Skyfall, the childhood home of James Bond, did more than just give a catchy title — and provide a nice explosion site — for the 23rd movie in the James Bond series. It put James Bond’s story into context and gave us a glimpse into how 007 was born (both literally and figuratively), serving as a backdrop for the closest thing we’ll ever see as an origins story for the iconic character.
And since the house itself is a memorable presence and many have been wondering whether James Bond’s Skyfall home is a real house — and if they can go visit it or not — let’s separate facts and fiction for a sec, and see if we have any real-life brick-and-mortar locations we can scout or if everything was born in front of a green wall.
Skyfall house in the 2012 movie
Said to be located in the barren rural lands of Glen Coe, Scotland, Skyfall is the Bond family estate in the Scottish Highlands. Left in a state of disrepair, with only the faithful gamekeeper Kincade left to look over the estate, Skyfall is by no means dear to James Bond’s heart, something that the spy doesn’t try too hard to hide.
James Bond’s house serves more as a battleground, meant to attract the story’s villain, Javier Bardem’s calculated (and down-right scary) Raoul Silva. And Skyfall serves its purpose right, attracting both Silva and his small army in its booby-trapped grounds, for a memorable confrontation that ends is Silva’s death — and the utter destruction of the property, as the Skyfall home explodes and is left to burn to the ground at the end of the movie, with James Bond’s words echoing his utter lack of interest in preserving the old Bond family home, saying: “I always hated this place.”
The real Skyfall house
Surprisingly enough, especially given its tragic fate, the Skyfall house was real, but not in the traditional sense.
The property was purpose-built from scratch at Hankley Common, in Surrey, England (and not in Scotland, as the movie would make you believe.)
Skyfall Lodge, the brainchild of art director Dean Clegg, was built to resemble the weather-beaten stone builds of the Highlands, complete with creeping moss and small mullioned windows.
The property was designed, built and used as a filming location all within the span of six months, culminating with a fire that engulfed it into flames.
Inside James Bond’s Skyfall home
While the exterior of the Skyfall house may have been real, the interiors were not.
All shots from inside the Bond Skyfall house were created and shot on a soundstage at Pinewood Studios, but the filmmakers went to great lengths to make sure viewers will not be picking up on that while watching the movie.
The made-for-screen interiors featured all the classic amenities of an ancestral British country lodge, such as wood panelling, oil paintings, grandfather clocks, stone fireplaces, stag-themed paraphernalia and antique furniture.
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