Travels, The Young Victoria, Edge of Love and Miss Potter and HBO drama The Special Relationship.


To find out more about filming at Osterley Park please contact Harvey Edgington on 020 7799 4547 or email harvey.edgington@nationaltrust.org.uk