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 (2020) is a 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 addresses Anning’s professional life, it also explores 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 (Little Women, Lady Bird) as her fellow geologist and companion Mrs Charlotte Murchison.
A couple of scenes for the film 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. Lieberson (Alec Secareanu) where Mary and Charlotte attend an evening party. A further scene was filmed at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, in which Mary Anning alights a boat just arrived to London Docks from Lyme Regis.
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.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham 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 feature films that have shot dockside scenes at the Dockyard include Red Joan (2019) and The Mercy (2018).
Ammonite is scheduled for release on Amazon Prime Box Office on Friday 26th March 2021.
For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.