Monday, June 13, 2011

Where Is the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters in 'X-Men'?

School is opening in many parts of the world this June. For millions of students, this would be just another chapter in a prosaic life created by taking up courses they don't really love. Some want to be astronauts but study to become accountants. Some want to be CIA spies but settle for becoming nurses.

Hundreds make do with threadbare courses each school opening when all they want is to study at Professor Charles Xavier's Institute of Higher Learning, formerly known as the School for Gifted Youngsters. Unfortunately, it is located in the chimera and ink of Marvel artists.

Fortunately, four X-Men movies have made the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning just a tad more real. They used some of the best-looking old houses in Canada and England as filming locations.

Englefield House served as the X-Mansion in the latest film, X-Men: First Class. Like the comics, the movie gives out its location as Westchester County, New York but it is really in Berkshire, England. This manor had been home to the Englefields, a prominent Catholic family in Medieval times, until the reign of the protestant Elizabeth I. 

Credit: Normann
Hatley Castle in British Columbia, Canada served as the X-Mansion in the two previous films, 2003's X2: X-Men United and 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand.

Credit: Terri Dawn Arnold
Parkwood Estate in Ontario, Canada doubled as the X-Men school in the first movie.

Credit: Lavender Cottage
If you can stand the blatant absence of superhero enrollees here, these very beautiful English houses would make for good visits. But if it's Hugh Jackman or Halle Berry you're looking for, go to the mansions of Hollywood.



Imagined places, fantastic locales, dream lands, fictional settings...

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