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.

 

 

 


Mary Queen of Scots (2019)

Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots seen standing in the dark in a long grey dress, with a maid at each side dressed in the same grey colour.

Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots ©Universal Pictures

 

Writer: Beau Willimon

Director: Josie Rourke

Starring: Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie

Production Company: Universal Pictures International

Kent Locations Used: Penshurst Place

Historical drama Mary Queen of Scots is based on John Guy’s book Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart and tells the story of Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan), Queen of France, who becomes widowed at 18, defies pressures to remarry and instead, returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her throne. However, when Mary’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England (Margot Robbie), fails, she is condemned to years of imprisonment before finally facing execution.

The film was directed by Josie Rourke and written by Beau Willimon and  stars Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Brooklyn) and Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street, The Legend of Tarzan).

Filming took place at Penshurst Place in Sevenoaks, with lead actress Saoirse Ronan featuring in scenes set in the Baron’s Hall and the Inner Courtyard. The medieval Baron’s Hall also features at the start of the official trailer as a backdrop for Mary’s execution. The solemn procession of spectators waiting to witness Queen Mary’s execution was staged in the Inner Courtyard.

Penshurst Place is a 14th Century Manor House with preserved interiors, including the unique medieval Baron’s Hall as well as eleven acres of Elizabethan walled gardens. Previous productions using this location were The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses (2016), Wolf Hall (2015), and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Mary Queen of Scots will be released in UK Cinemas on Friday 18th January 2019.

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