You may be aware that West Horsley Place has a starring role in BBC 1's hit comedy Ghosts. Series 2 concludes on Monday 26th October at 8.30pm. For those who have not been watching the series live, you can catch up on every episode on the BBC iplayer here

Income from filming at West Horsley Place is crucial in helping us carry out conservation repair work to the Grade I listed Manor House (currently on Historic England's At Risk Register) as well as our outbuildings, garden and wider estate. More than that, filming helps raise awareness of West Horsley Place and the Trust's charitable mission, which is so important as a young organisation. Ghosts has been amazing in this regard. It is hugely popular with younger audiences in particular and has inspired a genuine interest in the house and its history (spooky or otherwise) from this age group. 

Any film location work at West Horsley Place is carefully balanced with our schedule of repair works and our own events programme, so we only take 2-3 film jobs each year, some of which may only be for a few days. Ghosts is quite a different kettle of fish. As almost every scene is shot on location here (even the most unlikely settings), Ghosts moves in for several months for each series and really feels like part of the WHP family. 

Indeed, elements of the gradual repairs to the building are written into the scripts (as the house is supposed to be near-dereliction at the beginning of series 1). In a recent press article the director, Tom Kingsley, talked quite a lot about how happy he and the crew were that some of the income from Ghosts had been spent on installing heating (there was none when the first series was filmed). More excitingly some of the real history of WHP has made its way into the episodes, such as when one of the lead characters, Alison, references Henry VIII having lunch in the Stone Hall (known as the Common Room in Ghosts). 

The production also take a real interest in the mission of the Trust to bring the buildings and landscape into good order and to open them for our local community's benefit. When we helped to organise an anti-littering poster competition for the children of the village, Ghosts offered the winners a visit to the set- an unheard of honour- and thoroughly enjoyed by the deserving winners (picture on the right). The production company and cast also donated generous prizes for a stall set up by Ghosts fans to raise funds at our village fete. The fans have also set up their own fundraising page for the Trust, which can be found here.

We never anticipated that so much warmth and support would result from being better known as 'Button House' to the millions of people who watch this delightful, gentle and hilarious show. 

Image credits: BBC/Monumental Television