Where Was BBC Drama ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel’ filmed?

Back to top

‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ premieres on BBC One this weekend. The magical tale which stars Bertie Carvell (‘Les Misérables’, ‘Doctor Foster’) and Eddie Marsan (‘Jack the Giant Slayer’, ‘Filth’) will air on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

The drama is set in 19th century England where magic is acknowledged to exist but is rarely practiced. Then the reclusive Mr Norrell (Marsan) is discovered in Yorkshire, where he makes the statues of York Cathedral talk and move.

He’s persuaded to travel to London to help in the war against France. Initially shunned by the government, a series of events results in him establishing himself as the greatest magician in the land.

Production Company, Cuba Films contacted our Production Services team in 2013 to discusss shooting in Yorkshire. We provided information on regional studios, scouted a number of Georgian and medieval locations and hosted a two-day familiarisation recce to showcase Yorkshire’s studios and key locations in York, Wakefield and Leeds.  Following this successful trip, Cuba Films decided to base the production in Yorkshire. The production also received investment from Screen Yorkshire’s  Yorkshire Content Fund.

Nick Hirschkorn, Producer, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, said:

“Yorkshire is an excellent place to film and worked perfectly for the shoot. Creative England played an integral role from a very early stage by providing access to a host of stunning locations, high calibre crew and regional studios – their support for filming in Yorkshire is second to none, we could not have made the show without them.”

‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ filming locations

We continued to work closely with the production, helping to secure Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire as the production base for the main set builds and suggesting further locations for the atmospheric period drama. Thanks to Creative England’s support, the following Yorkshire locations were secured for use, ensuring investment into the local Yorkshire economy:

  • Wentworth Woodhouse
  • Wentworth Castle Gardens
  • York Minster and St William’s College in York
  • St John’s Square & St John’s North in Wakefield
  • Temple Newsam & Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds
  • Oakwell Hall
  • Newburgh Priory
  • Fountains Hall and Fountains Abbey
  • Appletreewick
  • Ilkley Moor
  • Gordale Scar

Studio 81 in Leeds was chosen as the main production office during filming in the region and scenes were also shot in Trogir in Croatia and in Quebec, Canada.

In terms of liaison with the local authorities in the region, we hosted meetings with  City of York Counciland Wakefield Council to help secure vital filming permissions for road closures necessary for street scenes. Filming permissions were facilitated via our established relationships with local authorities under Creative England’s  Film Friendly Partnership in Yorkshire. We also worked with FFP members Kirklees CouncilBradford City of Film and Leeds City Council to secure a number of key locations.

Crew support and what it means for Yorkshire

In addition to support with locations and filming permissions, Creative England provided contact details for hotels in Leeds and York for non-regional cast & crew accommodation.

Nicky Ball, Crew Manager at Creative England, said: 

“Our crewing service was also heavily used for the shoot, posting out jobs for everything from Production Coordinator and Production Buyer to Runner and Location Assistant positions. Our involvement ensured at least 790 days of work for local crew based in Yorkshire.”

We estimate a production on the scale of ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’ would spend in the region of £18,000 per day on support services, eg: hotels, security, catering, etc.

In 2014/15, Creative England estimates that £8.8million was invested in Yorkshire from all film and television production filming on location in the region.

Yorkshire Film Friendly Partnership & Filming in Yorkshire

We work with key members of the Yorkshire Film Friendly Partnership network in including Dominic Berry (City Centre Management) Alistair Briggs (Traffic Network Manager), Christine Hogan (Business Engagement Officer) at City of York Council and Kay Hyde (PR Manager)  Make It York; Helen Pidcock (Communications Manager), Graham West (Highway Network Manager) at Wakefield Council, all who assist with a range of activity from access to local knowledge for regional location finding, to facilitating filming permissions and access to additional support/services within the local authority such as parking services, parks and countryside and street lighting.  This work is essential for the smooth running of major film and TV drama shoots across the region.  The Yorkshire Film Friendly Partnership includes each of the 19 local authorities, plus additional bodies such as Welcome to Yorkshire and Visit Hull & East Yorkshire, and Make It York.

For further information on filming in Yorkshire, Filming in Leeds, Filming in Wakefield, filming in York or anywhere else in England (outside london) contact our Production Services team

‘Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’ is directed by Toby Haynes (‘The Musketeers’, ‘Doctor Who’). It is produced by Cuba Pictures (‘Boy A’, ‘Broken’, ‘Coalition’) for BBC One and co-produced with BBC America, in association with Feel Films, Far Moor, Screen Yorkshire and Bell Media’s Space. It will be distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.

Related stories