Surrey Film Locations: Historic Films

Clandon Park, before the tragic fire, was one of the locations for the Kiera Knightly starring film The Duchess

Clandon Park, before the tragic fire, was one of the locations for the Kiera Knightly starring film The Duchess - Credit: Mark Wordy / Flickr

With its plethora of beautiful buildings and open parkland, it is no surprise that Surrey has been a popular shooting location for historic films.

1. Diana (2013) – Fetcham Park, Near Leatherhead

The beautiful salon, the anteroom and dining room were turned into a film set as the Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts and award-winning director Oliver Hirschbiegel visited for a few days. Fetcham Park doubled as The Ritz in Paris.

2. The Duchess (2008) – Clandon Park, East Clandon

Clandon Park

Starring Keira Knightley in the title role, Ralph Fiennes as her husband and Hayley Atwell as his mistress, the cast spent several days at Clandon Park, which doubles for the former aristocratic residence Devonshire House in London.

3. Elizabeth, the Golden Age (2007) – Various

"Waverley Abbey"

This Cate Blanchett starring historical thriller was filmed in part at Waverley Abbey, Bourne Woods and Frensham Little Pond. This Cate Blanchett starring historical thriller was filmed in part at Waverley Abbey, Bourne Woods and Frensham Little Pond.

4. From Time to Time (2010) – Nonsuch Mansion, Cheam

Nonsuch Mansion / Nonsuch Park

Dominic West, Timothy Spall and Dame Maggie Smith star in this adaptation of Lucy M Boston’s magical Green Knowe books.

5. The Iron Lady (2011) – Wentworth Estate

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This quiet corner of Virginia Water got the Hollywood treatment when a house on the Wentworth Estate was transformed for Meryl Streep’s biopic about former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

6. The Last Valley (1971) – Frensham Ponds

Frensham pond sunset

Michael Caine and Omar Sharif were among the stars to head to this quiet corner of southwest Surrey for this historical drama set during the Thirty Years’ War. A large mediaeval castle was constructed out of timber and other materials in the shallows of the Great Pond, complete with moat and drawbridge. Filming took place at night, involving horsemen attacking the castle while (dummy) defenders were thrown from the battlements into the lake.

7. Legend (2015) – County Hall, Kingston

county hall door 2

1960s icons The Krays live again through the double-barrelled performance of Tom Hardy, as he takes on the roles of both Reggie and Ronnie. The filming saw Hardy (times two) in the dock at Kingston’s County Hall.

8. Macbeth (2015) – Hankley Common

Hankley Common

As the world celebrated Shakespeare’s 450th birthday in 2014, French Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and actor Michael Fassbender headed to Elstead to film a new adaption of Macbeth at Hankley Common.

9. Made in Dagenham (2015) – Fairfield Halls, Croydon

Croydon, Fairfield Halls

Starring Bob Hoskins, this dramatisation of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination, was, in fact, partly made in Croydon.

10. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) – Loseley Park, near Guildford

Starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons and newcomer Devika Bhise is The Man Who Knew Infinity. Patel portrays maths genius Srinivasa Ramanujan and Jeremy Irons will play GH Hardy, who recognized Ramanujan’s brilliance. Shooting is also taking place at Trinity College, Cambridge — it’s said to be the first film to be shot at Trinity.

11.My Week with Marilyn (2011) – Parkside House, Englefield Green

Filmed at Parkside House, which Marilyn Monroe had rented during her stay in England in 1956 when she was filming The Prince and The Showgirl with Laurence Olivier, the screen siren’s visit to Surrey has been immortalised with this star-studded film by Simon Curtis.

12. Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll (2010) – Runnymede Campus, Egham

Brunel University, Runnymede Campus, Englefield Green, Surrey

Much of the Ian Dury biopic, Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll, was based at the Runnymede Campus, which was formerly part of Brunel University.

13. Suffragette (2014) – Painshill Park, Cobham

Painshill Park

The hotly anticipated Suffragette movie, featuring A-list film stars former Woldingham School pupil Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, made use of Painshill’s tranquil lakeside setting.

14. War Horse (2012) – Wisley Airfield, Wisley

Wisley Airfield

Steven Spielberg filmed much of his spectacular adaption of War Horse at Longcross Studios. Location shooting was also done at an abandoned Wisley airfield (trench scenes) and at Bourne Woods, Farnham (an army base).

15. Young Victoria (2007) – Ham House, Richmond

Time slip from 17th Century

During a dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, Ham House saw Rupert Friend, Miranda Richardson and Mark Strong on location for filming.