The new film Atonement which comes out this week and stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy is partially set in British countryside of 1935. The New York Times had an interesting article this week about the Shropshire Mansion “Stokesay” that was used as the setting for part of the movie. This late 1800’s foreboding Victorian manse is owned by Caroline Magnus, who, along with her brother, unexpectedly inherited the estate fifteen years ago from an elderly aunt. Although she was single (40 at the time), living in London with friends, a boyfriend and a budding career in counseling, she decided to give it all up to move in and take care of the old place.
While she managed to scrape together money over the years to put on a new roof, upgrade the electrical and much of the plumbing, the interior decor was lacking. Part of the reason was because she was forced to auction off much of the contents to pay for everything. She was actually hoping that a movie or tv crew might find the estate interesting, and so they did.