Where was ‘Saltburn’ filmed?

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The grand and captivating estate depicted as Saltburn in the psychological black comedy directed by Emerald Fennell, starring Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi, is indeed a real-life property known as Drayton House. Situated in Northamptonshire, England, in the East Midlands region, this estate dates back to the 12th century. However, it’s a private estate owned by the Stopford-Sackville family and isn’t open to the public for visits.

Emerald Fennell was drawn to the name Saltburn from her childhood memories of visiting a seaside town with the same name. She found the name evocative and chose it for the film. The actual estate was named Drayton House, but the filmmaker felt Saltburn had a certain evocative and “sexy” quality to it, likening it to a thrilling sensation akin to post-coital sweat burn.

Drayton House, used as the primary filming location for Saltburn, allowed the production team creative freedom to reimagine and adapt the setting to suit the narrative. For instance, the infamous bathroom scene was shot in a bedroom, strategically positioned to overlook the gardens. Additionally, while most of the garden scenes were authentic, the haunting hedge maze was specially designed for the film by maze designer Adrian Fisher and enhanced with post-production techniques.

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Regarding the Oxford scenes, rather than utilizing a stand-in location, Fennell opted to film at the actual Oxford University. The decision stemmed from her desire for the audience to recognize and connect with the authentic settings seen in the movie. Inspired by her own experiences as an Oxford student in 2006, Fennell used those memories to craft the story of Saltburn. Scenes were filmed in recognizable Oxford locations such as Radcliffe Square and the King’s Arms pub.

Furthermore, real Oxford University dormitories were utilized, emphasizing authenticity by filming in the same college where the character Oliver experiences his initial awe-inspiring moments. Fennell’s personal connection with the university allowed her to infuse the film with a sense of realism drawn from her own student life encounters, serving as an avenue for her to confront and process the more challenging aspects of that period.