without leaving your house?
And when I say “Pemberley”, the home of Mr. Darcy, I mean Lyme Hall, Cheshire- otherwise known as ‘that place they filmed in the BBC version’. Well, now there is actually a way! If you haven’t grown up in the third world, you probably know about ‘Google Earth’, a fantastic piece of software that allows you to see anywhere in the world via satellite images.
What is also great is that Google Earth version 5.0 now also has 3D computer-generated images of impressive buildings that are made by the public with a lot of care and effort (in the manner of citizen-journalism/information gathering). What is amazing about this is that you get to see the actual buildings, from any angle, as they should look, and it gives you a great sense for the place.
So, I found out that you can actually have a glance at Pemberley/Lyme Hall using Google Earth, and I got very over-excited (as you can imagine). Now, before running away with excitement, I’m going to talk about the lengthy and painful process to be able to view this. Firstly- Google Earth wasn’t installed (I have it on the iPhone only), so that needed to be downloaded via the google earth website. (Side note: If you don’t want to download google earth 5.0, which is necessary for 3D viewing, then Lyme Hall is still available to have a look at- and has a great gallery of photos attached, it just hasn’t got the same wow-factor.) I then had to download the 3d warehouse, that lets you see all the 3d places and also marks them with a little house symbol, which seems easy enough but there wasn’t a quick tutorial I could find so it was a learning process. Then, to be able to view Pemberley, you have to ask to view the place in Google Earth and it should take you straight there. So with that being said, it is a struggle to download everything and takes a lot of time- particularly if your computer is running out of memory, overused and extremely, to the point of painfully, slow. But google v. 5 is amazing, you can (from the tips they have on startup) see below the water to check out the underwater mountain ranges, compare old and new images of google earth to see how the buildings and terrain has changed, watch the sunrise and sunset in any location and even take trips to the moon! But enough gushing from me, and back to Pemberley.
The best thing to do is to zoom in a bit and just tour the building. You can even see inside the courtyard in the middle, and get completely immersed into it. I would suggest taking a look at the gallery (click the little blue squares for images) as that also adds a nice layer to the Pemberley Experience. Unfortunately, if you zoom in too close then it gets awkward and looks funny and the walls disappear at points, however the image quality is fantastic as it uses photo-texturing for the walls and outside, so it looks very accurate. The best way is to minimize the sidebar, and get close in and angle it so it looks as though you are just coming up to the house (NB: dragging the N symbol to navigate the angle is quicker than using the arrows). It’s just beautiful.
You can really appreciate why they chose Lyme Hall as Pemberley for the BBC version, and the grounds it is surrounded by are fantastic, definitely check out the images and have a browse. It’s nice to be able to experience a little bit of that just from my computer desk at home. Have you found anything else that’s good on Google Earth? Anything Austen related, or even anything amusing?