The long-awaited filming began in Lacock yesterday as Dame Judi Dench completed her first scenes in TV's latest period drama.

The actress donned 19th century costume of full bonnet and floor-length dress as she wandered around the High Street.

The village is owned by the National Trust and virtually unchanged from the 18th century, with Cotswold stone cottages and a ban on modern appliances such as satellite dishes and telephone wires.

Lacock has been used as a location for much filming over the year, including Harry Potter.

Locals are being given £100 if their house is affected and residents were also given the chance to sign up as extras for the BBC's new adaptation of The Cranford Chronicles, the reworking of three of Elizabeth Gaskell's most popular novels.

Lacock is doubling as a fictional Cheshire market town in the 19th century and Dame Judi is portraying spinster Miss Matty Jenkyns.

Chairman of the tenants' association Leo Stevens, who's he same age as Dame Judy at 72, said: "I am glad so many locals are taking part.

"It means that when filming takes place we are part of it instead of people just taking over the place. It's nothing new to us seeing filming here."