The 14th-Century Mansion Featured in ‘Saltburn’ Has Been Inundated by Fans

The owner says that the attention now being paid to the 700-year-old Drayton House isn’t “flattering.”

Still from Saltburn (2023). Photo courtesy of MGM and Amazon Studios. © Amazon Content Services LLC.

Sometimes fame has its drawbacks. Charles Stopford Sackville, the owner of the stately 14th-century home used as a set for Emerald Fennell’s hit 2023 black comedy/thriller Saltburn, said he “never envisaged the amount of interest there would be” in his property after it appeared on screen—more than 50 trespassers have been found veering off the public footpath that runs through the estate. “How would you feel if people were taking pictures outside your house?” Stopford Sackville told the Daily Mail. “I’d prefer the interest to blow over but I can’t make it blow over.”

Featuring a star-studded cast including Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, and Richard E. Grant, Saltburn follows the story of University of Oxford students Oliver Quick and Felix Catton, who visit Catton’s family mansion over the summer after the pair become friends.

The landmarked Drayton House, situated near the village of Lowick in Northamptonshire, was built around 1328 and is not open to the public. In 1991, the architectural historian Gervase Jackson-Stops referred to it as “one of the best-kept secrets of the English country house world,” but it is a secret no more: Stopford Sackville has had to hire private security to deal with the trespassing problem.

@be_better_known #saltburn obsession continues with a visit to #draytonhouse in #Northamptonshire #saltburnedit ♬ Time to pretend – fucc will

The fact that Fennell’s parents are friends of Stopford Sackville helped the writer-director procure the location for filming, but the fee offered to the owner didn’t hurt, either: Stopford Sackville said that the money “100 percent” influenced his decision, saying, “These houses don’t run on water.”

Barry Keoghan in Saltburn (2023)

Barry Keoghan in Saltburn (2023). Courtesy of MGM and Amazon Studios. © Amazon Content Services LLC.

Fennell said that “a place as unreal as Saltburn had to feel real,” and that she wanted to use a property that would be completely new to audiences, never having been used on screen before. As part of the actors’ and production team’s contracts, no one was allowed to disclose the shooting location, but just a day after the official teaser trailer was released in August 2023, Tatler magazine revealed it.

@be_better_known Replying to @user841084102 Public footpath from #Lowick in #Northamptonshire through the #draytonhouse ♬ murder on the dance floor sped up – ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟᴇx 🎧

The property has been visited by swathes of influencers keen to have the building as the background for their videos, in which they dance to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s song “Murder on the Dancefloor,” which, after it was used in the film’s iconic final scene, entered the Top 40 for the first time since its original release 22 years ago. (Its YouTube views have hit 113 million.)

TikToker Rhian Williams shared two videos on her account with directions to access the public footpath that goes through the estate, perhaps contributing to the owner’s headaches, but told the BBC that it’s “such a shame that people are trespassing as there is a public footpath through the estate that everyone should stick to.”

Saltburn premiered at the 50th Telluride Film Festival in August 2023 and was released on Amazon Prime Video on December 22. The Guardian referred to it as “the most divisive film of the year,” and it became an internet sensation. It earned a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding British Film as well as nominations for Keoghan, Elordi, Pike, and Anthony Willis for Best Original Score. Keoghan and Pike were also nominated for Golden Globes for their performances. The movie had grossed $21 million worldwide as of mid-January 2024.

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