Bridgerton’s Aubrey Hall isn’t just an ancestral estate; it’s a home—it’s a location more important than any, allowing it to take the shape of a character in both The Viscount Who Loved Me and the TV series.
Writer’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Bridgerton Season 2
Aubrey Hall is mentioned 25 times in Anthony Bridgerton‘s book alone. “This house holds many memories—good and bad,” Violet tells her eldest son in Season 2, Episode 3, “A Bee in Your Bonnet.” It’s the place Violet and Edmund filled every corner with their love, where all eight of the children are born, and where grief is so pronounced, it indefatigably dances in a war with bliss. But still, it’s home. It’s the place where everything changes, both in the books and the TV show, entitling us to understand that it’s more than a mere beautiful setting.
Kate Sharma (Sheffield) is even taken aback by its magnificence when she first sets her sights on it, showing us through an awe-struck gaze that it’s unlike any place she’s seen before. “Aubrey Hall seemed almost cozy. It seemed a bizarre word to use to describe a house with surely fifty rooms, but its fanciful turrets and crenellations almost made it seem like something out of a fairy story, especially with the late afternoon sun giving the yellow stone an almost reddish glow. There was nothing austere or imposing about Aubrey Hall, and Kate liked it immediately.” Though the house aesthetically differs from this description, the vision remains—the vines and grey stone walls hold much in, and the hyacinths marking a path towards the entrance make it even more breathtaking in the series.
The unruly games of Pall Mall, the treehouse Edmund Bridgerton built exclusively for his children, and though different, viewers could feel much of the essence in Bridgerton’s “A Bee in Your Bonnet,” “Victory,” and later in “The Viscount Who Loved Me.” It’s the home, near lakes and green pastures, surrounded by brilliant gardens, beautiful sure, but the stories the house and its grounds can tell—the decades of whispers the walls encapsulate exist as scars of strength, leading them to the contentment they’re each tirelessly searching for.
Most importantly, Bridgerton’s Aubrey Hall is where there’s healing. Anyone who’s ever experienced grief will tell you that the process is never linear—we’re each attached to specific items, scents, locations, and it’s seldom ever exact for two people. And that’s partly why Aubrey Hall plays such an integral role throughout the book because each of the Bridgerton siblings deals with their memories differently. Where every corner breaks and pieces Anthony Bridgerton back together, it’s a learning experience for the youngest, Hyacinth—a chance to connect with her family in a way that only she and Gregory will closely understand.
Throughout the series, it’s the one place where their stories differ even while their remembrances collide. And when we look into Edmund Bridgerton’s death specifically, along with the perilous night, Violet experienced when in labor with Hyacinth, their experiences will understandably be different. Where one kid (Anthony) is thrust towards the position of the man of the house, a little girl (Daphne) grew up always looking out for her sisters, singing to them when need be and holding them when they cry. And it’s critical that we see how both grief and healing intermingle in these moments. (Something I hope we’ll also get to see for Francesca’s arc when her season comes.)
Outside of familial ties, the significance of Aubrey Hall touches on the intimacy between Kate and Anthony as the place that allows them to bare most of themselves in both the book and Bridgerton Season 2. As two people who’ve experienced tremendous grief, even Kate could feel the weight of adoration cobbled beyond the walls, in every field far and wide—the gravesite, well-loved corners, and used books.
She understands who Anthony is at Aubrey Hall because as much as his armor is on, pieces of him are bare here. He’s softer, kinder, and significantly more vulnerable. And when it becomes their home—when we see them in the final episode, it’s a beautiful unveiling of the detail that where there’s loss, there is beauty to be excavated as well. One thing that’s always stood out in Julia Quinn’s novel is the symbolic illumination that though a bee takes Anthony’s father away, it also brings him an unparalleled future, full of adoration with Kate.
If you are fortunate enough to live in the place where your loved one last lived with you, there’s something about it that is unbearable and comforting at the same time. Though I have now moved out of the home I’ve lived in since I was six years old, the last place I saw my father in, if walls could speak, the stories would’ve been endless. It’s all in the little moments like how I could never leave the house without looking towards his favorite spot on the couch. After grief, we find ways to keep them with us still, ways to make the memories more bearable, less painful.
For the Bridgerton family, especially Anthony and Violet, we see their grief through the quiet moments where paintings or flowers take us through floodgates of memories. The study/library, specifically where we catch Anthony losing himself in another memory. It’s in this house where Anthony Bridgerton swore to protect his mother from dragons, where Edmund put glue in Benedict’s shoes, where joy and laughter punctuated every room before sadness came in like an indefinite cloud. And it’s this setting that’s more than a location; it’s all heart—beauty and afflictions, forcing the family to feel everything, to permit their best to come forward if and only when they allow themselves the chance to lean on the love they lived with.
No family is perfect, but there’s value in chaos—the nursery where Benedict’s art showcases the emotions that erupt through like a kaleidoscope of colors born out of sheer passion. It’s the detail that Lady Bridgerton’s annual ball theme is “Hearts and Flowers,” conveying the beauty and darkness in both. It’s placing lilacs wherever they can to honor Edmund and first love, which we can look to as the late viscount and his viscountess.
You never leave behind grief. As we learn in the books, the family doesn’t always return to Aubrey Hall, but they carry the grief with them, even when much stays behind too. The memories find residence amongst the walls, the flowers, the trees—the grounds we’ve walked, the places we’ve sat, a piece of them remains, allowing our grief to turn to an adoration which words cannot describe. It’s in these places where we can find a sense of ease, that feeling that tells us that despite the absence of their physical form, our loved ones are still with us—they’re looking out for us.
In that same way, Edmund Bridgerton lives on in each of his children. Whether they leave or return home, whether they visit the gravesite often or not, he’s with them through their journeys—the littles who never got to know him as well. He’s in the stories they tell and the people they choose to be. Where it all unfolds, Aubrey Hall is a symbol that showcases when great love exists, even amidst all the imperfections, the earth-shattering grief remains, strengthening those who choose to allow it to reside alongside loyalty and devotion.