There are many reasons why Hull Old Town makes such a good on-screen double for 19th-century London, as it did in the 2019 film The Personal History of David Copperfield. An ancient port city on England’s east coast, Hull grew prosperous off the back of trade in wool, wine and whaling. It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to see the industrial grit of Victorian London mingling with merchant wealth here, as we see when David Copperfield (played by Dev Patel) is sent to work in a London factory as a child.
Within Hull Old Town, the tight-knit cluster of cobbled streets flanked by Georgian townhouses and a giant minster are a reminder of the wealth that poured into the city at a time when it was home to the largest whaling fleet in Britain. The city was also a political giant, home to important abolitionist William Wilberforce in the early 1800s, and the English Civil War was allegedly plotted in the parlour of Ye Old White Hart pub, still going strong today.
This compact, quiet urban pocket of historical importance has become a popular filming area in recent years. Hull Old Town has also debuted in the global hit Victoria series and the Channel 4 drama National Treasure starring Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters, as well as Dark Angel and A Royal Night Out.