ByGenevieve Van Voorhis, writer at
Game of Thrones, ASOUE, and all things '00s. Twitter: @gen_vanvee Email: [email protected]
Genevieve Van Voorhis

Gossip Girl meets Game Of Thrones in the CW's sexiest historical drama — light on the history, heavy on the teen drama. Reign follows young Mary Queen Of Scots (Adelaide Kane) as she navigates life at French Court, love, sex, a million-dollar wardrobe, and coping with ruling two kingdoms. You know, regular girl stuff.

While the show is set in France and sometimes England, the real filming locations for Reign might surprise you.

History Of Reign Filming Location Ashford Castle

As it turns out, French Court is actually in County Mayo, Ireland. Featured mostly in the pilot and the outdoor scenes, the backdrop for Mary and Francis's romance is called Ashford Castle.

Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle was first built by the Anglo-Norman House of Burke in 1228. The property changed hands several times, first by battle and then by Royal Grant, eventually falling into the hands of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness in 1852.

Under Guinness's direction, builders added two large Victorian extensions to the structure of the castle, and he extended the estate size to a massive 26,000 acres. His son, Lord Ardilaun, continued improving and expanding at Ashford after his father's death.

Ashford Castle Interior
Ashford Castle Interior

Eventually, the property was sold to the government of Ireland in 1939. A man by the name of Noel Huggard turned the Ashford into a hotel, which is still in operation today.

Red Carnation Hotels purchased the estate for a whopping €20 million (about $23 million USD) in 2013. You can stay in one of the 83 beautiful rooms for prices ranging from €550 ($622) for one night in one of the more modest Corrib Rooms, or drop a cool €3,000 ($3,394) for one night in the Presidential Suite.

John Wayne At Ashford Castle

John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in The Quiet Man
John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in The Quiet Man

Way back in 1951, director John Ford chose Ashford Castle and much of County Mayo as the setting for his film The Quiet Man, starring the iconic John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

Can you recognize the landscape in the trailer?

Reign Filming Location In Canada At Parkwood Estate

If Ireland is a little out of reach, maybe a trip to Oshawa, Ontario, Canada would be easier to schedule. After the pilot episode, most of reign has been filmed in Ontario, Canada. Much newer than Ashford Castle, the Parkwood Estate was built in 1916 as the home of Samuel McLaughlin, the founder of General Motors of Canada.

Parkwood Estate
Parkwood Estate

Today, it is a National Historic Site, with tours available year round — that is, when filming isn't in session. Dozens of movies, including X-Men, Monk, and Twitches have been filmed on these gorgeous grounds.

The next episode of Reign, "Intruders," will air on the CW on Monday June 13.

Would you visit these gorgeous real filming locations for Reign?

Source: The Ashford Hotel


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