An historic South Staffordshire stately home is set to take centre stage when Queen Victoria pays it a visit in the next episode of ITV’s Victoria.
In a preview of next Sunday’s show, the monarch is said to be taken ill and will visit Chillington Hall.
But in actual fact – despite the hall’s historic royal links, it appears the makers of Victoria – which stars Jenna Coleman as the Queen – have taken some dramatic licence.
Because while the hall boasts historic royal links – the owners have confirmed that there is no evidence that Victoria and Albert – played by Tom Hughes – ever stayed at the home, near Brewood.
And ITV confirmed scenes were filmed almost 180 miles away at Raby Castle in Darlington. They said that Queen Victoria visited a number of stately homes, and which they decided to fictionalise as Chillington Hall.
Rachelle Weir, events co-ordinator at Chillington Hall, said: “We don’t have any evidence that she actually visited Chillington Hall so we can’t prove that she was here at all. We don’t have any photographs. The owners have confirmed that as far as we are aware, the film crew were not here.”
Chillington Hall has been the home of the Giffard family for over 800 years and people can visit the attraction’s hall and estate for historical tours and open days.
It also hosts private celebrations and civil ceremonies and its website boasts that it is also a setting for filming locations.
Despite the hall being fictionally used in the ITV show, the Giffard family has historic links with royalty. The website states that the Giffard family is one of the few families that can definitely claim to have a direct link by descent from one of the knights who came over with William the Conqueror in 1066.
It reads: “Four members of the family came to England in 1066 and were awarded lands throughout the country.
“One branch went to Fonthill in Wiltshire from where in all probability Peter Giffard acquired Chillington in a marriage settlement from Peter Corbusson.” The website adds that in the early days the new owner of Chillington, Sir John Giffard experienced constant military service supporting the reigning monarch.
In 1509, the year of the accession of Henry VIII to the throne Sir John Giffard was appointed Sheriff of the County and one of the sewers of the kings household.
The site adds: “Sir John Giffard was at court regularly for thirty years or more, and accompanied the royal family on many important state occasions.
“In 1520, he crossed the Channel again to attend the Field of the Cloth of Gold, Henry’s meeting with Francis I of France, and was also at Gravelines two weeks later for the king’s meeting with the queen’s nephew, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
“He was a confidant of both the king and the queen, Catherine of Aragon, but his position seems not to have been damaged when they separated. He was present at the coronation of Anne Boleyn on 1 June 1533.
“In 1539, he and his son, Thomas were sent to Kent for the arrival of Anne of Cleves at Dover Castle and at Sittingbourne.”