A Netflix mega-hit now in its second season, ‘Bridgerton’ revolves around Georgian society’s much-esteemed Bridgerton family. In the series, the family occupies an opulent mansion in the heart of up-and-coming Grosvenor Square. IRL, you won’t find the gilded pile in central London, but nestled away in south London. That’s right: the Bridgerton clan are actually south Londoners.
The location: Ranger’s House, Blackheath.
The scene: It’s the social season of 1813, and, as Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews) narrates, daughters are being married off to prestigious families. An exterior shot shows the Bridgerton mansion, home to Grosvenor Square’s most enviable family.
Then: With its Georgian red brick façade, balustraded parapet, ionic columns, and carved stone decoration, the Ranger’s House (located on the outskirts of Greenwich Park) radiates sophistication. ‘The elegance of the house and its history of wealthy residents makes it very suited to the status of the Bridgerton family,’ says Olivia Fryman, curator at English Heritage.
Previous residents include Vice-Admiral Francis Hosier; Princess Augustus, the elder sister of King George III; and 12-year-old Prince Arthur of Connaught, the third son of Queen Victoria. In its heyday it had up to 17 servants. When filming on ‘Bridgerton’ began in 2020, Fryman said ‘months of planning’ went into ensuring the mansion’s epic art collection (assembled by Sir Julius Wernher) was properly protected.
Now: ‘Bridgerton’ has become Netflix’s most successful English-speaking drama, convincing the masses that a villa in Greenwich Park was in Mayfair. ‘We’ve seen fans of the show outside the gilded gates in full Georgian costume,’ says Fryman. ‘When the second season aired, web traffic to the Ranger’s House website increased by 81 percent, which has provided a wonderful opportunity to introduce a new audience to the house and its art, the Wernher Collection.’
If you do visit the Ranger’s House, expect a slightly less colourful exterior, because the purple wisteria and blossoms are added for the show. Less racy stories of sex, too. ‘None of the people who lived here could really be described as bed hopping,’ notes Fryman. ‘One of the most well-known residents was the 4th Early of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, who was famous for writing wholesome letters of advice to his son. His letters became a manual for gentlemen of the day.’ In other words: Simon Bassett, he wasn’t.
Here’s how to visit the Ranger’s House. Bridgerton season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.