Is the Halstead Estate Real? Where is the House Located?

Netflix’s action crime series ‘The Gentlemen’ traces the fall of the Halstead estate, one of the prominent royal properties in England. When the eldest son Freddy Horniman’s lavish lifestyle and foolishness cost the family an enormous amount of money, the current duke Eddie Horniman becomes a part of the marijuana empire operated by Susie Glass and owned by her father Bobby Glass. The lives of the residents of the Halstead estate are similar to the experiences of several real-life English aristocrats, who ended up being “land-rich” yet “cash-poor.” Still, creator Guy Ritchie and his team of writers were not inspired by a particular aristocratic family to craft the narrative of the crime drama!

The Fictional Estate

The Halstead estate is a fictional property created by Guy Ritchie and his writers for ‘The Gentlemen.’ However, the writer-director was inspired by the fall of English aristocratic estates in general. The real-life narratives concerning “land-rich cash-poor” aristocrats and their “leaking ancestral homes” seemingly led the filmmaker to explore how they can be exposed to crime and criminals in the wake of their decline. Freddie’s luxurious lifestyle, despite not having any money to his name, and Eddie’s efforts to raise finances using the prestige of his family/estate may have several real-life parallels.

“It’s a sojourn into aristocrats meeting world gangsters. The aristocrats have got brilliant houses, lots of land but they don’t have any cash to live on. That’s why in our story the aristocrats are putting skunk farms in their back gardens. The show is about the transition, the evolution from zoo to jungle and how to hunt in the jungle to survive,” Ritchie said about the inspiration behind creating the series that revolves around the Halstead estate. Using the reality behind the decline of the English aristocracy as the foundation of the narrative, the show explores the lengths one would go to retain the prestige of their royal family, even if it means venturing into the world of crime.

The Halstead Mansion

Even though the Halstead estate is fictional, Eddie and Freddy’s house in ‘The Gentlemen’ is real. Badminton House, the principal seat of the Dukes of Beaufort, stands in for the Halstead mansion in the crime drama. The country house is located in the village of Badminton in South Gloucestershire, a unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Gloucestershire in South West England. The house is a part of the Badminton Estate, which is situated on 52,000 acres of land. The property is a Grade I listed building, preserved and looked after by the British Government’s Historic England body.

The present resident of the house is Henry Somerset, 12th Duke of Beaufort. In the 1610s, Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester, bought the properties of Nicholas Boteler, which existed at least since 1275. Edward’s third son Sir Thomas Somerset renovated the house after the purchase. The Dukes of Beaufort became the residents of the establishment in the late 17th century, especially after their Raglan Castle in Monmouthshire was ruined during the English Civil War. The Badminton Estate includes several historic buildings in addition to the house, including the parish church of St Michael and All Angels, William Kent-designed Worcester Lodge, etc.

Image Credit: Ray Bird/Wikimedia Commons

Badminton House is a popular film and television production destination. Several renowned movies and shows were filmed on the property, including Netflix’s period series ‘Bridgerton,’ in which the mansion stands in for Simon and Daphne’s house. Danny Boyle’s ‘28 Days Later,’ Michael Bay’s ‘Pearl Harbor,’ and Anthony Hopkins-starrer ‘The Remains of the Day’ are some of the other projects shot on the property.

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