Unless you’ve been hiding under a large granite rock on Bodmin Moor for the past year (a small one wouldn’t do it), most Cornish dwellers will know that the new, Tim Burton-directed Alice in Wonderland was filmed in Cornwall. More specifically in Antony House and grounds, a vast 18th-century pile in east Cornwall on the beautiful Rame Peninsula, overlooking the River Lynher.
But even if you have managed to escape the news, you wouldn’t get far into a visit here before the penny dropped. There’s an Alice-themed shop, Queen of Hearts cupcakes (see above – obviously I fell for them hook, line and sinker) and an automated Mad Hatter in a clocktower on the lawn exclaiming repeatedly ‘I shall be late!’. (Not to mention a timed ticket system to even out the flocking crowds.)
And who could blame them for hamming it up a bit? It’s not every day in the life of an old Cornish country mansion manned by silver-haired volunteers that you get a Disney film crew in your midst.
I went to Antony House last Saturday and now I’m raring to get my hands on the DVD. The reviews seem reasonably favorable and we are to expect high-impact visuals and much ridiculousness apparently.
Antony House seemed already quite ridiculous to me even before special effects. Cornwall isn’t short of a country pile or two but this one is something else: the scale, the situation, the neverending lawns, golden gates, hidden gardens, silvery-stone facade…
The Carew Poles have lived here for 600 years and Sir Richard Carew Pole still resides here with his family. Which must be, well, nice!
Antony House, Torpoint, Cornwall PL11 2QA. Telephone: 01752 812191, http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Check the trailer: