Oakwell Hall is providing the back-drop for a major new BBC drama series.
For the past few months the museum in Nutter Lane, Birstall, has played host to a star-studded cast including Marc Warren, a familiar face as professional trickster Danny Blue in the hit BBC series Hustle, Samuel West, whose credits include Mr Selfridge and Fleming, Wuthering Heights actress Charlotte Riley, Enzon Cilenti, who starred in Prisoners of Wives and Rome and Paul Kaye, from Game of Thrones and Stella.
Scene setters transformed the hall from a beautiful Elizabethan manor – built by former inhabitant John Batt – into the spooky, magical and vine-covered Starecross Hall for the period drama Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell, based on Susanna Clarke’s best-selling novel.
Oakwell’s heritage manager Eric Brown said: “It has all been quite a rush, but we were really excited to have the BBC here. Filming took place in the great hall, the great parlour, on the staircases and outside of the hall.
“The BBC used props to make the front of the hall look overgrown with a vine coming through the front window. It looked fantastic and I can’t wait to see it on the BBC at Christmas.”
Oakwell Hall has previously appeared in ITV’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights and The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister.
The new seven-part series featuring Eddie Marsan and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel as Strange and Norrell has since moved to York, where the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey stuns the city by making the statues of York Cathedral speak and move.
Directed by Toby Haynes, filming for the series, set during the Napoleonic wars, will also take place at St Mary's Church, Otley, Appletreewick, Canada and Croatia.
Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire, said: “Oakwell Hall is a stunning period location with dramatic and imposing features that have been painstakingly restored and are going to look fantastic on screen.
“Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is the largest scale project that Screen Yorkshire has invested in and it will spend four months shooting in the region at an incredible range of locations across North and West Yorkshire including York, Leeds, Ripley, Wakefield, Bradford District and Rotherham.”