Wednesday, May 22, 2019

News: Wentworth Woodhouse on the BBC again


One of the UK's most important Grade 1 listed country houses, Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, has been back on the BBC this week, featuring in Gentleman Jack, an exciting new drama written by Sally Wainwright.

The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) has developed a masterplan to secure the future of the mansion which has already featured in numerous big screen and small screen productions. Handing over state rooms and gardens to filmmakers is an important means to raise the profile (and much needed revenue) of the property which for many years has been in relative obscurity.

Gentleman Jack is a Lookout Point production for BBC One, co-produced with HBO. It was filmed in Yorkshire with support from Screen Yorkshire's Film Office.

Set in 1832 West Yorkshire, Gentleman Jack is inspired by the true-story and coded journals of Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones), and follows her attempt to revitalise her inherited home, Shibden Hall. Most notably for the time period, a part of Lister's plan is to help the fate of her own family by taking a wife.

In episode one, which aired on Sunday May 19, the long gallery at Wentworth Woodhouse is used as a grand house in Hastings for an emotional flashback scene. Seated at the stunning feature window, and with special effects changing the gardens to the west front into the seafront, a heartbroken Anne Lister learns that one of her aristocratic targets for marriage has accepted the marriage proposal of an army captain.

The long gallery is now used to host weddings!


Shibden Hall was joined by other Yorkshire filming locations including Sutton Park (near York,) Newby Hall (Ripon) Bramham Estate (Leeds), Fairfax House (York) Broughton Hall (Skipton), Harewood House Estate (Leeds), Treasurer's House (York), Oakwell Hall (Birstall), St Peter's Church (Sowerby), Halifax Town Centre, Lawrence Batley Theatre & Queens Street (Huddersfield), Little Germany (Bradford), Wentworth Woodhouse, Ripponden Moor Holy Trinity Church and City of York streets. Production offices were based at Studio 81 in Leeds.

Phil Collinson, producer, Gentleman Jack, said: "As a proud Yorkshireman I was thrilled to come home to work on Gentleman Jack.

"This is an ambitious show filmed on location all over this glorious county. Everywhere we went we were supported and welcomed and the brilliant, mostly local crew worked tirelessly and with great skill. Screen Yorkshire too played its part in facilitating a very friendly environment for us to film in. I can't wait to come back and do it again."

Wentworth Woodhouse was used for previous productions shown on the BBC including King Charles III, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Billionaire Boy. It is also used for ITV's prime-time drama, Victoria.

On the big screen, Wentworth Woodhouse was used for scenes at Buckingham Palace in Darkest Hour, in which Gary Oldman won an Oscar playing Winston Churchill. In Mike Leigh's biopic of JMW Turner, the marble saloon stood in for London's Royal Academy of Arts.

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: BBC / HBO


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