Lincolnshire on the silver screen

Keira Knightley starred in Atonement, parts of which were filmed in Gedney Drove End. ANL-150308-113317001
Keira Knightley starred in Atonement, parts of which were filmed in Gedney Drove End. ANL-150308-113317001

The eagle-eyed among you may have already spotted camera crews in and around Holbeach recently as filming for a new action / thriller gets under way.

Actor, writer and director Steph Genovese is hoping to put his home town on the movie map with his production Dishonoured, due to be premiered next year.

Nicole Kidman starred in The Golden Compass, parts of which were filmed in Sutton Bridge. ANL-150308-113327001

Nicole Kidman starred in The Golden Compass, parts of which were filmed in Sutton Bridge. ANL-150308-113327001

However, Lincolnshire is no stranger to the big screen, having featured in many big budget productions over the years.

Here are ten other movies you may be surprised to know were partly filmed in the county:

* Atonement – The coastal marshes of Gedney Drove End featured in this 2007 British romantic war drama, based on Ian 
McEwan’s novel of the same name. It starred Keira 
Knightley and James McAvoy and won two Golden Globes, as well as numerous other award nominations.

* The Da Vinci Code – based on the novel by Dan Brown, this 2006 mystery thriller starred Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, a professor of religious iconography and symbology. The imposing interiors of Stamford’s Burghley House doubled for the inside of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence, while the exterior of Belvoir Castle, near Grantham - with the help of a little CGI – was used for the outside.

* Young Victoria – written by Julian Fellowes, this 2009 movie starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend, used the interior of Lincoln Cathedral for its coronation scenes because it looked more like Westminster Abbey would have in 1837. The rooms and grounds of Belvoir Castle, near Grantham, also featured in the period drama.

* Pride and Prejudice – in the 2005 adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, Stamford’s Burghley House features as Rosings, the palatial home of the fearsome Lady Catherine De Bourg, played by Dame Judi Dench. Parts of Stamford town centre were also transformed into the village of Merryton for the same film.

* The Ruling Class – a 1972 British black comedy about a paranoid schizophrenic nobleman who inherits a peerage starred Peter O’Toole. Harlaxton Manor, Grantham, provided the fantastical exterior for his estate Gurney Manor, while the interiors for the film, which cost $1.4m, were constructed on sound stages.

* The Haunting – Grantham’s Harlaxton Manor was also used in the 1999 remake of the 1963 horror film of the same name starring Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta Jones. The neo- Elizabethan folly was built in 1837 on the site of a 14th century manor house. Three miles from Grantham on the A607 the building is now home to Harlaxton College, part of the University of Evansville, and is not generally open to the public, although it’s possible to book group tours and there are occasional open days.

* Dambusters – this 1955 war film recreated the true story of Operation Chastise, when the RAF’s 617 Squadron based at RAF Scampton attacked Germany’s Rhur dams with Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb in 1943. Some scenes were shot at the Scampton base, while others were filmed between Boston and King’s Lynn, and coastal areas near Skegness.

* The Golden Compass – filming for this 2007 fantasy adventure starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig took place at Cross Keys Swing Bridge, Sutton Bridge, which was used as the backdrop for a scene with a barge passing through.

* Thunderball – the runways of RAF Waddington featured briefly in this 1965 007 offering, the fourth in the franchise, starring Sean Connery as he battled the evil SPECTRE organisation.

* Possession – told the tale of two literary scholars uncovering secrets from Victorian poets in the 1990 book by A S Byatt and was set in a then-fictitious Lincoln University. When it came to filming the movie in 2002 the university was real, and only too pleased to feature. Gwyneth Paltrow took the lead role.