12 famous films set in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 17:14 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:21 03 April 2020

Angelina Jolie stars in Tomb Raider (2001) which featured a scene at Hatfield House (Josh Jacks, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Angelina Jolie stars in Tomb Raider (2001) which featured a scene at Hatfield House (Josh Jacks, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)


With gorgeous countryside, grand manor houses and plenty of history under its belt, it’s no surprise Hertfordshire is a prime spot for films and TV

1. Johnny English (2003) and Johnny English Reborn (2011)

Both the Johnny English films, starring Rowan Atkinson, have scenes shot in Hertfordshire. The 2002 original was filmed in locations such as St Albans Cathedral and Watford’s Leavesden Park. The sequel, Johnny English Reborn, saw the stunning stately home, Brocket Hall, used for scenes.


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2. Batman (1989)

The grand stately homes Knebworth House and Hatfield House played an important role in the Tim Burton-directed 1989 version of Batman. Knebworth was used as the exterior of Wayne Manor, the large estate owned by Bruce Wayne, or Batman, in the fictional city of Gotham. The interiors were utilised for many scenes inside the mansion with rooms including the Marble Hall, Long Gallery and the Library hosting the stars. Michael Keaton starred as Batman with Jack Nicholson as Joker and Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale.

3. Lolita (1962)

Grade II* listed country house, Hilfield Castle, near Aldenham was used as Pavor Manor in Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel of the same name. The showdown at the end of the film takes place in the castle, which becomes an eerie house that sees the character Humbert Humbert trying to find Delores “Lolita” Haze.

Stanley Kubrick’s connections with Hertfordshire don’t end there, however, as he purchased Childwickbury Manor in 1978 and lived there until his death in 1999.

4. Kevin and Perry Go Large (2000)

Shots of Watford’s Harlequin Shopping Centre were used for a scene in teen comedy Kevin and Perry Go Large starring Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke.

5. Tomb Raider (2001)

Another film that made use of Hatfield House is Tomb Raider. The exterior was used as the home of Lara Croft, played by Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie.

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Fans of the Harry Potter film franchise will be pleased to know that parts of the fourth instalment, the Goblet of Fire, were filmed in Hertfordshire. The scene when Harry and the Weasley family are on their way to the Quidditch World Cup is filmed in Ashridge Woods. There is also a scene when the characters are finding the “manky old boot” on a hill which is Beacon Hill in the Ivinghoe Hills.

7. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

A set was built on Hatfield Aerodrome to depict a ruined French village where Matt Damon – whose character is the eponymous protagonist of Steven Spielberg’s classic – is found.

8. The World’s End (2013)

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star in The World’s End, the final installation in director Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy – that includes Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). A pub crawl gone awry sees the characters facing an alien invasion. Scenes were filmed in various locations in Letchworth Garden City including the Broadway Cinema and The Three Magnets and Welwyn Garden City’s The Peartree on Hollybush Lane and The Doctors Tonic on Church Road.

9. The King’s Speech (2011)

Colin Firth stars in the dramatised biopic of King George VI while he is struggling with his stammer so seeks help from language therapist Lionel Logue, who he becomes great friends with. Knebworth House plays a role in this film, directed by Tom Hooper, depicting the ballroom for the party put on by the character played by Guy Pearce.

10. Anastasia (1956)

Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner star in this 1956 adaptation of the real life story of a girl who heavily resembles the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia whose family have all been killed. The search for her true identity constitutes the main storyline in the film that won Ingrid Bergman an Academy Award for Best Actress. Knebworth House plays a role in the film too, depicting the home of Anna’s (Bergman) would-be grandmother, the old Empress.

11. Nanny McPhee (2005)

Nanny McPhee tells the story of an undertaker (Colin Firth) who is recently widowed and is father to seven badly behaved children. However, Nanny McPhee (played by Emma Thompson), turns up with the aim of turning the family around. The house of the eccentric antagonist Mrs. Quickly, a prospective new wife for the children’s father, is located in Warren’s Green, Stevenage.

12. Jane Eyre (2011)

Cary Fukunaga directed the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender as Jane and Mr Rochester. Jane’s childhood home, in which she is subject to derision and mental torture by her cruel aunt and cousins, is the private mansion Wrotham Park in Hertsmere.


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