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13 November 2014

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You are in: Dorset > History > Local History > Dorset in the movies

Mapperton House

Mapperton House

Dorset in the movies

Dorset's countryside, coast and picturesque villages have made it the ideal backdrop for movie directors over the years. Here's a few of the big (and small!) screen hits in which you can spot some familiar locations.

Mapperton Gardens

Mapperton Gardens was the perfect setting for the period dramas including Jane Austen's Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, in 1996. The house was also used in the BBC TV adaptation of Tom Jones.

It is set in a valley among tumbling hills and unspoilt countryside in West Dorset. The house, Elizabethan in origin, was enlarged in the late 1670s and is currently home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich.

'Wilde' beaches

Stephen Fry starred as the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde in the 1997 bio-pic Wilde.

Scenes were shot around Swanage Pier, Lulworth & Studland Beaches and the spacious grounds of the 18th Century Houghton Lodge in Stockbridge in Hampshire.

Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis was the Undercliff in the John Fowles romantic novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman.

The Cobb, Lyme Regis

The Cobb, Lyme Regis

The 1981 film starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons made the Cobb (sea wall) at Lyme Regis world famous as the location of one of the most memorable moments in cinema history.

Jim Henson Productions' lavish production of Gulliver's Travels starring Omar Sharif, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen made use of the picturesque Jurassic coastline.

The Dam Busters

Two of the most famous films of the war years were shot around Weymouth and Portland. 1954's The Dam Busters features scenes around the Fleet where the  revolutionary bombs were tested.

Noel Coward, John Mills, and Richard Attenborough starred in the wartime drama In Which We Serve in 1942 with scenes filmed around Portland.

On the TV

There have been plenty of television crews in Dorset over the years.

In April 2008, several members of the EastEnders' cast, including Barbara Windsor, spent five days shooting scenes in Weymouth, shown in July 2008.

Nick Berry in Harbour Lights

Nick Berry in Harbour Lights

The short-lived BBC TV series Harbour Lights starring Nick Berry as a harbour master was filmed in and around West Bay in 1998/9.

Gold Hill in Shaftesbury is known the world over as 'Hovis Hill' after being the location for 'that' bread advert more than two decades ago.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's popular River Cottage series on Channel 4 have shown off the best of the county's countryside and farming traditions.

And the BBC's 2008 adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles featured location work on Dancing Ledge, near Swanage.

If there's any more we've missed out, let us know. Please leave your comments below.

last updated: 19/01/2009 at 11:32
created: 23/11/2004

Have Your Say

Do you know of any other film locations around Dorset?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Parts of Heroes of Telemark was filmed on Poole quay and Poole bay not Weymouth. I was an extra

Jennie O'Kane
Several memoreies: "Phantom Raspberry Blower" mini-series within The 2 Ronnies and the other lives of Reggie with Leonard Rossiter. Sadly, there has been at least one Hardy adaptation not filmed in Dorset and that was a version of "Tess" shot in Normandy. Also most of the adaptation of Angela Nuth's "Land Girls" was made on Exmoor which completely spoilt it for me.

The Goodies "In South Africa" was filmed in Swanage, notably outside the Mowlem centre.

Nuts in May - Mike Leigh film - in and around Purbeck. Blake &, Doctor Who and other sci-fi filmed in the 70s and 80s in the quarries around Swanage

Yolanda Moore
Pirates of the Caribbean was shot on Lulworth Cove in some scenes. Jack Sparrow is meant to have a house round there...

Sherborne has also been used as a film location, including "Goodbye Mr Chips" 1969 with Petula Clarke and Peter O'Toole, two versions of "The Browning Version" 1951 with Michael Redgrave and 1994 with Albert Finney, and "The Guinea Pig" (1948) with Richard Attenborough.

Isabel Mitchell
I read somewhere that filming for the next series of Larkrise to Candleford would be done in the summer around Dorset but cannot remember where or when. Can anyone help please ?

Alan B
The outdoor scenes in "Tenko" were filmed in Moreton, Dorset.

Only Fools and Horses episode It Never Rains, when the Trotters go to Benidorm was filmed on Studland beach.

Far from the madding crowd.Main house & approah to at Waddon House - Little Waddon used to depict the rear of the house.Other locations include Corfe

Just on the outskirts of Dorset, Ringwood Leisure Centre was used in the filming of The Brittas Empire.

B Jefferson
Shoestring was once filmed at Dorchester market, and ( more Goodies ) I am sure the large cat episode of the Goodies was filmed in Dorchester Borough Gardens.

Heather Britchford
Thomas Hardy film - Far from The Madding Crowd - Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Terance Stamp, Alan Bates - 1967

Martin H
The actor Alfred Lynch stayed with my Granparents at the Dairy house, Encombe near Corfe Castle when filming the series "Hereward the Wake" in 1965.They filmed at & around Encombe Estate.My Gran also met Jeremy Brett while he was filming in the mid 60's near Corfe Castle. Anyone know what film or series this was??Brett later stayed with my granparents at their secluded house on the Encombe Estate while recovering from illness.

Mrs Elizabeth Cockerell
Dorset is in Rogue Male - Roger Household Radio7

Simon Jordan
Hurn Court School near Hurn was used for a TV Drama Series similar to Tom Brown's school days.

Hugh Ashley
'The Collectors' was a 1986 BBC tv drama about Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in the fictional Dorset town of Wrelling.Location scenes were filmed around Poole and Weymouth, in particular featuring the old Poole Customs House on the harbour.It was a good series, but only lasted one season, I believe.Michael Billington and Peter McEnery starred.Hugh

The Goodies filmed the episode with the giant Dougal at Parnham House Beamister.

emma park
The film comrades about the tolpuddle martyrs was partly filmed on a film in piddlehinton were my dad worked and still works and they still got the propsfrom the film in the barns

Steve Taylor
Harry Enfield and chums recently featured a sketch showing Nelson Mandela being thrown off the cliffs at Durlston.

Mike Clark
Tynham Village was used as a location in the Tolpuddle Martyrs film called Comrades.

A Wilson
The Barbara Cartland film A Ghost in Monte Carlo with Lysette Antony, Marcus Gilbert, Sarah Miles and an all star cast Some of the footage looks definately like durdle door with its distinctive arch. Just look at the runaway carraige scene.

Herbert Hindle
The TV adaptation of The Three Musketeers fimed scenes at Sandbanks. I think Oliver Reed was one of the stars.

Far from the Madding Crowd-Durdle Door etc- Julie Christie, Alan BatesMayor of Casterbridge-Corfe Castle-BBC series

Jamie M
Far from the Madding Crowd - cast & crew stayed for some of the location filming at the Ilchester Arms Abbotsbury. The tithe barn there was used for the harvest supper scene. Rockliffe's Folly also used Abbotsbury - an old stone barn on the Fleet back road was used as his isolated house.

Phil Brown
BBC production - Mayor of Casterbridge filmed in Corfe Castle and other rural areas of Dorset.A clip in Monty Python features Palin walking into the sea and away at Studland Beach.Tess of the D'Urbevilles filmed in Purbeck.

Keith Williams
in an old film of the 49 steps they left in a rowing boat from Lulworth Cove

An episode of the Tweenies was filmed at the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester. Max was visiting the museum.

Peter Minter
In the early 70s the Goodies were on location on Portland.They filmed the'beanstalk'xmas special& other episodes here.

Vikki Matthews
The film 'Just visiting', starring Christina Applegate, had a glimpse of Corfe Castle right at the end ^^

Far from the Madding crowd also used Maidun Castle

Malc Page
One of the Goodies specials was filmed in Beaminster and Parnham House. It was the one featuring a giant Dougal and Zebedee!

Bobbi McDonald
New Film "Nanny McPhee" in 2005 starring Emma Thompson. She stars as a governess who comes to the aid of a father in desperate need to care for his children, who have driven off the 17 previous nannies. She uses magic to simmer down the wild antics of the 7 children. There is a noted coastal attraction in the movie as Durdle Door is show cased in one of the scenes.

The Hall & Woodhouse Brewery and around Blandford has been used a couple of times as a filming location by a German film company.

Channel 4's "The Human Footprint" (March 07) used a beautiful farm called Nether Cerne as their main location, using most it for most of their shots. There was also an ITV episode of "Meeting the Romans", a living history program that was filmed at Nether Cerne.

Jenny Kelly
The Two Ronnie's film by The Sea was filmed in Swanage and the hotel that was used in this film was The Grand Hotel Swanage

Gary Jones
Weymouth was the location for a film which I believe was called 'Hannah' filmed in the late 70's early 80's.The follow up to Bergerac was filmed around weymouth.My nan said she served Norman Wisdom cockles during the filming of The Bulldog Breed.I'm sure a remake of Beau Geste was filmed in the Nothe Fort and around Lulworth.

Bedknobs & Broomsticks was filmed in and around Corfe Castle.

Jeremy Lewis
Far From The Madding Crowd (Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Alan Bates) included some scenes shot in Weymouth and also featured the Horton Tower.

Peter Crowter
In answer to Matt Purdy's request. Sarah Churchill did make a film in Lyme Regis in the 40's. I was about 14 at the time and there with my parents. We spoke to Sarah Churchill and an actor called Edward Rigby and got their autographs.

cliff hilton
a seventies film version of Geoffrey Household`s novel "Rogue Male" was filmed in the Cattistock area

m powell
Sounds as though Dorset was/is one big film set! Some of the filming for Far from the Madding Crowd was done at sydling, just outside Dorchester. The scene where Terrance Stamp plants flowers on Fanny's grave is in the churchyard.

Hayley C
Does anyone remember that air ambulance programe? Had great scenes in & around the coast - especially the harbour. & that womens land army film with Anna Friel was filmed around there too.

Some scenes from "Hereward the Wake" were shot on the old tramway across Hartland Morr National Nature Reserve

Pete Gerrard
In the 60's Far From the Madding Crowd was filmed on Maiden Castle farm and hillfort, Dorchester and Weymouth beach. Starring Julie Christie and Terence Stamp. One episode of Waiting for God was filmed at Maiden Newton Stn.

The new Tess of the Durbervilles was shot on the Dancing Ledge coast,near swanage, and Athelhampton House is on the location list for 'from time to time" this year

Heather Goodwin
The film Tess of the Durbervilles was partly filmed around Marnhull area. Actors seen in the local pub I seem to remember.

The coldplay video 'Yellow' was shot on studland beach.

The episode of Only Fools and Horses, with the chandelier was filmed at Claysmore School in Iwerne Mister, in the girls side!

The Mayor of Casterbridge used Corfe Castle and Winterborne Tomson house.Milton Abbas village and school have been used for many films and plays. St. Cathrines chapel, above Milton Abbas, was the location for `Black arrow` produced by Southern television.

The series To Serve Them All My Days starring John Duttine was filmed at Milton Abbas school.

An episode of "Blakes 7" was partly filmed at the old civic amenity site in Nuffield Road in Poole. I know, I was there!

Mrs. P. - 'Waiting for God' building and grounds scenes were filmed at Oakenholt Nursing Home, Farmoor, Oxfordshire just two miles west of Oxford on the A420 overlooking the Farmoor reservoir - my Aunt was admitted there and that is how I know - they used to ship in their own 'old people' as extras and wouldn't use the residents even thou they wanted to be involved! So I'm afraid only a few outdoor scenes were in Bournemouth.

Only fools and horses - the chandelier episode was filmed in dorset, but exact location not known

Don't wait up and one Foot in the grave were filmed in Christchurch, Southbourne and Bournemouth. Some scenes from Waiting for God were filmed at Christchurch Hospital

the outdoors scenes of the bbc comedy mulbary was filmed just near wimborne in the village of witchampton. my cockeral can be heard in the back ground of one of the scenes. this was in the early 1990's and only ran for a couple of seasons

Mrs. P.
Please does anyone now where in Bournemouth the tv series "Waiting for God" was filmed? I know the Town Hall and a busstop in Avenue Road were used, any idea of other locations?

There was a TV series about Customs Officers based in Poole. I can remember the car chases where they changed actual locations at remarkable speed!

Laura Hicks, West Dorset
Like The Black Tower, the dramatisation of Brat Farrar (BBC, I think) was filmed around Kimmeridge Bay; there was a big display about it at Smedmore House, where the cast and crew stayed. Part of Rockliffe's Folly, already mentioned, was filmed around Askerswell and Loders. And the first, and good, 'A Murder is Announced', with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple, was also at least partly filmed in West Dorset.

Michael Benham
The Film ROUGH SHOOT was shot in the area of Corfe Castle it starred Joel Macree

Andrew Swallow
I believe that the quarry used by the old Doctor Who to represent alien planets was in Dorset, west of Bournemouth.

The Goodies was sometimes filmed on Portland.

Tim Batty
The Face of Tutankhamun - a five part documentary for the BBC - was filmed at the Tutankhamun Exhibition in Dorchester. The series was written and presented by Christopher Frayling and was a landmark documentary on the enduring legacy of Tutankhamun and his treasures.

The Damned (1961), Oliver Reed was filmed aroung Weymouth and Portland.The Channel 4 version of Emma, Starring Gwyneth Paltrow was also filmed on the Came Estate in Dorchester and in Came Manor house.

Andy Fidler
Three episodes of Some Mothers Do Av Em were filmed in Swanage and of course there is the James Blunt video

Ivan Read
Tenko was actually filmed on the site of Warmwell Sand and Gravel you can still see in the film the lane going towards the camp scene

Chris Carman
The TV series Tenko was filmed around Moreton

Max Jack
The original film 'Sleuth' was filmed at Athelhampton House and starred Sir Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine.

Jo Maidment
Athelhampton House was the setting for the original Sleuth film

Doug Farnie
Winspit quarry near Worth Matravers was used for Destiny of the Daleks and also an episode of Blake's 7

Trevor Elsom
German TV (ZDF) are in Dorset a few times in the year, they have flimed nearly all of the Pilca novels.

Matthew Hayward
I have a screen shot of the opening of Bedknobs and Broomsticks and it is in fact an artist's impression which shows Corfe castle right by the sea! The layout of the village is also slightly different. Unless anyone knows different, I don't think they actually filmed anything there. Just a bit of Disney magic...

I think it was Rockcliffe's Folly that was filmed in the area. I seem to recall the "Police Station" was in Glyde Path Road and one episode started with a man leaving the Prince Regent in Weymouth naked.

John R. Davies
I was involved in the shooting of the movie about the Tolpuddle Martyrs where we filmed in Dorchester (High East Street and the County Courts) and various countryside locations including Tyneham which the Army opened up for the occasion . The rest of the fil was made in Australia where the martyrs were transported to.

Alison Gadd
Thomas Hardy's novel "Far From The madding Crowd" was filmed all over Dorset. Athelhampton House and Waterston in Puddletown, Dorchester and the surrounding area. The film starring Terence Stamp & Julie Christie is well worth another look to see where you recognise.

frances papazafiropoulos (fran)
"Far from the Madding Crowd", directed by John Schlesinger was filmed in 1967. And, of course, the original "Tom Jones", directed by Richardson in 1963. All that dates me!

dads army was filmed at studland in the 70s

The BBC Drama of Thomas Hardye's 'Mayor of Casterbridge' was filmed in and around Corfe Castle

vic jones
Could you tell where in Dorset tenko was filmed as I am very interested in the county of dorsetregardsvic

A stunning farm called Nether Cerne has been used twice recently. Channel 4's "The Human Footprint" (March 07) used it as their main location, using the woods, lakes, fields, house and village. There was also an ITV episode of "Meeting the Romans", a living history program that was filmed at Nether Cerne.

the hellicopter in harbour lights landed in our field and my dad was the prop manarger for the film

I live in Sherborne and its almost a regular occurrence seeing film crews setting up. Both Browning Versions were filmed in Sherborne. The ones that surprised me when I found they were filmed in Dorset were Tenko and Full Metal Jacket!

The cock fighting scenes from Far from the madding crowd were filmed inside the folly "Horton Tower" between Wimborne and Cranborne

I think it was part of The Woodlanders filmed at East Lulworth

James T
The opening scenes of the Monty Python TV series were filmed in Sandbanks!

parts of 1 episode of shoestring were filmed on swanage beach,i was an extra on it ,also in the goodies they used swanage lifeboat slipway to launch a giant soup tin from.

Mike T
Monty Python did some in Bournemouth town centre and Sandbanks.In Sickness and in Health did an episode in Bournemouth too

tim Robinson
Milton Abbas school.Michael Palin,Ripping Yarns

Janet O. Burlington, Canada
A beach scene at Durdle Door was filmed there from the movie Nanny McPhee

Anne Rushworth
There have been several films shot in and around Sherborne in Dorset. The most famous being Goodbye Mr Chipps. There was the Browing Version with Greta Sacchi and A Murder of Quality. There may be more.

A BBC version of 'Persuasion' was filmed on the 'Cob' at Lyme! and 'Tom Jones' was filmed at Cerne Abbas!

Tenko was filmed, as already said in the disused sand quarry near to the railway bridge at Moreton. There was actually 2 camps made there. The first one was constructed at the eastern end of the quarry and was later blown up. The second one was built at the west end of the quarry. I was only 9 years old at the time and spent some time on set! Even saw Floella Benjamin there with her family! ex Playschool presenter.

I saw a film on Tv called "The Scolds Bridle" that was filmed in Poole, lots of Quay scenes complete with views of the bridge and many more local landmarks

Morris: a life with bells on
filmed scenes in Poole light house and in Tisbury

The life and times of reginald perrin had the opening scenes filmed at west bay. the 'outside' shots of One foot in the Grave are at Bournemouth/Mudeford. Goodbye Mr Chips was filmed at Sherborne School. ... there are many more i'm sure

Cliff Richard filmed his video for 'Saviours Day' at Durdle Door and in Corfe Castle village. Coronation Street, Eastenders and One Foot in the Grave have all filmed at Kimmeridge Bay as was (I think!) a film called the Black Tower.

I believe Private Schulz was actually filmed in Faringdon, Oxfordshire... but maybe it was filmed in Weymouth too.

Jamie H
Yes Joanne the opening of the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks DID use Corfe castle as its location. But does anyone know if the house Miss Price lived in was real and where it was located? I've been wondering ever since I was a young boy.

my friend lives in the most exquisite house named Haye House Haye lane Lyme regis beautriful gardens grade 2 listed great history used in the monmouth rebellion. she would be more than happy if you ever wanted a beautiful old georgian house for a tv/film set.

Andrew Talbot
War film "Heroes of Telemark", featuring Kirk Douglas filmed on Poole quay.

Carl Osmond
Part of Nanny Mcphee was filmed at Durdle Door,what an amazing place

James Runacres
I went on holiday with my family and we saw two men dressed as a bloddy, half dead spanish sailor.So i asked him what he was doing and he said that they were filming a part of the film (The Golden Age). the film crew and actors let us have pictures taken with them.

Far from madding crowd filmed at Shaftesbury on Gold Hill..also David Bailey produced an advert for a Panasonic cam corder filmed around weymouth,sutton poyntz and swanage

Laurie Croad
I remember as a child on Sandbanks beaches, watching scale ships in Poole Bay, and being told that it was for "Battle of the River Plate", and later, an MTB on Poole Quay for "The Ship that Died of Shame". Can anyone confirm these anecdotes?

Jenni Stevenson
Evershot village was used in Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette

Far from the Madding Crowd partly filmed at Bloxworth. Several of the Stone family worked as extras

Pete Gerrard
Just to put the record straight Nick Berry played the Harbour Master not a Police man

Pete Gerrard
Far From the Madding Crowd was filmed in the 60's at Maiden Castle, Dorchester, Weymouth and the coast around Osmington Mills

Helen Fox
I thought nick berry was absolutely wonderful in harbour lights and it was a pleasure to meet him in person

ian lock
The ship that died of shame that was partley filmed in Weymouth harbour

Mike Leigh's Nuts in may was almost if not totally filmed in the isle of purbecks in dorset.The studland ferry is at the beggining,along with a quarry in Acton,the square & compass & the grey hound pub i believe.

Peter G: Montreal Canada
West Bay was the main location for the film version of the radio show "The Navy Lark"

I'm told by one of the Production Crew, that the opening sequence for The Rise and Fall of Reggie Perrin (where he walks out into the sea) was filmed at West Bay.

To Serve Them All My Days starring John Duttine in the70s was partly filmed at Milton Abbey School.

The Two Ronnies filmed quite a lot around Dorset. My step father was working in Okesford Fitzpane church when they were filming a sequence for the Phantom Raspberry Blower and said hello to Ronnie Barker!

after watching the film bedknobs and broomsticks i am sure the opening scene in the village is set in corfe, it looks exactly like it. can anyone confirm this as i have searched for confirmation everywhere

Dr Who - Seeds of Doom - with Tom Baker and Lis Sladen part filmed at Athelhampton House in 1975.

Pete Robins
Didn't Victor Meldrew lose a car at Kimmeridge?

Pete Robins
Corfe Castle featured in a Big Country rock video as well

Pete Robins
I think quite a lot of "Far from the madding crowd" was done in and around Kingston and Encombe near Corfe Castle

i love dorset i am interested in hereward the wake was it filmed there for the tv series in 1965

A series starring Michael Elfick called 'Private Shultz' was filmed in Weymouth.

Many of the outdoor scenes from the classic series, "The Goodies" were filmed in and around Weymouth and Portland. I know because I was in two of the episodes.

Richard F Randall
Weymouth Habour was the setting for a lot of scenes for the Richard Attenborough film,The Ship that Died of Shame. Scenes for the film,The Cruel sea,starring Jack Hawkins,were shot off Portland Bill

Matt Puddy
i am led to believe that a film called 'All over the town' starring Norman Wooland and Sarah Churchill - daughter of Sir Winston - was shot on location in Lyme Regis. It was a sort of comedy and it was directed by a David Twist back in 1949. Can anybody PLEASE contradict or confirm this. Many thanks.

Weymouth Bay was used in the war film The Heroes of Telemark as a substitute for the North Sea

Graeme Jenkins
Church at Winterborne Clenston used in Emma Thompson's adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

The Bulldog Breed, starring Norman Wisdom was filmed mainly on and around Portland!

Mike Streeter
The BBC TV series Hereward the Wake and The Three Musketeers were filmed around Kingston, near Corfe Castle in the 1960's and many scenes from Beau Geste were filmed in a disused sandpit at East Stoke near Wareham, in the 1980's I think. This included a life size desert fort made almost entirely of polystyrene and scaffolding. The prison camp for Tenko was constructed in a dsiused sandpit at Moreton near Dorchester.

Jenny and Ian Edlin
Far from the Madding Crowd, and The Mayor of Casterbridge + all the other Hardy adaptations!

George Weeks
The Browning version (1994) starring Albert Finney was filmed at Milton Abbey and Sharbonre Schools. Many local people were 'extra'' including my son (ans myself )

John Crocker
Two novels by a chap called Thomas Hardy. Schlesinger's film of "Far from the Madding Crowd" surely has to be the greatest film to show off Dorset. Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Weymouth, Bloxworth House near Bere Regis, Abbotsbury. Also the BBC's own "Mayor of Casterbridge" with Alan Bates was filmed at Corfe Castle.

I'm sure the Monty Python teamdid some Flying Circus on the Jurassic Coast, too.

Wilbur King
Joseph Losey's Hammer film The Damned aka These Are the Dammed, starring Oliver Reed and Shirley Anne Field, was shot in Weymouth and Portland Bill in 1961.

Trevor Payton Sidney B.C. Canada
The manor house in Upcerne just off the A352 in Dorset was the setting for the movie The Green Man with Albert Finney. Unfortuatly the year escapes me.

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