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Thursday July 18th 2024

The Innocents | 1961

The Innocents filming location: Sheffield Park And Gardens, East Sussex
The Innocents film location: ‘Bly House’: Sheffield Park And Gardens, East Sussex | Photograph: wikimedia / Geoff Cooper

With its dreamy monochrome photography, Jack Clayton’s creepily effective adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn Of The Screw remains a classic of Gothic suspense. Are the kiddies really possessed by the spirits of dead lovers, or is prissy governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) in the grip of her festering imagination?

‘Bly’, the house and grounds where Miss Giddens is hired to look after Miles and Flora, is Sheffield Park and Gardens, 265 acres of parkland and lakes designed in the 18th Century by ‘Capability’ Brown. It’s at Dane Mill, five miles northwest of Uckfield, on the east side of the A275 between East Grinstead and Lewes in East Sussex.

The gardens, though not the house, are now a National Trust property and open to the public.