PBS’ Tom Jones: Every Shooting Location Explored

A reimagining of the 1749 novel ‘The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling’ by Henry Fielding, PBS’ ‘Tom Jones’ is a romantic drama series created by Gwyneth Hughes set in the 18th century that revolves around the titular character as he tries to find a place and purpose in the world. When Tom crosses paths with a beautiful heiress named Sophia, they fall head over heels in love.

Apart from Solly McLeod as Tom, Sophie Wilde as Sophia, and Hannah Waddingham as Lady Bellaston, the comedy show also features other talented actors, including James Fleet, Shirley Henderson, Alun Armstrong, and Pearl Mackie. All the drama unfolds in mid-18th century England as the protagonists deal with passion, loose morals, prejudice, and luxury, in their own ways. Given the appearance of castles, palaces, and open fields in the backdrop of many scenes, the audience is bound to be interested in knowing where ‘Tom Jones’ is filmed. If you are one such curious soul, we have got you covered!

Tom Jones Filming Locations

‘Tom Jones’ is filmed in Northern Ireland, specifically in Belfast, County Down, County Antrim, and Armagh. According to reports, the principal photography for the debut season of the romantic series seemingly commenced in September 2021 and wrapped up in December 2021. So, let’s not waste time and travel back in time to get a detailed account of the specific locations where Tom and Sophia’s love blossoms in the PBS show!

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast, serves as one of the primary production locations for ‘Tom Jones’ as many pivotal sequences are lensed on location in and around the city. In particular, the production team sets up camp in Queen’s Quarter, aka University Quarter, the southernmost quarter in the city, for shooting purposes.

Furthermore, the Upper Crescent area in Belfast and its curving row of three-storeyed homes stand in for Regency London in the show. Besides ‘Tom Jones,’ its locales have been featured in numerous other film projects, including ‘Christopher and His Kind,’ ‘Closing the Ring,’ ‘The Virtues,’ and ‘Derry Girls.’

County Down, Northern Ireland

To tape several key portions for ‘Tom Jones,’ the filming unit travels to Northern Ireland’s County Down. In October 2021, the cast and crew were spotted recording a few scenes in the village of Saintfield, specifically around the former H and J McRoberts Bar in Main Street. They also utilize the majestic interiors of Castle Ward, an 18th Century mansion owned by the National Trust, as well as Grey Abbey House, a Georgian-style country house on the Ards Peninsula.

In addition, the locales of the town of Downpatrick feature in the show. For instance, several pivotal sequences are recorded in and around the Judges’ Lodgings near Down County Museum on The Mall, English Street in Downpatrick, with the museum’s Ballykinlar Hut serving as a filming site for some interior scenes. On top of it, many scenes are taped on the premises of the grand Myra Castle near Downpatrick, constructed in 1844.

In November 2021, the location manager John Vaughan had quite a few things to say to The Down Recorder about choosing Downpatrick as one of the filming locations for ‘Tom Jones.’ He explained, “The Judges’ Lodgings were a perfect location for what we needed, even though they were built in towards the end of the Georgian period and the Tom Jones story was written in the Regency period. We also used the Ballykinlar Hut at the museum, which gave us two locations for one site.”

Other Locations in Northern Ireland

For shooting purposes, the production team of ‘Tom Jones’ also travels to a couple of other locations across Northern Ireland. In County Antrim, they utilize the locales of the village of Gracehill and set up camp in Galgorm Castle in the town of Ballymena. Furthermore, Armagh, the county town of the eponymous county, appears in a few scenes of the period series.

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