Where was Channel 5’s Anne Boleyn filmed?

Anne Boleyn. Image © Parisa Taghizadeh for Fable Pictures / Channel 5

May 27th 2021

Discover Tudor England in Yorkshire, as seen on screen in Channel 5's Anne Boleyn from 1st June

Channel 5’s Anne Boleyn was filmed entirely in Yorkshire, spotlighting medieval mansions, toothsome castles and grand estates from West Yorkshire to the North York Moors.

C5’s latest period drama follows the lead-up to Anne Boleyn’s execution in 1536, and location scouts were tasked with finding doubles for some of London’s most famous Tudor landmarks – specifically Greenwich Palace, where Anne Boleyn lived with Henry VIII before her downfall, and the Tower of London, where she was imprisoned in the Royal Apartments before her death.

Almost all the filming locations can be visited – heading south to north, here’s how to plan a trip and follow in the footsteps of Jodie Turner-Smith to discover Tudor England in Yorkshire.

St Michael’s Church, Emley

With hints of grandeur in its 15th-century tower, this West Yorkshire village church makes an appearance in Anne Boleyn during the scenes of Anne’s trial at the Tower of London. Squint hard enough at the pulpit inside St Michael’s and you might recognise King’s Hall.

Oakwell Hall

Oakwell from Walled Garden

Heading north for about 40 minutes, initially along country lanes, will bring you to the Elizabethan Oakwell Hall. In Anne Boleyn, Oakwell’s 100 acres of parkland and gardens stood in for the gardens at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. The historical house museum here is currently still closed due to covid restrictions, but the timber-beamed interiors were dressed up as Henry VIII’s bed chamber and privy gallery in Anne Boleyn.

East Riddlesden Hall

With mature oak trees and willows lapping a small lake, the gardens at this National Trust country manor an hour north of Oakwell doubled for Greenwich Palace’s gardens and stables in Anne Boleyn. Between the 15th and 17th centuries the Yorkshire-stone mansion was repeatedly extended and adapted, and for many years it was lived in by local textile magnate James Murgatroyd.

Harewood House

Harewood House Walled Garden

Travelling east across Wharfedale, Harewood House is worth a pit-stop on this trail. The classical honeycomb house doesn’t make an appearance in Anne Boleyn – built between 1759 and 1771, it would have been an anachronism – but some of the estate’s bridleways do. There are 15 miles of leafy scenic paths here, all of which can be accessed by the public for country walks. Keep an eye out for deer.

Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle

Ivy-clad Ripley Castle is a real beauty and its ornamental lake is used in riverbank scenes set at Greenwich Palace in Anne Boleyn. The Ingilbys have resided here for over 700 years and some of the family members even worked for Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Elizabeth I.

Fun fact: there’s an artisan distillery housed in the castle stables called Harrogate Tipple, and they’re the makers of the official Downton Abbey gin

Markenfield Hall

One of England’s best preserved medieval manor houses, moated Markenfield Hall feels every bit the part for Tudor royalty. Despite being on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, it was used for some of the London street scenes in Anne Boleyn. The hall itself played the Seymour home in Chelsea. In real life Markenfield often hosts weddings, and it’s only open to the public by pre-booked tours.

Fountains Hall at Fountains Abbey

Within the World Heritage listed grounds of Studley Royal Park, next to the 12th-century ruins of Fountains Abbey, this country house is palatial in its proportions. The Anne Boleyn filming crew used its exterior as a double for the facade of Greenwich Palace. Fountains Hall dates to 1604, meaning stylistically it was actually built just after the end of the Tudor period. The abbey ruins are also famous: they’ve been used in two screen adaptations of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden, most recently for the Colin Firth blockbuster.

Bolton Castle

This North Yorkshire medieval stronghold was a key filming location for Anne Boleyn. Bolton Castle‘s grounds were used in some of the Tower of London scenes and its exterior doubled for Greenwich Palace, while its grand interiors were used to represent Anne’s bed chamber, privy gallery and the Tower apartments where she was imprisoned.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard

Into the heart of the North York Moors, this is no castle, but rather one of England’s finest country houses. Its opulent grounds were shot as Greenwich Palace’s gardens and riverbank in Anne Boleyn. And it’s easy to imagine Jodie Turner-Smith taking a turn here – just like Regé-Jean Page did while filming Bridgerton at Castle Howard a year earlier. Prepare to linger over the follies, temples and over-the-top fountains. The house itself is a doozy, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, who also built Blenheim Palace.