In 2008, Tim Burton praised the National Trust's 18th-century historic home Antony House as a perfect, pocket-sized mansion. Burton pimped the Cornwall property for his Alice in Wonderland film shot that year. Luckily for the National Trust, when the movie was released two years later, audiences were as impressed by the bricks and mortar as the star-studded cast of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
According to new figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva), Antony House is one of a slew of historic properties, museums and galleries which have enjoyed a rise in visitor numbers in 2010 as a result of film or broadcast projects. Burton's adaptation helped the property to increase its visitor numbers from 25,000 to 100,000 last year, while the Natural History Museum and the British Museum have benefited from similar boosts.
I think [it is] unfortunate for the Antony House that it is slightly out of the way of the route between Plymouth and Cornwall and a lot of people previously hadn't discovered it, said Harvey Edgington, the National Trust's broadcast and media manager. But this film was a great opportunity for us to blow the trumpet. We conducted a small straw poll and half of adults and half of people with children had come specifically because of the film. The producers allowed us to boast about that fact. That turned out to be a solid marketing ploy.
In October, it emerged that high Elizabethan pile Highclere Castle in Berkshire, the filming location of ITV1's Downton Abbey, had experienced a similar surge in requests to view the property.The house is currently undergoing an £11m refurbishment programme; when it reopens to the public later this year, its owners, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, hope to charge visitors in order to finance repairs to the property.
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Source: The Independent