Mary & George: All Filming Locations Explored

‘Mary & George’ transports us to 17th-century England, where Mary Villiers and her son, George, face an impoverished future after her husband’s death. Knowing the queer nature of King James I, Mary coaches George to seduce the monarch and strategizes to have him knighted and join the King’s favored men. Their plan works as George catches the ruler’s eye and begins to grow closer to him. With the Earl of Somerset catching onto George’s plans and Mary becoming embroiled in a scheme of false identity, the court of King James I is enveloped in intrigue, deceit, and greed.

Created by D.C. Moore based on the nonfiction book ‘The King’s Assassin’ by Benjamin Woolley, the Starz show is a compelling period drama that recreates the Jacobean era, complete with castles, manors, and palaces of the time. As the characters’ stories unfold around the historic environments, one may seek to uncover the actual locations behind the camera.

Where is Mary & George Filmed?

‘Mary & George’ is filmed at various sites across England and Scotland in the UK, making use of the country’s wealth of antiquated architecture and historical sites. Principal photography for the series began in January 2023, and the first season was wrapped up in six months by June 2023. “We haven’t seen this period before, because it’s rarely done,” said costume designer Annie Symons in an interview. “We’ve seen a lot of Jacobean tragedy on the stage in the U.K., but very few in televisual representations, so it was exciting to dig into new territory.”

London Metropolitan Area, the UK

A number of historical structures and interiors seen in the show are located around London, these include George Villiers’ house, the London Palace, and the King’s Banquet Hall. While George Villers’ real residence was the York House on the Stand along the Thames, the Ham House in Richmond stands in for his house in the show. Situated on Ham Street, Ham, the 17th-century mansion is a National Trust site and is open to the public.

The London Charterhouse represents parts of the London Palace’s exterior in the show, in addition to the meat market and the King’s Banquet Hall and Kitchen. Located on Charterhouse Square, Barbican, the structure was built in 1545, and its stately interiors serve as an almshouse and museum today. The royal coronation seen in the first season was shot at St. Bartholomew the Great, an Anglican church, at West Smithfield, Barbican. The medieval church also doubled as the site for King James’ address to parliament.

Kent, the UK

Known as the Garden of England, sites across Kent County are pivotal to creating the settings seen in ‘Mary & George.’ Knole in Sevenoaks, a royal residence since Henry VIII’s time, served as the backdrop for interior scenes of James’ palace in the show. Dover Castle on Castle Hill Road, known as the Key to England, substituted for the Tower of London in the series. Both properties are now popular tourist destinations, owned respectively by the National Trust and English Heritage.”

Other Locations in the UK

The production team captured scenes in many other historic locations, which served as relevant depictions of the time period in the context of the show’s narrative. Built in 1611, the Hatfield House becomes a filming location for representing King James’ palace. Its Jacobean style was ideal for depicting activities such as masque plays, ballroom dancing, and royal banquets.

Scenes depicting Mary’s residence were filmed at Crowhurst House in Surrey. Built in the Tudor Revival style by George A. Crawley, it remains a private residence with unique features like a moat and drawbridge. Scenes of the Compton Manor, where Mary marries her final husband, were actually shot in Rothamstead Manor in West Common. In the fourth episode, the show takes us to the real-life Long Crendon Manor in Buckinghamshire. Situated on Frogmore Lane, Long Crendon, the 12th-century property currently functions as a bed-and-breakfast.

The Grimsthorpe Castle at Estate Office, Grimsthorpe, depicts the French setting seen in the show as George travels to the country for his studies. The Lincolnshire country house stands in for the French chateau in the series and hosted aristocratic gatherings. The Old Hunstanton Beach in Norfolk can be observed in the beach sequence of the series. Scenes of an aristocratic meeting were lensed at the Strawberry Hill House on 268 Waldegrave Road in Twickenham.

For the hunting scenes, the production crew ventured to the Ashridge Estate in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. The scenes set in Edinburgh in the series were filmed at Stirling Castle at Castle Wynd, in Scotland, reflecting King James’ occasional return to Scotland. The interiors of the castle can be seen in the series, especially the restored 16th-century Queen’s Inner Hall. Located at Castle Hill in Scotland, Doune Castle also features in the series.

The Hampden House at 1 Allen Street, Hampden, in Buckinghamshire, served as the filming location for Privy Council Chamber and legal chamber scenes. While its interior reflects Elizabethan times, its exterior was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 18th century. The execution seen in the show was shot in front of Cobham Hall. The 16th-century country house on Brewers Road, Cobham, now serves as the premises of a private girls’ school.

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