Film crew descends on Alnwick for major TV series

Medieval-style tents in the Pastures and lorries behind Alnwick Castle have been spotted as filming for a major TV series takes place this week.

As previously reported by the Gazette, we understand that Alnwick Castle is being used for filming some of The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, a second series of three film adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench, Donwton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and Michael Gambon.

The tents set up in the Pastures beneath Alnwick Castle.

The tents set up in the Pastures beneath Alnwick Castle.

It is not known who or what will be filming in Alnwick, but it is thought to involve a large number of cast and crew, as part of the town’s Greenwell Lane car park behind the Castle has been reserved for a week until Saturday, while accommodation providers have also taken bookings. It is thought that around 200 extras will be used in the filming throughout the week, including sword fighters, stunt men and general actors. Attached is a video of an early scene filmed at the Bailiffgate entrance to Alnwick Castle sent in by a Gazette reader.

A spokeswoman for the production companies said that they wouldn’t confirm details of filming, but a press release from the BBC in October revealed that principal photography had begun on the series, filming in locations around the UK.

The cast list for the series includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Sophie Okonedo, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Keeley Hawes, Tom Sturridge, Michael Gambon and Philip Glenister among many others.

Following a good critical and audience reaction to the Bafta Award-winning The Hollow Crown series in 2012, Neal Street Productions and Carnival Films/NBCUniversal bring the concluding part of this cycle of Shakespeare’s history plays to the screen in three further filmed adaptations, Henry VI (in two parts) and Richard III. It is expected to air towards the end of this year or early 2016.

The Hollow Crown filming vehicles in Greenwell Lane. Alnwick

The Hollow Crown filming vehicles in Greenwell Lane. Alnwick