Horrible Histories Series 8, 9 & 10 (2019-2023)

James McNicholas, dressed as a medieval king, pinches the cheeks of Ethan Lawrence, who is dressed as a rich medieval aristocrat. Behind them is a stone castle.

James McNicholas and Ethan Lawrence in Daft Dads at Allington Castle © BBC

Starring: Jessica Ransom, Tom Stourton, James McNicholas, Emily Lloyd-Saini
Production Company:
Lion Television
Kent Locations Used:
The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Allington Castle, Ightham Mote

First premiering in 2009, the CBBC’s children’s TV programme Horrible Histories (2009-2023) is back for its tenth series. Based on the novels by Terry Deary, Horrible Histories is packed full of bloody battles and black humour; informing and entertaining young audiences with comedic historical sketches.

In 2015, the series returned with a revised format and a brand-new cast that includes Jessica Ransom (Doc Martin), Tom Stourton (About Time, All My Friends Hate Me), James McNicholas (This England) and Emily Lloyd-Saini (Code 404, The People We Hate at the Wedding). Each episode centres on the life of one prominent historical figure.

Production have visited Kent various times for Series 8, 9 and 10.

For Series 8, production visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham, where they filmed a Queen Victoria as well as  a Suffragettes sketch in the Ropery; Napoleonic and Georgian scenes at the Officer’s Terrace and the Commissioner’s House; various scenes for the Home Front episode at the Old Pay Office and HMS Ocelot, which doubled briefly as a Swedish submarine.

Allington Castle was also used in Series 8 for various medieval sketches, as well as in garden scenes featuring Madame Pomapadour and the English Romantic Poets.

For Series 9, production returned to The Historic Dockyard Chatham. The Tarred Yarn Store features as the interior of a factory, the Ropery and Anchor Wharf double as Victorian streets, and the Officer’s Terrace doubles as a Georgian street.

Allington Castle once again provide the setting for the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, plus the Royal Mint, an ancient Grecian market, the Palace of King Charles VI in France, a medieval hall, and a spooky castle.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham features in Series 10, with filming taking place in The Tarred Yarn Store, the Georgian Terrace and on the Ropery streets. Allington Castle also features throughout Series 10, including as the Tower of London, the Vatican and William the Conqueror’s castle. In Episode 4, Ightham Mote appears in a Made in Chelsea parody sketch about King James I, as well as in various gunpowder plot sketches.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is one of Kent’s most popular filming locations. Set on the River Medway, the Dockyard spans over 80 acres, containing over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods. The location has previously been home to several other historical productions, including Series 1 of Bridgerton (2020), Ammonite (2020), and Call the Midwife (2012-2024).

Built in the 12th Century and located on the River Medway, Allington Castle is now privately-owned and adorned with authentic Medieval tapestries and furniture. Once opening its doors to King Henry VIII, the Castle now plays host to film and TV crews, with productions such as The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984), Covington Cross (1992) and The Royals (2016-2018).

Built nearly 700 years ago, Ightham Mote has seen many changes and been owned by medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high-society Victorians. Highlights include the picturesque courtyard, formal gardens, great hall, Grade I listed dog kennel and the library of the American businessman Charles Henry Robinson. Making Noise Quietly (2019) filmed on the grounds of Ightham Mote.

The eighth series of Horrible Histories aired on CBBC from 3rd June 2019. Episodes are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

The Christmas special of Series 9 aired on CBBC on Friday 10th December 2021, with the rest of the series following in 2022.

Series 10 began airing on CBBC with a Father’s Day special on Friday 16th June 2023, with the rest of the series following intermittently. All episodes are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.