The iconic comic book home: Wayne Manor
Batman is a cultural icon. Created by Bob Kane in 1939, the Caped Crusader is one of the few super heroes that actually poses no super powers. He’s mortal, flawed, and still able to overcome any circumstance. He’s an All-American hero and of course is living the American Dream of home ownership.
Wayne Manor is possibly one of the most notable fictional homes in comic book lore. And with the final chapter of the most recent Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, ready to be released we thought it was time to take a look at the various residences that have played home to Wayne Manor on television and in the movies over the years. Oddly enough, most of them are British. Take a look.
Wayne Manor in the 1960′s Batman TV series
1960′s TV Series - 380 S. San Rafael Dr. in Pasadena, California
The exterior shots for Wayne Manor in the campy 1960′s Batman TV series were filmed at a real mansion located at 380 S. San Rafael Avenue in Pasadena, California. The interiors, however, were shot at Culver City Studios. One of the more memorable scenes from the show is the Batmobile roaring from a hidden tunnel entrance of the Batcave and those scense were shot in Bronson Caverns in the Hollywood Hills. You may also recall Wayne Manor’s hidden entrance to the Batcave was behind a bookcase and the switch to open the door was hidden inside a bust of William Shakespeare. Rumor has it that upon entering this home you are compelled to say aloud, “Same Bat-time. Same Bat-channel” and then start humming this song.
Wayne Manor from Tim Burton’s Batman & Batman Returns
Batman & Batman Returns – Knebworth House
The Knebworth House is a country estate in Hertfordshire, England and is used as the outside of Wayne Manor in the Tim Burton directed Batman movies. This home to Wayne Manor is owned by the family of the Early of Lytton and it’s been used in a number of movies including most recently The King’s Speech. The interior scenes for Batman and Batman Returns were filmed at the Hatfield House which is also in England in the town of Hertfordshire. This version of Wayne Manor has the secret entrance to the Batcave hidden in an iron maiden and it’s activated by flipping a switch to light up a miniature replica of Wayne Manor located at the bottom of a fish tank. Evidently there’s also a staircase that leads to the Batcave as that’s how Alfred gets down there.
Wayne Manor in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin
Batman Forever and Batman & Robin – The Webb Institute
This private college in Glen Cove, NY played home to Wayne Manor in the Joel Schumacher directed Batman films (both of which were pretty forgettable in my opinion save for Jim Carey as The Riddler). Only exterior shots were used on location and the interior of Wayne Manor was filmed at studio lots. Interesting fact: The Web Insitute only offers one undergraduate program - a Bachelor of Science degree in naval architecture and marine engineering. The silver closet holds the secret entrance to the Batcave as the back wall rotates allowing you to chute down to the Batcave in a capsule.
Wayne Manor in Batman Begins
Batman Begins – Mentmore Towers
Located in Buckinghamshire, England, Mentmore Towers is the most recent Wayne Manor and was used for both interior and exterior shots in Batman Begins. This estate had plans of being turned into a hotel until legal issues arose that halted its progress. The grounds also play home to Mentmore Golf & Country Club which has two 18 hole golf courses although I’ve never seen Bruce Wayne with a set of clubs. If you’ll recall Wayne Manor was burned down by Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins and is never actually seen in The Dark Knight although reference is made to the fact that work is being done to rebuild it. In this version of Wayne Manor, the secret passage to the Batcave is accessed by playing three notes on a piano to reveal the entrance.
Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises – Wollaton Hall
Found in Nottingham, England, Wollaton Hall plays the newly rebuilt Wayne Manor is the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. While the home has been around since the late 1500′s one of its more famous uses was as a holding ground for U.S. paratroopers in World War II as they waited to be dropped over the mainland of Europe. Oddly enough, Wollaton Hall is also home to one of the largest antique tractor collections. No official word on whether the secret access to the Batcave will continue to be the three notes on the piano, but we shall find out soon enough.
Main image is courtesy of ComicVine.com. Images of Wayne Manor courtesy of jccrea.com, tateuniversity.com, gardenvisit.com & Flickr user foshie