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.
The Hollow Crown returns to BBC Two with a second series, The Wars of the Roses that include adaptations of three more historic plays by Shakespeare – Henry VI Part 1 & 2 and Richard III. The series is part of the BBC’s Shakespeare Season commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes, The Imitation Game) stars as Richard III and Tom Sturridge (The Boat That Rocked, Far from the Madding Crowd) plays Henry VI.
The supporting cast includes a wealth of talented actors, including Judi Dench (Philomena, Skyfall), Jeremy Irons (Eragon, The Lion King), Keeley Hawes (Doctor Who, Upstairs Downstairs), Sophie Okonedo (Doctor Who, Criminal Justice), John Mackay (Doc Martin, Casualty), Stanley Townsend (Cars, Ripper Street) and Ben Daniels (Locke, Madaline).
The second series of The Hollow Crown filmed in Kent where Leeds Castle‘s Barbican and moat to depict scenes at the Tower of London, Penshurst Placedoubled as the exterior of the Palace of Westminster’s Great Gates and Dover Castle features as The Tower of London as well as Anjou’s Palaceand Joan’s Chambers in Rouen in Part 1 and a French Prison and St Alban’s Chapel and Market Place in Part 2.
Rich in history, Leeds Castle is set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens. The castle has opened its doors to a number of film productions over the years including Gadget Man(2014), Henry VIII(2003) and Lady Jane(1987).
Dover Castle is one of the most iconic of all the English fortresses, guarding the gateway to the realm for nine centuries. With its beautiful medieval interior, secret wartime tunnels and set overlooking the English Channel, Dover Castle is a popular film location having previously welcomed productions such as Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Into the Woods(2015) and To Kill a King(2003).
Television royalty, Sir Terry Wogan, and London Cabbie, Mason McQueen (A Cabbie Abroad), join forces to embark on the foodie’s ultimate adventure around the UK. Along the way, they check out the weird and wonderful British cuisine and look at how tastes have changed.
The 20 part series has taken its inspiration from the 1963 book, British Bouquet: An Epicurean Tour of Britain, by Samuel Chamberlain. Wogan and McQueen set off in Chamberlain’s footstep in search of the great British foods of today and exploring their social history. Sampling the foods mentioned in the book, they compare ‘then and now’ and piece together their evolution from all the knowledge preserved by the local people they meet.
Canterbury is a vibrant City which boasts a Cathedral, busy shopping areas, parks and open spaces. Nearby is the seaside town of Whitstable which has a strong arts and culture scene and offers a harbour, shingle beach and busy high street. The area has previously featured on productions such as Who Do You Think You Are? (2013), Songs of Praise (2011) and A Canterbury Tale (1944).
Armada: 12 Days to Save England is three part docudrama focusing on Queen Elizabeth I and the attack of the Spanish Armada during the summer of 1588, when England was the closest it’s ever been to being conquered.
The show combines CGI and dramatic reconstruction with discussions from leading historians. The show hopes to bring a unique insight to the dramatic historical event, when King Philip II of Spain ordered the invasion of England. The programme benefits from historical analysis of previously unseen letters written by Spanish commanders regarding their military decisions on board the ships.
For four days in December 2014, the production team visited Penshurst Place,which they described as the ‘perfect location,’ to film in a variety of rooms, including The Crypt, Sunderland Room and the Italian Gardens. These areas were used as Queen Elizabeth’s bedchamber, as well as King Philip’s office, bedroom and chapel. In addition, a prison cell was set up at the location.
This January, BBC Two airs new British drama Wolf Hall, charting the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor Court, from his lowly start as a blacksmith’s son to becoming Henry VIII’s closest advisor.
The six part series is based on Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies and the screenplay was written by Oscar-nominated Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Frank).
BAFTA-winning Peter Kosminsky (Britz, The Promise) directs the miniseries which boasts a host of acting talent, such as Mark Rylance (Britz, Hamlet), Damian Lewis (Homeland, Romeo and Juliet), Claire Foy (Season of the Witch, Crossbones), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Game of Thrones) and Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest).
In May 2014, the production team visited Penshurst Place to film at a variety of rooms to double for York Place and Whitehall. In July 2014, the production returned to Kent, this time filming at Dover Castle which doubled as The Tower of London for the execution of Anne Boleyn scenes.
The Great Fire is a new four part ITV drama inspired by the historical events of 1666, where the capital was devastated by fire.
Set against the decadent backdrop of King Charles II’s Court, the drama focuses on the circumstances which led to the catastrophic fire. It looks at Thomas Farriner’s family life at the bakery in Pudding Lane where the fire started the King’s extravagant lifestyle, and diarist Samuel Pepys, whose recordings chronicled the turbulent Regency period.
The series was written by British journalist and novelist Tom Bradby and stars a host of acting talent including Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, Cranford), Rose Leslie(Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey), Charles Dance(Game of Thrones, Alien 3), Jack Huston(American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire) and Daniel Mays (Mr Biggs, Public Enemies).
As part of the Tudor Season, BBC Two have a special hour long special “The Last Days of Anne Boleyn” which looks at one of the most famous and controversial women in British history who became the first British Queen to be executed in 1536. This documentary-drama re-enacts Anne Boleyn’s final days and also sees writers and historians give their own unique interpretations on her downfall.
Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII and faced charges such as treason, adultery and incest and although it is well documented how she died, it is not clear if the charges were true and who authorised her execution.
With famous names such as Hilary Mantel, David Starkey and Philippa Gregory putting forth suggestions about the circumstances around her death, this documentary-drama will bring new perspectives to her tragic story.
The Last Days of Anne Boleyn production team visited Penshurst Place to use the crypt, Baron’s Hall, courtyard and gardens to film reenactments of Anne Boleyn’s last days.
Walking Through History is a new Channel 4 series presented by Tony Robinson who embarks on spectacular walks through some of Britain’s most historic and picturesque landscapes.
In the third episode, entitled “The Tudor Way”, actor and presenter Tony Robinson (Blackadder, Time Team) takes us on a 45 mile hike through the beautiful countryside of the Weald in Kent and across to East Sussex using some of Kent’s 4,400 miles of public footpaths.
Along the way, Tony stops at Penshurst Place on a quest to find out more about the Tudors. There he seeks help from best selling author Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl). He continues to walk along what used to be secret footpaths to Hever Castle to explore the connections between Henry VIII and the Boleyn sisters.
Hever Castle is a thirteenth century castle which was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and boasts formal Italian Gardens and an ornamental lake. Hever Castle has been used on film by various productions including Inkheart(2008) and Anne of a Thousand Days(1969).
Don’t miss Walking through History “The Tudor Way” which will be shown on Saturday 13th of April 2013 at 20:30 on Channel 4.
Tony Robinson’s Gods & Monsters reveals the weird and wonderful rituals, which have been neglected and forgotten as part of British history. The series breaks down the myths and legends of old Britain, within the context of how people lived their lives.
There are a total of five episodes, each detailing a different facet of the past. Episode 4, Witches visited Penshurst Place. The 14th century medieval great hall, along with the magnificent gardens and parkland estate, has been used for various film and television productions, including The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Henry V (2012) and BBC Drama Merlin in 2008.
Witches will be shown on Saturday 17 November 2012 at 20:00 on More4.
Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) produced The Hollow Crown, four film adaptations of Shakespeare’s best-loved history plays; Richard II, Henry IV (Part I & 2) and Henry V screening on BBC this summer as part of the Shakespeare Unlocked Season.
The Hollow Crown series star many familiar faces including Ben Whishaw(Criminal Justice) as Richard II, James Purefoy (Solomon Kane) as Thomas Mowbray, Rory Kinnear(Quantum of Solace) as Henry Bolingbroke and Tom Hiddleston(Thor, Warhorse) as Henry V.
Henry V is directed by Thea Sharrock (Me Before You, Call the Midwife) and along Tom Hiddleston stars Geraldine Chaplin (The Impossible, Talk to Her), Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hot Fuzz), Richard Griffiths (Sleepy Hollow, Harry Potter series) and John Hurt(V for Vendetta, Alien).
Featuring as part of the BBC’s Shakespeare season for the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad, Henry V is the final film of the series and charts Henry V campaign against France and their leader Herald Montjoy.
Kent features strongly in Henry V: No Surrender, as the Battle of Agincourt was staged in the grounds of Squerryes Court, where Henry V leads his soldiers to battle. The crew also visited Penshurst Place, with the exterior doubling for The Palace of Westminster and the interior of the Baron’s Hall as the French Palace where Herald Montjoy resided.
It is not the first time Squerryes Court has been on the screen, the location was used for Emma Wooshouse’s home in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous novel Emma (2009), The Boat that Rocked(2009) and Foyle’s War – The German Woman(2002). The estate is popular with productions as it boasts a grand 17th Century manor house with 20 acres of grounds.