Skip to content

Filming at Rainham Hall

Guy Pearce as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, filmed at Rainham Hall, London
Guy Pearce as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, filmed at Rainham Hall, London | © BBC

Rainham Hall, a striking Georgian townhouse on London’s eastern fringes, has featured in films, music videos and TV programmes. The hall and courtyard provided the backdrop for the BBC's adaptation of A Christmas Carol, starring Guy Pearce and Andy Serkis.

A Christmas Carol at Rainham Hall

Rainham Hall proved to be the perfect backdrop for the BBC’s 2019 adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale. Once home to an early 18th-century merchant, Rainham stands in as the home of Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly and cold-hearted moneylender who finds himself haunted by ghosts on a freezing Christmas Eve.

Stars including Guy Pearce, Stephen Graham and Andy Serkis were frequently on set for the filming, which mostly took place at night. Film studies students from a local school also came to visit the site and meet the production team.

Why Rainham Hall was chosen

Rainham Hall and garden was chosen as a setting for A Christmas Carol due to its versatility as a site and its impressive appearance. The Hall is perfect as Scrooge’s house due to its grand and imposing demeanour but also an appropriate size to be a London townhouse.

A Wintery scene outside Rainham Hall for the BBC's A Christmas Carol using artificial snow and shrubbery
A Wintery scene outside Rainham Hall for the BBC's A Christmas Carol | © BBC

Built in 1729, Rainham Hall has been home to nearly 50 different families and inhabitants which means that the hall does not have an indigenous collection of furniture relating to any era in its history. As such there is a changing exhibition programme in the hall. This makes it a very adaptable site for filming where it is possible for rooms and outdoor areas to be dressed in a way which suits the filming company.

The main entrance of the hall was transformed into Scrooge’s sitting room and the beautiful mahogany staircase came into its own. The area outside the front of the hall, the exterior of the stable block and the courtyard was covered in artificial snow and wintery shrubbery. During the filming the courtyard was filled with carts, barrels and even artificial horse manure for a street market scene.

Made in Dagenham at Rainham Hall

Rainham Hall also makes an appearance in the 2010 film Made in Dagenham. The community garden doubled as the garden of No. 10 Downing Street where the character Barbara Castle, played by Miranda Richardson, meets with Prime Minister Harold Wilson, played by John Sessions. The area of the garden at the back of the stable block where the café is situated can be spotted throughout the scenes.

Supporting special places

As well as showing off beautiful locations, filming directly benefits the places in our care that star in the production. The income from location fees goes straight back into conservation work to care for historic houses and landscapes, so that we’ll all be able to see them both on screen and in real life for years to come.

You might also be interested in

The entrance gate and Corinthian porch at Rainham Hall, London

Things to see and do at Rainham Hall 

Discover plenty to see and do at Rainham Hall including 300-year-old interiors, changing exhibitions with historical interpretation and a community garden full of seasonal interest.

Staff member and visitor at Rainham Hall, London

Exhibitions at Rainham Hall 

Find out about the current exhibitions at Rainham.

Footpath in the garden, Crook Hall Gardens, County Durham

Enjoy a Summer walk around Rainham Hall Community Garden 

Wander around the community garden this summer or discover walking routes to Rainham Hall, taking in nature reserves, river walks and varied urban green spaces. Routes are part of the London Loop and connected to public transport.

Exterior view of Rainham Hall, London

The history of Rainham Hall 

Piece together the history of Rainham Hall. From a shipping merchant to a Vogue photographer, discover some of the people who lived, worked and played here over nearly 400 years.

Staff member leading a group tour at Rainham Hall, London

Our work at Rainham Hall 

Discover how we started with a blank canvas and interpreted the patchwork history of Rainham Hall, and how we continue to care for this important building.

Volunteer pruning fruit trees in the garden at Rainham Hall, London

Volunteer opportunities at Rainham Hall 

Find out how you can volunteer at this elegant Georgian home. Help to bring the stories of Rainham to life. Support the work in the garden for all visitors to enjoy and make some new friends at the same time.

Visitors walking in the parkland in summer at Lyme Park, Cheshire

Group or school visits to Rainham Hall 

Rainham Hall offers a great day out for small groups, schools and self-led visits. Find out how to get the most from your day.

A large metal cauldron in the middle of a room at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Holiday to a film location 

Fancy taking a break somewhere you've seen on screen? From The Secret Garden to Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, many of the places we care for have been filming locations for much-loved movies and TV shows.