Hulu’s Shardlake: All Filming Locations Explored

Adapted from the popular historical murder mystery novels authored by C. J. Sansom, Hulu’s ‘Shardlake’ is a British mystery period drama series, set in the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century. The narrative follows Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer whose peaceful life is turned upside down when Thomas Cromwell gives him a mission that involves him traveling to a monastery in the remote town of Scarnsea, where there has been a suspicious and mysterious death of one of the commissioners. Before his death, the commissioner was busy trying to get the monastery to shut down. Now, it is upon the titular character to get to the bottom of the murder as well as finish what the victim had started.

Giving him no option to fail, Thomas sends Jack Barak to accompany Shardlake on his difficult mission. However, the lawyer can’t tell if Jack is there to assist him or spy on him and report to Thomas. Upon reaching Scarnsea, the duo are given far from a warm welcome as the monks fear for their future. When Sardlake finds out that the murder is not the first, he realizes that he is in the middle of a web of lies that endangers his integrity as well as his life. The period whodunnit is enhanced further by the compelling performances from a stellar ensemble cast, comprising Arthur Hughes, Sean Bean, Anthony Boyle, Babou Ceesay, and Paul Kaye. The eerie setting of the fictional town of Scarnsea adds another hint of mystery as many viewers try to guess where the Hulu show is filmed.

Shardlake is Shot Across Europe

The filming unit of ‘Shardlake’ makes various trips to three different European countries for shooting purposes — Hungary, Romania, and Austria. As per reports, principal photography for the inaugural iteration of the whodunnit series commenced in late March 2023 and wrapped up after a few months.


The landlocked European country situated in Central Europe, Hungary, serves as one of the primary production locations for ‘Shardlake.’ Given the presence of many historical and cultural monuments and buildings, the cast and crew members of the period drama show manage to find several suitable backdrops for many scenes. For instance, Hungary is home to numerous World Heritage Sites, such as the Old Village of Hollókő, Tokaj Wine Region, and Hortobágy National Park.


For the purpose of shooting, the production team of the Arthur Hughes starrer also travels to the country of Romania, which lies at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Specifically, the streets and architecture of the historical and cultural region of Transylvania feature heavily in several portions involving Shardlake and Jack. The filming unit reportedly sets up camp in and around the Gothic-Renaissance castle, Hunedoara Castle, also known as Corvin Castle and Hunyadi Castle, and records various key sequences for the series.

Consisting of three large areas, namely the Knight’s Hall, the Diet Hall, and the circular stairway, the Hunedoara Castle’s grand and extravagant spaces work as the perfect setting for a historical production like ‘Shardlake. Today, it is open to the public as people from across the world visit the renovated 15th-century castle and immerse themselves inside the historical walls.


Several pivotal scenes for ‘Shardlake’ are also taped in Austria, particularly in Lower Austria. The cast and crew members make the most of another castle to maintain the historical setting of the show. The Kreuzenstein Castle, or Burg Kreuzenstein, which is situated near Leobendorf in Lower Austria, right outside Vienna, features in the backdrop of multiple sequences.

In an interview with The Streamr, Anthony Hughes shared his experience portraying a character who is accompanied by a completely opposite character. He stated, “In this adventure, he’s working with someone else who’s…the complete opposite to him, so charting Barak and Shardlake’s friendship, and how that changes Shardlake was…so much fun. They go through this whole experience together…they go through every emotion together, of love, confusion, jealousy, anger, and resentment, but they need each other…I really loved that.”

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