Friday, 29 June 2007

Steventon Rectory

Steventon Rectory was the house where Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 and stayed there until 1801 as the family moved to Bath. Alas to all Austenites, the Rectory was pulled down in 1824, leaving only a pump in a green field as the silent witness of Austen's time. The picture above was possibly drawn by Anna Lefroy (nee Anna Austen), Jane's niece who married Ben Lefroy (Tom Lefroy's cousin). There is another sketch of the Rectory by Anna Lefroy I found in Tomalin's book, but I have not scanned it. I will post it later on. By the way, below is Anna's sketch of the back of the Steventon Rectory. Both pictures are taken from Linda R. Walker's article in Persuasion Online.

Now, Foxygissy405 in the Becoming Jane IMDB message board pointed out that the Steventon Rectory in Becoming Jane looked similar to Morland's house in the 2007 ITV Northanger Abbey. Well, both films were shot in Dublin (Ireland) anyway, and the municipality of Dublin for Becoming Jane, so it could be true. Let's take a look:

The picture above and the right one (from showed partial details of the house used for Steventon Rectory. I have difficulties in finding a complete shot of the Steventon Rectory in Becoming Jane, but I daresay that the house Julian Jarrold &c found in Ireland was so similar to Anna Lefroy's sketches.

Now look at this one:

It's the house of the Morlands (Catherine's family) in Northanger Abbey, also shot in Ireland. Look at the crooked branch of the tree and the swing. Well, BJ did not have the green clinging plants, but it can be planted. And the cobbled pathway in front of the manor can be covered with grass. So... voila! Jane's house became Catherine's house.

One flaw though. ITV NA and BJ were shot around the same time in the late 2006, so it was very unlikely for them to use the same site. I will check it out later; it's an interesting stuff to entertain. Thanks to Foxygrissy for the hint.


Vic said...

In addition to being Jane lovers, you two ladies are detectives! How delightful. Can't wait to see the outcome of your verdict.

Icha said...

LOL! Thanks Ms Place! By the way, my friend Linda has noted a big mistake of mine, that Jane was born on 1775, instead of 1817. So, apologize for that, and thank you Lindafern!

Rachel said...

We know that Northanger Abbey was filmed partly at the King's Inns, Henrietta Street, Dublin. Also there were scenes filmed in County Wicklow. Filming commenced August 2006.
Becoming Jane was also filmed in Dublin and County Wicklow but filming commenced in March/April 2006. Is it possible that the pics are both indeed the same location but used at different times?
Thanks very much for the comment Ms Place- I do wish so very much that I was a better detective in all things related to Jane!

Icha said...

Really? Cos I tried to google the info, but my detective skill is still much lower than Batman :-D

County Wicklow, eh? Now, I bet that's where 'Steventon Rectory' was... and could it be also the Morland's house? For you've told me that ITV NA and BJ were not shot at around the same time, hence... it was possible for NA folks to plant more greeneries on and around the ex-Steventon site.

Thanks, Rach!