Where was Anne Boleyn filmed? Location guide for Channel 5 period drama
The historical thriller was filmed last year in Yorkshire.
Channel 5 historical thriller Anne Boleyn examines the life and legacy of the Tudor queen through a feminist lens, "re-imagining" her struggles to conceive a boy, and her eventual downfall and execution.
While the period costumes (including corsets and a replica of Anne's pearl necklace bearing the letter "B" for Boleyn) are predictably sumptuous, by contrast the settings are "much more realistic, visceral and dirty," according to series lead Jodie Turner-Smith.
Filming took place during winter last year in Yorkshire, where the weather was predictably freezing cold, helping the cast get into character and imagine the real lives of their characters.
Read on for everything you need to know about the filming locations for Anne Boleyn.
Where was Anne Boleyn filmed?
Anne Boleyn was filmed across several locations in Yorkshire, in the north of England, during the winter of 2020.
Various interior scenes were shot on location at the historic Bolton Castle, the 14th-century castle located in Wensleydale in Yorkshire.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Mark Stanley (who plays Henry VIII in the Anne Boleyn cast) named Bolton Castle as his favourite shooting location.
"Yeah, I loved Bolton Castle. It really offered itself - we were shooting in November and December, it was cold, but you soon got to grips with why so many people congregated in just one room and why there were massive curtains, drapes down every stone wall [to] stop it sapping all the warmth out," he said.
He added that filming there helped the cast realise "just how desolate they [the castle inhabitants] could feel actually, especially if you were left alone like Anne was. If you were left up in a tower or in a stone room... Comforts, you know, they're not comforts like we know today. So actually, it was quite good. It was a bit of a feast for the imagination, all that sort of stuff."
In real-life, Mary Queen of Scots (first cousin once removed to Anne Boleyn's daughter, Queen Elizabeth I) was held prisoner at Bolton Castle in the 1560s.
"We were filming in Mary Queen of Scots' bedchamber at one point, and it was just amazing to think characters that we were talking about had been to those places," Thalissa Teixeira (Madge Shelton) exclusively tells RadioTimes.com.
Jodie Turner-Smith, who plays Anne Boleyn, also says that filming on location in historic buildings like Bolton Castle created "an energy" during shooting.
"It was freezing cold! That was a challenge, I think back then they would have the fires burning 24/7... I mean surely they must have done because it's freezing," says Turner-Smith of her filming experience.
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"Our Director Lynsey (Miller) said to me that in this production it wasn't going to be like Anne is living in a chocolate box, it was going to be much more realistic, visceral and dirty – it was definitely all of those things! But it was cool because we did a lot of filming in Bolton Castle and there is definitely an energy to filming in places like that, especially when a building is historical and so many spirits have passed through it."
Where were the outdoor scenes in Anne Boleyn filmed?
Many of the significant outdoor scenes – including a "talking point" kiss scene between Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour – took place in the grounds of Castle Howard, a stately home located near the city of York.
Castle Howard was also a Bridgerton location, used as a stand-in for the fictional Clyvedon Castle – the residence of the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) – with both interior and exterior scenes shot there.
The Castle Howard lake, featured in the background of Daphne Bridgerton's episode six picnic with the Duke, is also seen behind Jane Seymour and Anne Boleyn during their kiss scene.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Lola Petticrew (who plays Jane Seymour) reveals the significance of the kiss scene within the feminist retelling of Anne Boleyn's story.
“It’s definitely something that I think will be a talking point for a lot of people,” she says. “Very simply, it was Anne assessing what was before her, and her interest in [Jane]. Sometimes Anne sees Jane through the male gaze and she’s trying to see what her husband [King Henry VIII] sees, which I think is really interesting, because it’s the male gaze through a female gaze, which I think is really beautiful.”
On filming at the Castle Howard grounds, Petticrew adds, "It was where they did Brideshead Revisited [the 1981 TV version], which is incredible. I felt like that about all of the locations. [Growing up] I never really got to spend a lot of time in the north of England. And you know, driving up to set early morning, seeing the sun rise over these beautiful locations - I just felt so lucky. I would stand outside my trailer ... [and] just breathe in the country air."
Anne Boleyn is set to air on Channel 5 from Tuesday 1st June at 9pm. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide. Visit our Drama hub for all the latest news.