Director: John Madden Writers: Michelle Ashford, Ben Macintyre Starring: Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Johnny Flynn, Kelly Macdonald Production Company: See-Saw Films Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham
Operation Mincemeat (2022) is a drama set during World War Two. The film is based on the true story on how British intelligence officers pulled off one of the most successful wartime deceptions of Nazi Germany.
Writer: Simon Farnaby Director: Craig Roberts Starring: Mark Rylance, Sally Hawkins, Rhys Ifans Production Company: Baby Cow Kent Locations Used: Bedgebury Manor, Littlestone Golf Club, The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
The Phantom of the Open (2022) is a feature film about Maurice Flitford, the fraudulent golfer who managed to con his way into several championship games in the 70’s despite not being able to swing a club.
Bedgebury Manor is a former boarding school set in 200 acres of parkland in the Weald of Kent. There are many facilities available for filming including a theatre and gymnasium suitable for set building, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, cricket and football pitch. In 2007, Series 3 of Tittybangbang (2007) filmed at this location.
Littlestone Golf Club is a traditional links golf course on the Romney Marsh with views across the English Channel to France. The course sits on 300 acres of the Romney Marsh and is a site of special scientific interest for flora and fauna and location for the CL Junior Open 2021.
Writer: Heidi Thomas Starring: Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Raine, Pam Ferris, Miranda Hart, Helen George, Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Judy Parfitt, Stephen McGann, Cliff Parisi, Ben Caplan, Jennifer Kirby, Leonie Elliot, Linda Bassett, Annabelle Apsion Production Company: Neal Street Productions for BBC Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham
Much-loved BBC period drama Call the Midwife (2012-2022) is back for its annual Christmas Special, which will kick off the eleventh series. Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, the TV drama follows the lives of nuns and midwives working in the East End of London during the 1950s and 60s.
Set in December 1966, the Series 11 Christmas Special promises to be the busiest Christmas yet for the Nonnatus team. With an injury that threatens Lucille’s (Leonie Elliott) upcoming wedding and the Maternity Home filled with expectant mothers, only a Christmas miracle – like the return of Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) – can save the day. The Christmas Special will air on Christmas Day 2021, with the rest of the series to commence from Sunday 2nd January 2022.
Series 1 Episode 1 of Call the Midwife aired for the first time on Sunday 15th January 2012 on BBC One and attracted over 10 million viewers. A new series has aired every year since, along with an annual Christmas Special broadcast every Christmas Day since 2012.
During all eleven seasons Call the Midwife has made use of the settings of The Historic Dockyard Chatham to stand in for the Victorian buildings of Poplar in East London. The Fitted Rigging House doubles for the Lisbon Buildings and Rakesby Street Homeless Shelter. Meanwhile, Admiral’s Offices exteriors feature as Poplar Maternity Home and the London Hospital. The Tarred Yarn Store has made regular appearances as a Boxing Ring, Chinese Laundry and derelict building. HMS Cavalier, a WW2 destroyer ship and The National Destroyer Memorial, has also featured playing the role of a Russian ship. The Commissioner’s House gardens set the scene for a famous engagement scene in one episode, while Anchor’s Wharf and the Dockyard Railway and steam train have regularly appeared for Poplar Docks scenes. The Victorian Ropery even appears in one episode as a working ropemakers as well as various cellars and tunnels around the building. In Episode 1 of Series 11, the Sail and Colour Loft appears as the building site where human bones are found. The Royal Dockyard Church also appears in the same episode as the graveyard that Nurse Trixie and Matthew (Olly Rix) visit.
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. Today Chatham is the only one of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyards to remain in operation and, together with its related buildings, forms the finest integrated group of 18th century manufacturing buildings in Britain. The site offers maritime, industrial, Georgian and Victorian architecture and cobbled streets, an ideal set for many film productions. Recent period dramas to film at the Dockyard include Belgravia (2020), World On Fire Series 1 (2019) and Pennyworth Series 1 (2019) to name but a few.
Call the Midwife Series 11 Christmas Special will air on BBC One on Christmas Day 2021, with the rest of the series to commence from Sunday 2nd January 2022.
All 10 series are available to view on BBC iPlayer or purchase on Amazon Prime.
Director: Kabir Khan Starring: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Jiiva, Saqib Saleem Production Company: Reliance Entertainment, Vibri Media, Kabir Khan Films, KA Productions, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Phantom Films Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Nevill Cricket Ground Tunbridge Wells
’83 (2021) from Reliance Entertainment and Vibri Media recalls the events of one of India’s most defining sporting moments when in 1983, Kapil Dev, portrayed by Ranveer Singh (Kill Dil, Gully Boy) captains the Indian cricket team to their first ever World Cup victory.
The Nevill Cricket Ground was used as itself, re-creating Kapil Dev’s famous score of 126 runs in a match against Zimbabwe on June 18th, 1983. To commemorate the historic sporting event, a plaque at the pavilion was unveiled by Kapil Dev, the film’s director Kabir Khan and actor Ranveer Singh.
Creator and Director: Joss Whedon Writer: Joss Whedon, Melissa Iqbal, Kevin Lau, Madhuri Shekar, Jane Espenson Starring: Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, Ben Chaplin, Eleanor Tomlinson, James Norton, Pip Torrens, James Norton, Nick Frost, Denis O’Hare Production Company: HBO Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Fort Amherst
This 12-part, direct to TV series is an epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that might change the world.
In 2019, production visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham, making use of multiple areas at the location as London doubles for Victorian streets including the Ropery exterior, Anchor Wharf, Stables and Officers’ Terrace. In Episode One a stunt scene filmed on Ropery Street appears with masked horsemen chasing the protagonists Amalia True, Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) and Myrtle Haplisch (Viola Prettejohn). The rear of the Ropery building also stands in as a theatre stage door entrance. The Stables houses stand in for Dr Horatio’s (Zackary Momoh) home and Officer’s Terrace stands in for the London street where Maladie (Amy Manson) is led away to an “asylum for the psychologically deranged”. The Historic Dockyard Chatham also provided a unit base for cast and crew during filming at Fort Amherst. Production also filmed at Fort Amherst to depict colonial scenes.
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 (2021) 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.
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.
Creator / Writer: Bruno Heller Directors: Danny Cannon, Rob Bailey, Bill Eagles, Jon East, Clare Kilner, China Moo-Young Starring: Jack Bannon, Ben Aldridge, Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, Paloma Faith Production Company: Warner Bros Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham
Pennyworth (2019-2021) tells the origin story of Alfred Pennyworth a former special‑forces soldier living in London in the 1960s and how he came to work for Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne.
During Series One production visited The Historic Chatham Dockyard for filming where exterior scenes were shot around the Ropery, including a chase scene on the roof, Old Pay Office, Admiral’s Office and Anchor Wharf to stand in as 1960s London.
During Series Two production visited former MOD site Lodge Hill in Rochester, Medway to shoot some scenes.
The Historic Chatham Dockyard is a historic tourist attraction on the site of a former Royal Naval Dockyard and has been the location for several recent productions set in the 1950s and 1960s including Call the Midwife (2018) and The Crown (2016). Lodge Hill in Rochester is a huge former MOD site of around 350 hectares offering numerous large warehouses, hard standing for set builds, two lakes, a helicopter landing area and miles of country roads and dirt tracks for driving sequences.
The Crown is a Netflix Original historical drama series focusing on the reign of the Queen Elizabeth II. The series delivers a world full of intrigue and revelations from behind the closed doors of Westminster and Buckingham Palace as The Queen steps up to represent the world’s most powerful monarchy and forge relationships with her Prime Ministers.
The Crown was reportedly the most expensive series to be produced by Netflix, estimated at £100 million at the time of the first series release. The series was created by Peter Morgan (TheQueen, Frost/Nixon) and directed by various directors including Benjamin Caron (Wallander, Scott & Bailey), Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Hours), Samuel Donovan (Four Lions, Liar (2017-2020) and Jessica Hobbs (Apple Tree Yard, Broadchurch).
In Series 1 – 4 The Crown stars Claire Foy (First Man, Wolf Hall (2015)) and Olivia Coleman (The Favourite (2019), Fleabag) as Queen Elizabeth II with support from a host of stars, including Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones, The Night Manager) as Prince Philip, Vanessa Kirby (About Time, Everest) and Helena Bonham Carter (Enola Holmes, Suffragette (2015) as Princess Margaret, John Lithgow (Interstellar, Shrek) as Winston Churchill and Jeremy Northiam as Anthony Eden (Gosford Park, Emma).
The first series of The Crown was released on Netflix on Friday 4th November 2016.
In Series Four production visited the Royal School of Military Engineering (Chatham) Brompton Barracks to film scenes set in London. Brompton Barracks is ideally suited as a location to double for iconic London landmarks with a large parade ground, vaulted cellars under the Officer’s Mess, statues, stone bridges, a museum and a large ornate arch.
Series Four will be released on Netflix on Sunday 15th November 2020.
Writer: Jessica Swale Director: Jessica Swale Starring: Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay Production Company: British Film Institute, Quickfire Films Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Dover Castle
Production for Swale’s directorial feature film debut visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham, making use of multiple areas at the location including; the exterior of the Captain’s House, Officers’ Terrace, Old Pay Office, Sail and Colour Loft and the Fitted Rigging House cellars on Anchor Wharf. The exterior of the medieval Dover Castle makes a small cameo in the film in a dream-like scene.
Producer: David Collier Starring: Isobel Clifton, Tabitha Byron, Rhianna Merralls, Eva Pope, Dasharn Anderson, Polly Allen, Gus Barry, Matthew Ashforde, Aaron Niles, Eleanor Worthington Cox, Isabelle Allen Production Company: BBC Kent Locations Used: Belmont House and Gardens – Faversham, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Maidstone TV Studios, Cobham Hall
Nineteenth century hit children’s drama, based on the characters in Jacqueline Wilson’s novel, Hetty Feather, is portayed on screen over six series. The children’s period drama focuses on the life of Hetty Feather (Isabel Clifton), an orphan, who begins her story at a Victorian Foundling Hospital and later goes into service with Lady Grenfell at Calendar Hall along with her fellow foundlings Gideon and Sheila. Aided by friends and thwarted by enemies, Hetty battles to win her independence and find her real mother.
The series stars Isabel Clifton (The Dumping Ground) as Hetty Feather, with support from Eva Pope (Coronation Street, Waterloo Road), Dasharn Anderson (Doctor Who, Truckers), Polly Allen (The Dumping Ground), Gus Barry (Black Sea, Deadly Intent), Ava Merson O’Brien, Ann Mitchell (‘EastEnders’, ‘Widows’), Matthew Ashforde (Oblivious, The Last Englishman), Susan McArdle (Sightseers, Emmerdale), Rosalyn Wright (Star Stories, Doctors) and many more including Tabitha Byron (Femi), and Rhianna Merralls (Carters Get Rich).
Hetty Feather was entirely filmed in Kent, where production visited Cobham Hall as the main orphanage location in Series 1 – 3 and 6 as well as The Maidstone Studios to build various orphanage sets, including classrooms, the kitchen and a library. The Historic Dockyard Chatham doubles as the streets of London throughout all six series with scenes featuring a workhouse, London docks, a railway station, prison, church and market to name but a few. From Series 4 onwards the elegant 18th century Belmont House and Gardens in Faversham features as Calendar Hall and gardens.
Cobham Hall is a private boarding school near to Gravesend located in 150 acres of Grade II listed parkland. The interiors boast a stunning ball room, library, cobbled courtyards, formal gardens, classrooms as well as sports facilities, including a swimming pool. Cobham Hall has been used as a film location by The Great Fire (2014), Wild Child (2008) and Bleak House (2005).