Highbury, the large and populous village, almost amounting to a town, to which Hartfield, in spite of its separate lawn, and shrubberies, and name, did really belong, afforded her no equals. The Woodhouses were first in consequence there. All looked up to them. – Emma, Jane Austen, Ch 1
Village of Chilham: The new adaptation of Emma 2009 starring Romola Garai, uses the village of Chilham as the setting of Highbury. Click on this link to Kent Online to see a short film clip of this picturesque village.
Squerryes Court was chosen to represent the Woodhouse’s home, Hartfield. The manor house was built in 1681 and has gone through extensive changes. I visited the house during my trip to England in the mid-90’s. The guidebook states: “In the early 18th century, three pavilions to the house were built between the house and the lake. They contained the kitchens, larders, pantries, staff quarters and brew house. The distance from the kitchen to the dining-room was about ninety yards.” The pavilions were then pulled down, and wings were built at each end of the house for domestic quarters. After World War II, these wings were demolished, and the house was restored to its original form.”
BBC’s Press Office: “The esteemed and impressive cast also includes Michael Gambon (Cranford, Gosford Park) as Emma’s affectionate, neurotic father who unusually allows her to be mistress of their household; Jonny Lee Miller (Byron, Eli Stone, Trainspotting) as Mr Knightley, Emma’s shrewd and attractive neighbour, whose strength of character is in sharp contrast to her father; Jodhi May (Einstein And Eddington, Friends And Crocodiles) as Miss Taylor, Emma’s former governess who marries the good-humoured Mr Weston played by Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, White Teeth, My Dad’s The Prime Minister); and Tamsin Greig (The Diary Of Anne Frank, Green Wing) as the incessantly chatty, well-meaning Miss Bates whose poverty draws the pity and goodwill of all of Highbury.