Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Filming at Oakwell Hall

Thanks, Joanne Catlow, for sending us this press release and the photos:

Historic Birstall takes star role in Bronte classic

It's already well known to lovers of the work of Charlotte Brontë.

Now Birstall's Oakwell Hall is set to play a starring role in a major television adaptation of Wuthering Heights, her sister Emily's classic tale of romance and revenge.

The Elizabethan manor house has been picked as one of the locations for the filming of the drama, which is being made for ITV by production company Mammoth Screen.

Oakwell Hall's first brush with fame came in 1849, when Charlotte Brontë used it as the basis for a house called ‘Fieldhead’, the home of the heroine in her novel Shirley. In 1921, the historic building was also chosen as a location for a silent movie version of Shirley.

Wuthering Heights cast members include former Coronation Street favourite Sarah Lancashire and Andrew Lincoln, who played Egg in cult BBC Two show This Life. Band of Brothers actor Tom Hardy will portray Heathcliff while newcomer Charlotte Riley has landed the part of Cathy.

Filming meant that the hall was closed to the public for four weeks to allow for two weeks of filming plus time for the preparation and dismantling of the sets. Now re-open, the hall which was built in 1583 by John Batt, offers visitors an insight into the workings of a post English Civil War household.

The two-part drama for ITV1 is expected to be shown autumn 2008.

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