The Dig (3)

I am a tiny bit bemused by the exceptional amount of interest my anodyne, but enthusiastic comments about The Dig have had, most especially, it appears, in Alaska.

By way of postscript to what I have already written, I have been interested to discover what an exceptionally interesting person Peggy Piggott (née Preston) was, a formidable and remarkable archaeologist in her own right, entirely independently of her husband Stuart, who she divorced in 1954 (he spent the war years in India), when she married a Sicilian, Luigi Guido, who she then nursed after he had a psychotic breakdown. She was also, not coincidentally, the aunt of John Preston, who wrote the novel on which the book is based, although he apparently did not know her well because his father did not get on with her.

I was also a bit baffled by the house in the film because it is so evidently not Tranmer House, the rather dull Edwardian house where the real Sutton Hoo is based, but is instead, as several people have pointed out, Norney Grange in Shackleford near Godalming, a house designed by Charles Voysey with its incredible Vanbrugh-ian entrance porch, so prominent when Basil Brown arrives at the house to be interviewed:-

Norney Grange | Shackleford

2 thoughts on “The Dig (3)

  1. Leslie Hills says:

    I am about to add to your bemusement. As you predicted I did enjoy the film. I do remember Piggott always gave Peggy Preston her professional due – but he did say that she left him on an aeroplane. Thank you also for the information about Brown. I have to tell you however that the main excitement of the film for me was catching sight of the pillarless Lagonda saloon which is either an M45 or an LG45 – think the latter – built in the 1930s at Staines under the hand of the legendary WO Bentley. For over twenty years a 1937 LG45 was our family car until it became impossible to justify. Mr Gardner of Gardner diesels bought it new from the motor show in 1937 and installed a custom-built diesel engine which clattered and banged but made running the beast very economical. We found it moldering – not rusting as it had an aluminium body – in a barn in East Lothian. The car in the film is not ours. It has now been beautifully restored by a young man in the south of England. I was delighted to meet him two years ago and to learn that the Lagonda was once more a family car.

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