Stately house used in Saltburn plagued by trespassers and influencers, owner says

<span>A still from the movie Saltburn. Emerald Fennell’s dark class comedy was filmed at Drayton House in Northamptonshire, but the owner has said he is now dealing with a boom in trespassers.</span><span>Photograph: AP</span>
A still from the movie Saltburn. Emerald Fennell’s dark class comedy was filmed at Drayton House in Northamptonshire, but the owner has said he is now dealing with a boom in trespassers.Photograph: AP

The owner of the stately home used in the film Saltburn has revealed he has had to ask staff to patrol the grounds to stop trespassers trying to take photos and videos of themselves on the grounds.

Charles Stopford Sackville, the current owner of the 700-year-old Drayton House in Northamptonshire, told the Mail on Sunday he was unprepared for the intense attention Emerald Fennell’s film would bring with it.

“I never envisaged the amount of interest there would be. It’s quite weird,” he said. “I don’t take it as flattering.

Related: How did Saltburn become the most talked-about film of awards season?

“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.”

A public footpath runs through the estate, but Stopford Sackville said “more than 50” trespassers had been caught straying off the path by staff patrolling the grounds.

“Most people are fairly good, but some get a bit inquisitive, let’s say,” he said.

The Grade I-listed Drayton House is thought to have been built around 1328 and is not open to the public. Located near the village of Lowick, the 127-room private home has been in the hands of the Sackville family since the 18th century.

Stopford Sackville is friends with Fennell’s parents. The 38-year-old director has previously said she wanted to use a property which had never been seen on screen before.

Stopford Sackville told the Mail on Sunday the undisclosed fee he was paid to allow cameras in had “100%” influenced him to agree, saying: “These houses don’t run on water.”

Some users on TikTok have filmed themselves dancing in front of the house to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s hit Murder on the Dancefloor, which is used in the film’s final scene where Barry Keoghan dances around the mansion completely nude.

Rhian Williams, a TikTok user who shared directions to the footpath in two videos that have been viewed more than 5.6m times, told the BBC she had not predicted how far they would travel.

Related: The real Saltburn – and 10 more scene-stealing stately homes from films

“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.”

The dark comedy follows Oxford University student Oliver (Barry Keoghan), who becomes fixated with an extremely rich student, Felix (Jacob Elordi). Felix invites Oliver to spend the summer holidays at his family’s palatial property, Saltburn, triggering a series of sexually charged and violent events.

Last year Vanity Fair reported that no one involved in the production of Saltburn was allowed to disclose the name or the location of the estate due to a contractual obligation, but Tatler magazine identified the property as Drayton House from the trailer alone, before the film’s premiere at the Telluride film festival.