Famous films and filming locations in Kent
PUBLISHED: 07:09 18 December 2020 | UPDATED: 17:48 18 December 2020
Dramatic landscapes, grand castles and historic locations have made Kent the perfect setting for many iconic films and TV programme. Here are 21 different movies and television programmes that made use of the Garden of England
• Children of Men (2006)
The post-apocalyptic epic Children of Men starring Clive Owen was filmed in many locations around the UK including Chatham Historic Docks in the scene where Owen’s character Theo is taken to a hideout.
• Wonder Woman (2017)
Starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman is an epic fantasy superhero film but you can spot parts of the Kent countryside and the village of Lower Halstow. The docks double as the Belgian coastline and the grounds of St Margaret of Antioch Church in the village can be seen.
• Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
The historical drama based on the story of the dual queens Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I - played by Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie respectively – and the conflict of 1569. The beautiful medieval Penshurst Place in Kent was used in the film with the Baron’s Hall and the Inner Courtyard featuring in scenes throughout.
• Les Misérables (2012)
The star-studded 2012 adaptation of the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, featured scenes in Chatham Historic Dockyard. Actors such as Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe filmed scenes including those taking place in a police station, a factory and a hospital, making extensive use of the buildings in and around the old docks. Locals also had the chance to appear as extras in the film after auditioning at the University of Kent.
• The Mummy (1999)
Scenes from the 1999 classic The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, were also filmed at Chatham Historic Dockyard. The scene depicting Weisz and Fraser’s characters boarding a boat in ‘Giza’ at the start of their adventures was actually built at the dockyards.
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
The Dartford Crossing makes an appearance in the seventh film of the huge Harry Potter franchise. The characters Harry and Hagrid are being chased by horrifying Death Eaters and are seen flying over the bridge.
• My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Hawkinge and Saltwood Castle in Hythe both featured in the Marilyn Monroe biopic My Week with Marilyn. The film stars Michelle Williams and Eddie Redmayne and there are fabulous shots of the interiors at Saltwood Castle and of the pretty town of Hawkinge.
• The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
Several locations around Kent are used in this historical drama about Mary and Anne Boleyn’s contest for the affection of King Henry VIII, The Other Boleyn Girl. Hollywood superstars Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman touched down in the Garden of England at several resplendent Kentish locations including Dover Castle and Knole House.
• Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Knole Park also hosted the cast of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film On Stranger Tides for a scene involving gallows. It was decided that this swashbuckling adventure would use the courtyard of this 18th century manor house as the location for the scene where the character of Joshamee Hamish Gibbs was to be shackled in the gallows.
• Pride and Prejudice (2005)
The critically acclaimed 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice made use of Groombridge Place in Tunbridge Wells. This manor house is nestled in the village of Groombridge and made a wonderful house for the fictional Bennett family played by stars such as Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Rosamund Pike.
• The Princess Bride (1987)
The 1987 fantasy/comedy The Princess Bride was partly filmed in the grand Penshurst Place that’s tucked into the Kentish countryside near Tonbridge. The Barons Hall played host to a big fight scene between the protagonist Inigo Montoya (played by actor Mandy Patinkin) and the antagonist Count Rugen (played by Christopher Guest).
• Sherlock Holmes (2009 and 2011)
Chatham’s Historic Dockyard hosted the cast of Sherlock Holmes for the 2009 adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams, and its sequel A Game of Shadows (2011). Transformed into Victorian England, the docks made a perfect setting for the grisly murder and mayhem that comes with the eponymous franchise.
• The Wind in the Willows (1996)
Walt Disney’s The Wind in the Willows: Mr Toad’s Wild Ride had scenes filmed in the grand Dover Castle and in the pretty, historic village of Chiddingstone. Actors including Steve Coogan, John Cleese, Stephen Fry and Michael Palin filmed in the village post office which was transformed into an inn and Dover Castle which became a prison.
• The Crown (2016)
The Crown is a historical drama made for the hugely popular Netflix platform. Starring Matt Smith (Doctor Who), this series portrays a young Queen Elizabeth II who is played by actress Claire Foy and is supposedly the most expensive Netflix series so far. The Historic Dockyards at Chatham were utilised again by this production team who saw an opportunity to use its historic atmosphere for a dockside scene.
• The Hollow Crown (2012 - 2016)
It must be the regal ambiance of Kent that inspires so many production companies to use its land and stately homes. The Hollow Crown utilised Leeds Castle, Dover Castle and Penshurst Place for various scenes throughout its run. Based on William Shakespeare’s historic plays, The Hollow Crown has seen stars such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Judi Dench and many more, acting in some of Kent’s finest stately homes and castles.
• Wolf Hall (2015)
Penshurst Place and Dover Castle were also used for Wolf Hall, based on the novels by Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Anne Boleyn’s execution scene took place in Dover Castle transformed to depict the Tower of London.
• Into the Woods (2015)
Hollywood superstars Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and James Corden, among others, filmed part of the fantasy musical Into the Woods at Dover Castle. Cinderella (played by Anna Kendrick) attends the ball and later on marries the Prince (played by Chris Pine) at Dover Castle.
• Grantchester (2014 - present)
The mystery series Grantchester is about a priest, Sidney Chambers, who solves crimes alongside Detective Inspector Geordie Keating. The Historic Dockyard Chatham played a part in the series, portraying various locations including London’s Kings Cross Station, and a convent and bedroom scenes.
• The Honourable Woman (2014)
Lots of places around Kent were used in the BBC political drama The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm and Dengemarsh Road, among other locations were used.
• The Monuments Men (2014)
Star-studded action flick The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and more, used a farm in High Halden, Ashford to film parts of the movie.
• Call the Midwife (2012 - present)
Another television programme that has made use of the Historic Dockyard Chatham is Call the Midwife, about a young woman who moves to London to become a midwife. Now in its sixth series, street scenes have been filmed at the Dockyard along with scenes indoors that have been filmed in some of the local buildings.
• Downton Abbey (2010 - 2015)
Downton Abbey came to the Historic Dockyard Chatham too for a scene showing a workhouse and some street scenes. Lily James and Ed Speleers characters are walking through a market that was built at the Dockyard.
• Great Expectations (2011)
The 2011 Christmas adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations, starring Douglas Booth and Gillian Anderson made use of the ancient St Thomas a Beckett Church in the village of Fairfield at Romney Marsh. The opening scenes see Pip (played by Booth) wandering through the marshes, and the filming team seemed to find the perfect spot to depict this at the Marsh.