Mr Elliot, bachelor to begin with, could have lived here, next to the church.
Mr Weston's House, Randalls.
Emma and Mr Woodhouse lived here.
The Martins family lived here.
Mrs Goddard's school
Part of Abbey Mill farm.
Highbury church. So who got married here?
Shopping in Highbury.
The new BBC version of EMMA has been uppermost in a lot of Janeites minds just lately.
We all accept that Highbury is a fictitious place although Jane has it anchored geographically amongst some very real places, seven miles from Box Hill, sixteen miles from London, twelve miles from Richmond upon Thames and nine miles from Kingston upon Thames. A place called, Cobham, sends news of scarlet fever prevalent in it's town. Mr Knightley and Mr Martin are dispatched off to Kingston, Mr Churchill resides in far off Richmond while making visits to Highbury and they all go on an outing to Box Hill. By it's closeness to real places and its inhabitants going backwards and forewards between real places and Highbury, it is given a "reallity,"of it's own. It is the quintisential English town of the late 18th century, early 19th century.It has everything of that period, the great house down to the humble farm and cottage,and all the classes and types of people that populated an English town of that time with all their various roles in the world.
Jane would have used her experiences of the real places mentioned in Emma to create Highbury. Other places that she could draw on are Basingstoke, Alton, a town near Chawton that she knew intimately, also Winchester, Southampton and Bath too.
If you visit those places today it easy to fall into the trap of picking existing buildings and sites that could have been an influence. As for the characters, human nature doesn't change much and there are always people to be found that can fit the mould.
I like to think that one place Jane knew and visited, often travelling through it and mentioned as an aside in Emma itself, as well as in her letters,could be a fitting model for Highbury .Cobham, is where they had," scarlet fever," so nobody was encouraged to visit.
Here are some pictures of Cobham today.
I haven't got pictures to fit every character but just outside of Cobham, tantallisingly about a mile away, there is Painshill Park and house, an 18th century landscaped garden with many, "follies,"in the grounds including a ruined abbey. Could these grounds and this house be Mr Knightly's home? Well, maybe not. After all, this whole message is about me, fantasising.
All the best,
I'll try and fit the building to the character.
PS Here's a link to Painshill Park. It's worth looking at. An 18th century dream.