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 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 (Hanna, Lady Bird) as her fellow geologist and companion Mrs Charlotte Murchison.

Kate Winslet as Mary Anning and Saoirse Ronan as Charlotte Murchison in Ammonite walking along a beach in Lyme Regis. Kate wears a blue coat and brown frock, her hair is plainly tied back and she carries a leather satchel across her shoulder. Saoirse wears a bonnet and black dress and walks behind. Waves are breaking behind them onto the beach and the cliffs are shrouded in mist..

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite (2020) © See-Saw / British Film Institute / BBC / Cross City / Stage 6

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) were Mary and Charlotte attend an evening party. A further scene was filmed at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, in which Mary Anning (Kate Winslet)  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 26th March 2021.

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