20 famous film locations in Derbyshire and the Peak District
PUBLISHED: 09:04 19 October 2015 | UPDATED: 19:07 10 January 2016
Derbyshire’s grand country houses, charming towns and villages and beautiful countryside have formed the backdrop for Hollywood films, period dramas and memorable television moments
This magnificent seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire has played host to the film version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, when the film-makers chose Chatsworth as the fictional Pemberley. It was also the classic setting for The Duchess (Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes), and the BBC for its adaptation of Jane Eyre. In 2010, ithe House was transformed into the crumbling Talbot Hall for The Wolfman.
The glorious seat of the Manners family since 1567, this beautiful medieval manor house has in latter years almost taken on the mantle of a television and film studio. It has played host to ITV’s Moll Flanders (whose author Daniel Defoe could reasonably count himself as the first Peak District tourist) and episodes of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. BBC productions include gems such as Prince and the Pauper and Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair. It has featured in no less than three versions of Jane Eyre, including the 2011 hit starring Michael Fassbender. Films such as Pride and Prejudice, The Princess Bride, The Other Boleyn Girl and Elizabeth (starring Cate Blanchett) were also shot here.
The large gritstone edges that overlook Hathersage found fame on the big screen as the scenic spot where a windswept Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) dreamed of Mr Darcy in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice.
The impressive house near Chesterfield, constructed by Bess of Hardwick in the 1590s, doubled up as the dark and sinister Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Film-makers loved the building’s huge windows and six-tower skyline. Exterior shots were filmed from a helicopter and the Hall was photographed and measured inside to help shoot indoor scenes at the studio.
Derwent and Howden Reservoirs and Dams
The upper two dams of the Upper Derwent Valley were used by the RAF 617 Squadron during the Second World War, as training grounds for the crucial attack on dams in the German Ruhr Valley. The twin towers of the dams were chosen for practice with a specially made bombsight used for targeting the Barnes Wallis-designed ‘Bouncing Bomb’. The 1954 film The Dam Busters starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd immortalised the raid and many of the scenes were shot in the area. Visit the nearby museum dedicated to the pilots and the film, see www.dambusters.org.uk.
On the western side of Kinder Scout, Hayfield is probably best known as the birthplace of Arthur Lowe, who played the bumbling Captain Mainwaring in the long-running BBC TV comedy Dad’s Army. More recently, however, Hayfield assumed a new fame as the setting for the gritty blockbuster BBC1 TV drama series, The Village, shot in 2013 and starring John Simm, Maxine Peake, Juliet Stevenson and Annabelle Apsion.
Peak Practice, the ITV medical drama which ran from 1993 to 2002, was set in the fictional village of Cardale. Crich, Fritchley and Ashover also featured in the series, but it was the village of Longnor which became favoured for the twelfth and final run. The old Market Hall, built in 1873, was joined by the 17th century Horseshoe Inn. The Crewe and Harpur Arms ‘starred’ as the Cardale Tearooms. Longnor was also turned into Lambton by the BBC for the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and was the backdrop for physcological thriller The Holding, released in 2011.
The High Peak village near Glossop doubled up as Royston Vasey in BBC TV’s darkly satiric The League of Gentlemen. Shopfronts were transformed for the role - the old fishmonger’s became a veterinary surgery and JW Mettricks butchers became Hilary Briss’ sausage shop.
The 18th century mansion with Adam interiors and parkland was used as a key location for Hollywood blockbuster The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes (2008). It was also the location for Ken Russell’s adaptation of DH Lawrence’s Women in Love (1969, which also featured Elvaston Castle near Derby), and used as a location for scenes in And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007, starring Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent). Other locations in the film included Cromford and Snake Pass.
Now perhaps one of the region’s most recognisable television backdrops, Lyme achieved immortality as the location for ‘that’ famous lake scene starring actor Colin Firth, who emerged dripping wet in white shirt and breeches in the BBC TV drama Pride and Prejudice (1995). Lyme also featured in thriller The Awakening in 2011.
North Lees Hall
This glorious mansion was once visited by Charlotte Bronte in 1845, and it is thought the hall and the surrounding areas were her inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Parts of the hall were used for filming Pride and Prejudice (2005, starring Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen and Dame Judi Dench) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008, starring Cate Blanchett).
Dovedale, Lindale and Ilam Hall
The stunning White Peak landscapes have featured in the 2010 version of Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe, Jane Eyre (BBC TV series, 2006) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).
Sudbury Hall - country home of the Lords Vernon and now owned by the National Trust - was used for the interior shots of Pemberley House in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Erle.
Raper Lodge Bridge, near Youlgrave
The film adaptations of DH Lawrence’s The Virgin and The Gypsy (Franco Nero and Honor Blackman in 1970) and Women in Love (1969), which is famous - or infamous - for Oliver Reed and Alan Bates’s nude wrestling scene, both utilised locations such as Raper Lodge.
Next to the River Derwent, Matlock Bath was the location for Derbyshire director Nick Whitfield’s award-winning debut film, Skeletons (2010), a quirky cult film that was awarded Best New British Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival.