Town switches centuries

First published in News

FILMING got under way in Corsham on Monday for a new TV drama based on the Thomas Hardy novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

The BBC production was shooting for just one day in the town and involved three scenes.

Two were shot at Corsham Court, one in an outbuilding, portrayed as a schoolroom, and the other in Church Street featuring a horse and trap.

James Methuen-Campbell, 55, who owns Corsham Court estate said: "This is really the first filming we have permitted inside the gates.

"We get around 12 filming requests a year but most of them want to film inside the house, which we don't allow because of the damage such large film crew could cause. We have so many antiques that could be damaged.

"These things are irreplaceable. That is why we accepted this filming request as it did not require the house, just the grounds."

The crew later filmed the final outdoor scene in Church Street, which has been transformed, with a gravelled road and temporary front doors to change the street into a Victorian setting.

Actors and actresses who are featuring in the drama include new Bond girl Gemma Arterton playing Tess Durbeyfield and Eddie Redmayne, who starred in The Other Boleyn Girl.

Other cast members include actress Ruth Jones, from Little Britain and Gavin and Stacey, playing Joan Durbeyfield and Hans Matheson who appeared in The Tudors on BBC2.

It took 120 BBC crew members and extras to produce the scenes in Corsham.

Flurries of snow during the afternoon caused a few pauses in filming but otherwise the day ran smoothly.

A crew member said: "The filming has run smoothly with no major problems.

We will have to pause if the weather gets too bad but we plan to have everything finished in Corsham today.'' Filming will continue in the hamlet of Easton, near Corsham later in the week.

The film crew will then move to film on location in Dorset to complete the drama.

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