It was the star of the small screen in racy TV hit Bridgerton and now Petworth House is the backdrop to Ridley Scott’s epic new film Napoleon.

With its grand state rooms, magnificent staircases and French style interiors, the 17th-century mansion was the ideal location for several scenes in the film charting Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise and fall, which stars Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix.

More than 200 crew descended on Petworth House to film scenes including the Victim’s Ball, where the French Emperor meets Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby, for the first time which incorporated the Beauty Room, Marble Hall, Carved Room, Little Dining Room and Grand Staircase. The Red Room and Square Dining Room were also filmed in the biggest production ever to take place at Petworth.

‘It was astonishing to see the Victim’s Ball being filmed,’ said Visitor Operations and Experience Manager Sue Rhodes. ‘Part of it was done in one shot, with the camera moving through many rooms, all dressed for the period and atmospherically lit. The house looked gorgeous, much as it would have when it hosted balls and events like this hundreds of years ago.’

The income generated from the production will directly help care for Petworth’s collection and park, as well as enabling several conservation projects in the future.