Winchester on Film
Hearing that Winchester’s St Cross Hospital and Great Hall have been used as locations for the BBC2 adaptation of Wolf Hall has made us wonder where else the city might have made an appearance on the big and small screen….
We do remember the cast and crew of the film Les Miserables coming into town a few years ago and transforming the Cathedral and College into Parisian backdrops. The usually pristine College Street became a sawdust-strewn, grubby backstreet all thanks to the magic of cinema. Indeed this isn’t the first time that the Cathedral has appeared as somewhere else – it also doubled as the Vatican in the Da Vinci Code and St Paul’s in Elizabeth: the Golden Age. It does get to play itself in the 1974 remake of Brief Encounter, see Richard Burton and Sophia Loren wandering around its aisles (and other parts of Winchester) in this Youtube clip.
Given her connection to the city it’s surprising to find that Winchester seems not to have appeared in any Jane Austen adaptations, Shakespeare however has been set here with Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench recently visiting the Great Hall to film one of his history plays. There has been some sci-fi too with St Cross featured in the remake of Day of the Triffids (broadcast on BBC1 in 2009) and ghostliness with the 2006 adaptation of the M R James story Number 13, shot in the grounds and library of the cathedral.
If you want to have a go at spotting Winchester yourself, Elizabeth: the Golden Age, Da Vinci Code and Day of the Triffids are all available to watch online at BoB National: http://bobnational.net.