When Castle Howard played host to the set of rumpy-pumpy Netflix hit Bridgerton, released last year, the stately home’s caretakers were so concerned for its antique furniture and fragile fixtures that they refused to leave their posts—even during the show’s most vigorous sex scenes. The staff, it seemed, worried that the delicate atmosphere of the place might be disturbed in some way by all that thrashing and sighing and scandalous energy.
But they needn’t have sweated too much. Castle Howard is used to high drama. This was the backdrop for the 1980s adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited—a tale of familial feuding, cursed love, and doomed ambition—in which the graceful baroque mansion, with its glowing stone walls and ornate cupolas, was often considered the true star of the show.