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Owner of ‘Saltburn’ house dismayed by ‘weird’ interest from fans and influencers

'How would you feel if people were taking pictures outside your house?'

By Emily Zemler

Emerald Fennell
Emerald Fennell on the set of 'Saltburn' (Picture: Press)

While the house in Saltburn may seem compelling, its real-life owner Charles Stopford Sackville would like fans of Emerald Fennell‘s hit film to stop trespassing on his property. Sackville, who owns Drayton House, told the Mail on Sunday that the success of Saltburn has caused an influx of tourists and influencers appearing on the stately house’s grounds.

“I never envisaged the amount of interest there would be,” Sackville said. “It’s quite weird. I don’t take it as flattering. How would you feel if people were taking pictures outside your house? I’d prefer the interest to blow over, but I can’t make it blow over.”

The 700-year-old Drayton House is located in Northamptonshire, England, near the village of Lowick. Since Saltburn came out the area has seen an increase in visitors, many of whom have filmed themselves dancing in front of the house to Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s ‘Murder on the Dancefloor.’ Other fans have shared details about how to get to Drayton House on social media, encouraging others to seek it out via the public footpath that runs through Sackville’s estate.

The owner said that many of these visitors have strayed off the footpath and onto private property. “Most people are fairly good, but some get a bit inquisitive, let’s say,” Sackville said, adding that he has been forced to enlist security patrols around the house.

Drayton House, unlike many historic homes in England, is not open to the public. The Sackville family has lived there since the 18th century. It has previously not appeared onscreen, but Sackville told the Mail that he was motivated by the fee paid to film in the house. He is apparently also friends with Fennell’s parents. “These houses don’t run on water,” the owner confirmed.

He added of the film itself, “There were bits that I liked and bits that I wouldn’t necessarily have put in myself. But it’s not my film, it’s Emerald’s film.”

Rhian Williams, who shared directions to the public footpath in two popular TikTok videos, told the BBC that she couldn’t have predicted how many people would be interested in visiting Drayton House.

“It’s such a shame that people are trespassing as there is a public footpath through the estate that everyone should stick to if they want to visit,” she told the BBC. “I do think it’s important that younger generations, like so many who have enjoyed the Saltburn movie, are encouraged to walk in the countryside and get fresh air, and it’s brilliant to see such a hidden corner of our beautiful Northamptonshire in such a major film like Saltburn.

Saltburn has pervaded pop culture since its release on streaming over the holidays. Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 song has seen a massive resurgence in recent months, with the song topping the charts and the singer taking the stage at the BAFTA Film Awards. She will continue to ride the wave this spring with a series of North American Tour Dates, including a show in New York City in June.

In a more bizarre turn, fans started selling candles themed around the movie’s infamous bathtub scene, dubbed “Jacob Elordi‘s Bathwater.” The actor himself sniffed one during an appearance on The Tonight Show, telling host Jimmy Fallon, “It smells like a washing room. Like detergent.”

Last year, Fennell told Architectural Digest she wanted to set Saltburn in a house “that hadn’t been used before.” She said of Drayton House, “This hadn’t been photographed even, let alone put on film. We always wanted the exact sense that it is a real place.”

From Rolling Stone.