Dawn French’s village gossip Maggie Cole is determined to sing the praises of Thurlbury in this new ITV drama – and you can see why.
Six-parter The Trouble with Maggie Cole is the tale of a chronic busybody who gives an explosive (and G&T-fuelled) radio interview in which she shares horrible secrets and speculation about all her friends and neighbours. There is, predictably, massive fallout.
But aside from all that, the drama also includes plenty of beaches and pretty cottages and long stretches of coastline. Here’s where it was filmed…
Is Thurlbury a real place?
Nope! While The Trouble with Maggie Cole is set in “a picturesque small coastal town called Thurlbury”, this town does not actually exist.
There are two villages called Thurlby, both in Lincolnshire – but you won’t find Thurlbury anywhere on Google Maps.
Where was The Trouble with Maggie Cole filmed?
The drama was filmed in South Devon and Cornwall.
The tiny little village of Noss Mayo was used as one of the main locations for the fictional Thurlbury. Noss Mayo is located in South West Devon, about six miles from Plymouth, and it is close to Newton Creek – an arm of the estuary of the River Yealm. Across the water is the village of Newton Ferrers, which you can see on-screen in the TV drama.
Dawn French, who lives in Cornwall, also revealed some of the other locations.
“We’ve filmed on beaches that I went on as a kid like Mothecombe,” she said. “Launceston Castle is somewhere I also spent time as a kid. We did film in a lot of places that are my manor. Of all the cast I am the one who does know this area a bit. But there are still little bits in Cargreen where I had never been down a particular road. There was a whole little village there that I had never seen. So that was exciting.”
Filming also took place around Burgh Island, a tidal island on the coast of South Devon, and on nearby Bigbury-on-Sea beach. Dawn French shared images from the shoot:
— Dawn French (@Dawn_French) April 2, 2019
Another key location in the drama is Thurlbury’s local shop where Emily Dubiki (Tomi May) sells everything from milk to paperbacks to wine and loo roll.
The charming little shop we see on screen is part of the 19th century village at Morwellham Quay, an open-air museum in Devon which also includes a copper mine, farm, nature reserve, restored ship and docks and quays. It sits within a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a popular tourist attraction.
The exterior of The Conqueror pub was filmed at the Crooked Spaniard in Cargreen, a small settlement near Saltash on the River Tamar. It’s now permanently closed, but it was also previously used as a location for BBC drama The Coroner.
The school scenes were filmed at The Erme Primary School in Ivybridge, with the help of a group of child actors from Plymkids Theatre Company.
Where was Thurlbury Historic Keep filmed?
Dawn French’s character Maggie Cole works at a Norman keep, showing off Thurlbury’s ancient heritage to schoolkids and tourists.
This was filmed with the help of Launceston Castle in Cornwall. The landmark was initially an earthwork and timber castle and was the administrative centre of the earldom of Cornwall from the 11th century, though it was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century and greatly enlarged – with a keep dating from the 13th century.
It later became a gaol, a Royalist garrison during the English Civil War, the site of the Duke of Northumberland’s park, and then a base for US soldiers in the Second World War. These days it’s run by English Heritage.
The Trouble with Maggie Cole airs on Sundays at 8/7c on PBS in the US