Ammonite (2021)

Image of two faces overlapping and facing one another - Actress Saoirse Ronan playing Charlotte Murchison and Kate Winslet playing Mary Anning.

Ammonite movie poster
© EF Neon

Writer: Francis Lee

Director: Francis Lee

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Kate Winslet, Fiona Shaw, Gemma Jones.

Production Company: See-Saw Films, British Film Institute, BBC Films

Kent Locations Used: Romney House, School Road, Charing, The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Ammonite is film loosely based on the life of the acclaimed English fossil hunter Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) in 1840s England. Widely known for her contribution to prehistoric geology, she made ground-breaking Jurassic period discoveries as she spent time investigating the cliffs at Lyme Regis and Charmouth in Dorset. Whilst the film will clearly address Anning’s professional life, it will also explore her private affairs and her struggles to make ends meet.

The film was written and directed by Francis Lee (God’s Own Country, The Farmer’s Wife) and Kate Winslet (Titanic, The Reader) stars as Anning alongside Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Lady Bird) as her fellow geologist Charlotte Murchison.

Several scenes for the film, despite being set for the most part on the Jurassic coast, were shot in Kent. Romney House, a grade II listed building in Charing, was used to stand in for a Lyme Regis property belonging to Dr Issacson.

Charing is a quaint, traditional and beautiful village in the Ashford district of Kent and is situated on the historic Pilgrim’s way that stretches from London to Canterbury. The high street has many old whitewashed buildings comprised of brick and tile, some also exhibiting exposed timber frames. It is also home to the famous building the Archbishop’s palace, a large manor house historically belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A further sequence was also shot at The Historic Dockyard in Chatham, in which a boat from Lyme Regis arrives at a dockside in London.

The Historic Dockyard was established in the mid-16th century and is located on the River Medway. A location with an extensive history, evident through its numerous buildings and exhibitions open to the public. The site offers maritime, industrial, Georgian and Victorian architecture and cobbled streets, an ideal set for many film productions. Recent films that have used the Dockyard in their productions include Red Joan (2019) and The Mercy (2018).

Ammonite is scheduled for release on video on demand on 26th March 2021

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




Whistle and I’ll Come To You (2010)

John Hurt wearing a dressing gown with one arm holding the dirty wall behind. Looking slightly distressed,.

John Hurt stars as James Parkin in Whistle and I’ll Come To You © BBC/Laurie Sparham

Starring: John Hurt, Gemma Jones, Lesley Sharp
Kent Filming LocationsBotany Bay, Kingsgate Bay and the Sea Pavilion at Walpole Bay

BBC2 drama Whistle and I’ll Come To You is a modern adaptation of M R James’ Edwardian ghost story which stars John Hurt (Merlin, Hellboy) as James Parkin who after leaving his wife in a nursing home travels to their favourite destination, a quiet seaside town. On a deserted beach he has an encounter with an apparition which continues to haunt him for the rest of his stay.

The one off drama was written and adapted by Neil Cross and explores the themes of ageing, supernatural with a psychological element throughout.

The drama also stars Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones Diary, Sense and Sensibility) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey, The Full Monty). 

Kingsgate Bay is a small sandy bay surrounded by white chalk cliffs with it having some of the best sea caves in the country and has been used by Sulphur and White (2019) . Nearby Botany Bay which also has a white cliff backdrop is a popular filming location and has been used for productions such as True Love (2012) and Hunderby (2012).

Whistle and I’ll Come To You was shown on BBC TWO 24th December 2010 at 22:00. 

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