Horrible Histories Series 8 & 9 (2019-2021)

Emily Lloyd Saini, as a Georgian aristocrat, stands holding a branch of a Christmas tree. The tree is decorated with light-blue bows and red berries. Saini has light brown hair worn in a Georgian updo and adorned with pearls, and wears an off-the-shoulder grey frilly dress.

Emily Lloyd Saini in Series 9’s Christmas Special – Cracking Christmas ©BBC

Writers: Howard Read, Daniel Peak, Lucy Clarke
Starring: Jalaal Hartley, Jessica Ransom, Tom Stourton, Richard David-Caine
Production Company: Lion Television
Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Allington Castle

First premiering in 2009, the CBBC’s children’s TV programme Horrible Histories (2019-2021) is back for a Christmas special, which kicks off its ninth series. Based on the novels by Terry Deary, Horrible Histories is packed full of blood, 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 Jalaal Hartley (Sugar Rush, The Borgias), Jessica Ransom (Doc Martin), Tom Stourton (About Time, All My Friends Hate Me) and Richard David-Caine (People Just Do Nothing, Class Dismissed) .Each episode centres on the life of one prominent historical figure.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham provided the setting for several episodes in Series 8 and 9, with scenes filmed around the Ropery, Officers Terrace, The Old Pay Office, Commissioners House and the submarine HMS Ocelot. Look out for scenes filmed at the Dockyard in the following Series 8 episodes: Queen Vic’s Home Vids, Chaotic Collabs, Putrid Politics and Heroic Home Front, featuring British historical figures Horatio Nelson (Richard David-Caine) and Lord Byron (James McNicholas), Samuel Pepys (Tom Stourton) and Oliver Cromwell (James McNicholas) to name but a few.

In the Series 8 episode ‘Queen Vic’s Home Vids’ Victorian Filmmaker Williams Dixon (Jalaal Hartley) is shown filming whilst strapped to the front of a steam train. This comic re‑enactment scene, filmed on a green screen at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, is intercut with archive BFI footage.

During Series 9, the Dockyard is granted visits from several iconic historical figures, including Charles Dickens for a Christmas sing-song.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham, established in the mid-16th century and located on the River Medway in Kent, is a highly desirable filming location for film and television crews alike. The site boasts a huge 80 acres of land, more than 100 Victorian, Georgian buildings and maritime spaces, with a history spanning over 200 years. The location has previously been home to several other historical productions, including Series 1 of Netflix’s Regency era Bridgerton (2020), Francis Lee’s 2020 LGBT romance film Ammonite, and Series 1 to 10 of the BBC’s 1950s drama Call the Midwife (2012-2021).

Allington Castle and Gardens feature in both Series 8 and 9, playing the role of Samuel Pepys’ home, The Tower of London, The Palace of Versailles and a Tudor Castle. 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), the 14th-century ABC drama Covington Cross (1992), and Series 2 of the American soap opera The Royals (2016), all making use of the Castle’s picturesque location.

The eighth series of Horrible Histories aired on CBBC from 3rd June 2019. Episodes are available for viewing online using BBC iPlayer.

The Christmas special of Series 9, featuring Kent locations, will air on CBBC on Friday 10th December 2021, with the rest of the series to follow in 2022. All episodes will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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

The Royals (2016)

Victoria Ekanoye (Rachel, left), Elizabeth Hurley (Queen Helena, center) and Alexandra Park (Princess Eleanor, right) standing in a grand living room with white and gold walls

Victoria Ekanoye (Rachel, left), Elizabeth Hurley (Queen Helena, center) and Alexandra Park (Princess Eleanor, right) © Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Creator: Mark Schwahn

Starring: Elizabeth Hurley Andrew Bicknell, William Mosely, Alexandra Park, Jake Maskall, Tom Austen

Production Companies: Mastermind Laboratories, Varsity Pictures, Lionsgate Television, Universal Cable Productions

Kent Locations Used: Allington Castle, Boughton Monchelsea Place

Set in modern day London and following the lives of a fictional British Royal Family headed up by Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley), American television drama series The Royals is set to return on E! for a second series.

The series picks up after the murder of King Simon by an unknown assailant, where his brother Cyrus has taken the throne after deeming the Prince and Princess illegitimate, with the help of the Queen to fabricate the paternity results. Convinced the Queen is on his side, her majesty has her own agenda to change the succession of the Royal Family and make the power shift to the queen if anything should happen to yet another king. Meanwhile, Liam vows to bring his father’s murderer to justice and teams up with an unlikely ally to do so.

The show was created by Mark Schwahn (Coach Carter, One Tree Hill) and the ensemble cast includes Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Gossip Girl), Andrew Bicknell (The Dark Knight, The Meaning of Life), William Mosely (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Run), Alexandra Park (The Elephant Princess, Home and Away), Jake Maskall (EastEnders, Centurion) and Tom Austen (Grantchester, Unforgotten).

The Royals production made use of two locations in Kent for the second series: Boughton Monchelsea Place which can be seen in episode three as the manor house that Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Parks) and Jasper (Tom Austen) visit. Allington Castle which features in episode seven where Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Parks) and Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley) visit.

Boughton Monchelsea Place is a 16th century manor house set within 15 miles of countryside to the south of Maidstone. Boughton Monchelsea Place has been chosen as a film location by upcoming feature film The Carer (2016), Half Broken Things (2007) and a variety of photoshoots.

Allington Castle is privately owned and situated on the banks of the River Medway and was previously on screen in Mary Tudor for BBC Education (2005),  Covington Cross (1992) and The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984).

The second series of The Royals starts  on Wednesday 10th February 2016 at 21:00 on E! – Sky channel 239 and Virgin 156.


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

Covington Cross (1992)

Covington Cross characters standing in front of the castle facing the camera

Covington Cross © Gil Grant Productions/Reeves Entertainment Group/Thames Television

Creator/writer: Gil Grant

Starring: Nigel Terry, Cherie Lunghi, James Faulkner, Jonathan Firth, Tim Killick, Glenn Quinn, Ione Skye

Production Company: Gil Grant Productions, Reeves Entertainment Group, Thames Television

Kent Locations: Penshurst Place, Allington Castle 

Covington Cross is a medieval soap about the day to day concerns and struggles of the Grey family, headed up by widower, Sir Thomas Grey (Nigel Terry).

Although 13 episodes of Covington Cross were made, only seven were broadcast in America and the UK.

The series was created and written by Gil Grant (NCIS, 24, Army Wives) and stars Nigel Terry (Excalibur, Troy, Caravaggio), Cherie Lunghi (The Mission, Unforgotten, Secret Diary of a Call Girl), James Faulkner (Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Bank Job, X-Men: First Class), Jonathan Firth (Luther, Far from the Madding Crowd Far from the Madding Crowd, Pompeii: The Last Day), Tim Killick (Without a Clue, Erik the Viking, Little Claus and Big Claus Little Claus and Big Claus), Glenn Quinn (Roseanne, Angel, At Any Cost) and Ione Skye (Four Rooms, Wayne’s World, River’s Edge).

Covington Cross written in white with a picture of a castle at sunset behind

Covington Cross screenshot © Gil Grant Productions/Reeves Entertainment Group/Thames Television

The production chose Allington Castle to double as Covington Cross, the home of Sir Thomas Grey and Penshurst Place where the exterior features as the Convent in episode 2 and the Barron’s Hall as King Edward’s palace interior.

Allington Castle is set on the banks of the River Medway in 42 acres, near the town of Maidstone and features a moat, lakes and extensive gardens. The castle is now a private residence and has previously featured on productions such as  The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984) and Bernard Matthews and Mars commercials.

Penshurst Place is a Medieval and Tudor style manor house set in gorgeous parkland in West Kent. The location offers formal Elizabethan gardens, state rooms and Gardens, an adventure playground and maze. Penshurst Place has previously been chosen as a film location by Wolf Hall (2015), The Great Fire (2014) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Covington Cross aired in 1992.


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

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984)

Robin Hood (George Segal) standing on a tree with a bow and arrow

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984) Poster © Charles Fries Productions

Director: Ray Austin

Writer: Robert Kaufman

Starring: George Segal, Morgan Fairchild, Roddy McDowall, Robert Hardy

Production Company: Charles Fries Productions

Kent Locations: Penshurst Place, Allington Castle

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood is a made-for-TV spoof of the classic story of forest rogue Robin (George Segal) who, along with his merry men, foils Prince John’s (Roddy McDowall) plot to oust King Richard (Robert Hardy).

The film was written by Robert Kaufman (Love at First Bite, Divorce American Style, Ski Party),directed by Ray Austin (Zorro, The Champions, Curse of the Dead) and stars George Segal (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Cable Guy, Look Who’s Talking), Morgan Fairchild (The Seduction, Flamingo Road, Holy Man), Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes, A Bug’s Life, Fright Night) and Robert Hardy (All Creatures Great and Small, Harry, Sense and Sensibility).

Largely filmed in Kent, the production used The Barron’s Hall at Penshurst Place to double as King John’s (Roddy McDowall) Hall and the Cathedral. Allington Castle exterior doubles as King John’s castle and the hall as the Bank of Normandy.

Penshurst Place is a Medieval and Tudor style manor house set in gorgeous parkland in West Kent with formal Elizabethan gardens, state rooms and Gardens, adventure playground and maze. Penshurst Place  previously featured in productions such as Wolf Hall (2015), The Gathering (2003) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1986).

Set in 42 acres near the town of Maidstone, Allington Castle boasts a moat, lakes and extensive gardens. The castle is a private residence which has been used for filming by projects such as Covington Cross (1992) and Bernard Matthews and Mars commercials.

The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood aired in 1984.


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