FILMING LOCATIONS

The Maldon District regularly features on screen, whether it be on film or television programmes. The landscapes of the Saltmarsh Coast are often used in various films and the district's maritime heritage is usually showcased in documentaries. Movies filmed in the district include 'The Mercy' and 'The Woman in Black', and television programmes include 'Britain at Low Tide', 'Tales from the Coast with Robson Green, 'Liar', 'Great Expectiations' and 'Britain Afloat'.

FILM

Starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, 'The Mercy' is a biographical drama film based on the true story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst. The film was released in cinemas on 9th February 2018 and shows Crowhurst's disastrous attempt to complete the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968 and his subsequent attempts to cover up his failure to complete the journey.

Principal photography for the film began in 2015, and filming locations include Teignmouth in Devon, Malta, and also Maldon. Filming took place at the Down Yard Boat Yard, the Hythe Quay, Heritage Marine and also at the Ironworks Building in May and July 2015.

'The Mercy' was directed by James Marsh, who also directed the multi award-winning film 'The Theory of Everything' (2014) and also the documentary 'Man on Wire' (2008), which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2008.
The 2012 horror film 'The Woman in Black' starred Daniel Radcliffe and was directed by James Watkins. This is the second adaptation of Susan Hill's horror novella of the same name which was published in 1983.

The production moved to several locations in the UK, including Northamptonshire, Yorkshire and Essex. The fictional Nine Lives Causeway leading to Eel Marsh House was filmed at the causeway of Osea Island. The causeway itself was originally built by the Romans, and the island used to be called 'Uvesia.'
Osea Island Causeway

TELEVISION

Channel 4's 'Britain at Low Tide', featured the wrecked barges on the River Blackwater by the Promenade Park in Maldon. On the third episode of the first series, the programme showcases Essex and also the Blackwater Estuary. Throughout the series, Tori Herridge and Alex Langlands explore Britain's coastal archaeology, revealing stories from our extraordinary maritime, industrial and natural history.

The programme also highlights the excellent work that CITiZAN’s (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network) dedicated network of volunteers are doing. CITiZAN is the first systematic national response to the threat of erosion to significant archaeological sites along the coast and its tidal estuaries. The CITiZAN project focuses on exposed archaeological sites such as the remains of prehistoric forests, Roman buildings, ancient salt-working sites, lost medieval ports, fishing settlements, coastal defences from both World Wars and countless abandoned boats, barges and ships.

Barge Graveyard on the Blackwater
BBC's television drama 'Great Expectations' from 2011 was a three-part adaptation of the novel of the same name by Charles Dickens. This drama starred Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, Ray Winstone as Magwitch, Douglas Booth as Pip, Vanessa Kirby as Estella, and also David Suchet as Jaggers.

The production of the drama filmed in Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Kent, Bedfordshire and Essex. The Gargery House/Forge was built on marshland to the east of Tollesbury. Filming also took place on the Tollesbury marshes with Ray Winstone, who played the escaped convict Abel Magwitch.

The beginning of 'Great Expectations' shows Young Pip who is out on the marshes when he meets escaped convict Abel Magwitch, who then tells Pip to steal a file so that he can remove his shackles. When Pip returns with the file, he also brings along a mutton pie with him, much to Magwitch's amazement.
Maldon Mud Race
'Tales from the Coast with Robson Green' featured Maldon and the Blackwater Estuary on its series finale. Robson visited Essex and Suffolk, exploring one of the most varied coastal landscapes in Britain. Filming took place in Maldon where Robson followed the route of the Maldon Mud Race, finding himself knee deep in the mud. The programme also showed numerous aerials shots of the Blackwater Estuary and its saltmarsh landscape.
Tollesbury Saltmarshes
Discover Tollesbury, as seen on ITVs 'Liar' which is a psychological thriller about a teacher and a surgeon who go on a date that has far-reaching consequences for the couple and the people around them as lies and secrets are revealed.

Joanne Froggatt, known from Downton Abbey, plays Laura Nielson who is a dedicated teacher unsure about getting back on the dating scene. Ioan Gruffudd, known from Fantastic Four, plays Andrew Earlham, a handsome and renowned surgeon whose son is a pupil at Laura's school.

The opening scene of the drama was filmed in Tollesbury and features Laura kayaking through the saltmarshes at high tide. There are several panoramic shots of Tollesbury's landscapes throughout the show. A crucial moment of the series was filmed in the dark boat shed and subsequent scenes showcase the sail lofts and Tollesbury Marina.

The shocking finale to the series again features Tollesbury saltmarshes, this time at low tide and it was reportedly the toughest scene to shoot. Work has already begun on the second series, and it is possible that production will return to Tollesbury to resolve the cliffhanger ending.

THAMES SAILING BARGES

Thames Sailing Barges at the Hythe Quay
The iconic Thames Sailing Barges have featured both on film and on television. The barge Xylonite was used in Christopher Nolan's WWII blockbuster 'Dunkirk'. The film depicts the Dunkirk evacuation of Allied soldiers, code-named Operation Dynamo, which took place in 1940. The barge Xylonite wasn't actually involved in the Dunkirk evacuation but was used for filming due to its more historically accurate interior.

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust's barge Pudge took part in the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940, and though an explosion lifted Pudge out of the water, the barge managed to take survivors onboard and return to England. The trust's barge Centaur went to Dover to join the other ships preparing for the evacuation, but was unfortunately damaged by another vessel whilst berthed there and was unable to cross the Channel.

The barges were also shown on BBC's 'Britain Afloat' which was a six part series exploring the regional distinctiveness of boat design around the country. The Thames Sailing Barges of Maldon were featured on the documentary and detailed the barge's history of trade around London and the South East coast.