For many months, while I wrote The Secret of Pembrooke Park, I kept photos of Great Chalfield Manor on my bulletin board, and grew quite attached to the place. Pembrooke Park is a fictional estate inspired by this 15th-century country house with its adjacent church, extensive gardens, and moat, located in Wiltshire, England. My friend Sara and I had the pleasure of visiting Great Chalfield in person while this book was being edited, and how lovely it is with its great hall, oriel windows, and topiary houses. We met several gracious, helpful people there (including Linda who secured places for us on the last tour of the day), and enjoyed hearing about its rich history and seeing the medieval architecture of the manor, often used as a film location. The exterior and grounds were much as I’d imagined them, though the interior is quite a bit different than my depiction of Pembrooke Park. Sara and I also attended an Evensong service at the church of All Saints there, where the Reverend Andrew Evans delivered a beautiful sermon that touched us both.
We also visited Chastleton House in Oxfordshire, to see its secret room. If you’ve read the book, you know why I was keen to see it!
Photos of Great Chalfield Manor & Chastleton’s secret room