Movies made in historical British places

Watching movies can be a source of both inspiration and knowledge.

People typically watch films to unwind after a long tiring day or to entertain themselves. Talking about students, they often watch movies not only to relax but also to get some educational value. For instance, a movie may illustrate a piece of classical literature or show major historical events. It can also depict the biography of important political figures or explain complicated science facts. As you see, watching movies can be extremely beneficial for students.

So if you have decided to combine having fun and learning new things, a movie night is a great way to do it.  In case you want to enjoy watching a film and learn more about the historical places in the UK, choose one of the following movies.


Harry Potter

Many of the Harry Potter film locations are historical sights in the UK. One of the most famous of them is Alnwick Castle that was used as the main model for Hogwarts. It is situated in the English county of Northumberland. Alnwick Castle has been the home of the 12th Duke of Northumberland’s family for over 700 years. It’s one of the most significant heritage destinations in the UK which combines magnificent medieval architecture with sumptuous Italianate State Rooms. Alnwick Castle receives over 800,000 visitors per year which is very impressive.

Interior shots of Hogwarts were filmed at different places. For instance, at Duke Humfrey’s Library which is the oldest reading room at the University of Oxford. At this library, you can find an original medieval section (1487), the Arts End (1612), and the Selden End section named after John Selden (1637). There are numerous collections of maps, music, manuscripts, and theology materials that can be especially interesting for History students.


The Princess Bride

The locations of this film are truly incredible. For example, Prince Humperdink’s kingdom of Florin was created from Haddon Hall which has 900 years of history. Haddon Hall is located in Derbyshire. It is a former seat of the Dukes of Rutland and currently is the home for the family of Lord Edward Manners. This medieval manor house is viewed as one of the most interesting houses of its period. Moreover, it was featured in many other films, such as Pride and Prejudice, The Other Boleyn Girl, Jane Eyre, and The Virgin Queen.

Another historical place where this movie was made is Penshurst Place. It’s a beautiful ancient building near Tonbridge, Kent. Penshurst Place is one of the most complete surviving examples of 14th-century architecture in England. Luckily, a part of the house, as well as its gardens, are open for public viewing so anybody can visit them.



Braveheart was mostly filmed in Ireland, within an hour radius of Dublin. One of the most recognizable historical sites in this movie is Trim Castle. This location was used to show the English town of “York” and “London Square” in the movie. Trim Castle, which was built by Hugh de Lacy in 1172,  has an area of 30,000 m². This Anglo-Norman building is the largest and best-preserved castle in Ireland. By the way, its name means ‘‘Town of the Ford of the Elder Trees’.

Another historical location of Braveheart is Dunsoghly Castle which was used as the stunt double for Edinburgh Castle. It is one of 15th century fortified tower houses in Ireland that survived intact, which is probably because the castle was occupied by Plunkett family descendants.


Pride and Prejudice

The 2005 version of this Jane Austen novel was filmed in England. One of the historical sites where the movie was created is Groombridge Place. It is a manor house located in Kent that became a tourist attraction because of its gardens and vineyards. Groombridge Place was rebuilt in 1662 when Charles II decided to replace a medieval building that was created in 1230.

Another historical location from Pride and Prejudice is Burghley House situated in Lincolnshire. It was built and mostly designed by William Cecil between 1555 and 1587. Its main part has 35 major rooms and there are also more than 80 lesser rooms.

Watching movies can help you imagine historical events more vividly. Films are a great source of inspiration and knowledge. Discover British historical locations by watching the movies mentioned above, but don’t limit your choice to them!


Author’s bio

Paul Calderon is a historian and writer of academic works for students. He specializes in British history and currently conducts researches on the Victorian Era for his Ph.D. Paul is a content contributor for websites that share his passion for History.