It was a thrill in the summer of 2019 when for a few weeks West Horsley Place was transformed into the interior of Ferndell House; the home of Enola Holmes, the eponymous heroine of Netflix's smash-hit film. 

Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, Henry Cavill, Fiona Shaw, Frances de la Tour and Helena Bonham Carter and directed by Harry Bradbeer, Enola Holmes is
based on the beloved book series by Nancy Springer.

Over 130 years after the world’s most famous detective made his 1887 debut in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ​A Study in Scarlet,​ comes a new mystery-adventure about another brilliant member of the Holmes family for a modern generation of armchair sleuths. Starring ​Millie Bobby Brown (S​tranger Things, Godzilla: King of Monsters)​ Enola Holmes introduces the world to (yes, you’ve deduced correctly) Enola Holmes — Sherlock’s bright, resourceful, spirited younger sister and a budding young detective in her own right.

Set in England in 1884, Enola Holmes follows our titular hero as she embarks on what is essentially her first case. Raised and educated by her free-thinking and eccentric mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter​), in the countryside, Enola lives a happy if unconventional life. While most girls her age are learning embroidery and other skills befitting a “proper” young lady, Enola’s education consists of science, cryptology, and martial arts. But when her mother’s mysterious disappearance prompts Enola to leave the shelter of home behind and wade into the inhospitable waters of the real world in search of her — we see a young a woman, as equally sharp as her brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin), come into her power without the myriad advantages that their gender afforded them. In the process, she also outwits her famous brother in solving a case that changes the course of history.

Directed by Emmy and BAFTA Award-winner ​Harry Bradbeer (F​leabag, Killing Eve​) with a script by Tony and BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter and playwright ​Jack Thorne (​His Dark Materials​, ​Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)​ Enola Holmes not only introduces audiences to a never-before-seen side of the Holmes family, but presents their unique new dynamics against a backdrop of the early days of women’s suffrage and a time in British history when the winds of social change were gaining speed on several fronts. The film is many things — a mystery, an adventure, a love story, a family drama — but at its heart, it’s also a rousing and deeply relevant story about equality, independence, and the power of individuals to change the world for the better.

Production Designer Michael Carlin discusses the vision for and challenge of transforming West Horsley Place into the the Holmes family home, 

“For Ferndell Hall — the Holmes family estate — we used two stately homes: One was Benthall Hall which is a little-known estate in Shropshire, which we used as the exterior,” he recalls. “In the story we have the brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft, arriving home for the first time and Mycroft expressing dismay at the state of their home. He’s been sending his mother money for upkeep but she has more important things to do with the money."

"The whole idea of Ferndell House is that here is this grand stately squire’s house that has been completely taken over by women and especially by Eudoria,” Bradbeer explains. “It has a very feminine, eccentric air, filled with plants, her own flower paintings, lace, fabrics. That eccentricity is one of the things that runs through the film in its style and tone.”

West Horsley Place provided the perfect location for the interiors, 

“We were able to have free rein in the house,” recalls Carlin, “using false walls and period wallpaper but there’s a patina of age that you cannot fake. We inhabited the house for weeks creating Eudoria’s bedroom, the library, the kitchen and the wonderful unkempt orchard at the back. The house is gorgeous but completely overgrown and covered by plant life with real plants and Eudoria’s paintings everywhere. We created this feminine world using the natural world as our motif in a very decorative way using these colours of the earth — blues and greens — in direct contrast to the more masculine world in London that Enola encounters.”

Enola Holmes is a joyful and adventurous romp- you can watch it on Netflix now. 

Images: Millie Bobby Brown & Helena Bonham Carter practice martial arts in our ancient orchard. Alex Bailey/ Legendary © 2020