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Visit the settings of Wolf Hall

Crimson Bedroom at Montacute House, Somerset, featured in Wolf Hall
The Crimson Bedroom at Montacute House, Somerset, featured in Wolf Hall | © National Trust Images, Nadia Mackenzie

Houses packed with history starred in the BAFTA-winning BBC drama Wolf Hall. Based on Hilary Mantel’s novels, the drama brings the Tudor period to life with the help from special places in our care. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s closest advisor, during his meteoric rise.

Locations in the Wolf Hall TV series

Montacute House, Somerset

Montacute represents Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII’s main London seat and the site of Anne Boleyn’s arrest in Wolf Hall. The Elizabethan mansion’s extensive grounds provided a spectacular backdrop to jousting scenes and hosted the dazzling Royal tent.

Montacute was also used as a filming location for Johnny Depp movie The Libertine, plus Sense and Sensibility, based on Jane Austen’s novel, starring Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson.

Barrington Court, Somerset

Free from collections and furniture, the spacious interiors of Barrington Court were dressed in the drama to become York Place, the home of Cromwell’s mentor and friend Cardinal Wolsey.

Saved from ruin and restored by the Lyle family in the 1920s, the manor house features the wood-panelled Long Gallery, which, in Tudor times, would have provided a space for indoor exercise.

Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

The exteriors of Lacock Abbey double as Wolf Hall, the Seymour family seat, in the TV series. Founded in the 13th century as an Augustinian nunnery, Henry VIII sold the abbey to one of his courtiers, Sir William Sharington, who converted it into a house following the dissolution of the monasteries.

Lacock Abbey has also appeared in BBC dramas Cranford, The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, and in the Harry Potter films as Hogwarts.

‘The advantages of filming in a historic location are massive. It also helps the actors, if they’re stepping into the buildings that Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell walked around in, it helps bring a realness to the project.  ‘The National Trust was very supportive, and around 40% of the overall shoot was at Trust places.’ 

A quote by Mark Pybus Wolf Hall producer

Chastleton House, Oxfordshire

Chastleton’s small stone courtyard provided the location for the dramatic scenes from Cromwell’s miserable childhood in Putney.

Chastleton’s interiors represent Wolf Hall itself, the Seymour family seat. Built by a rich wool merchant between 1607 and 1612, the house has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 400 years.

Great Chalfield Manor and Garden, Wiltshire

The interiors of Great Chalfield Manor stood in for Austin Friars, Thomas Cromwell’s home, a happy place teeming with in-laws and wards, nieces and nephews and painters.

This moated manor house, built between 1465 and 1480 for Thomas Tropenell, has also featured TV shows Lark Rise to Candleford and Tess of the D’Urbervilles, plus in the period film The Other Boleyn Girl.

Horton Court, Gloucestershire

Grade I listed manor house Horton Court doubled up as the exterior of Austin Friars, Cromwell’s adult home, on screen in Wolf Hall.

Sitting on the edge of the rolling Cotswolds, the 16th-century manor house was built from the remains of a Norman hall. Horton Court also appeared on the BBC TV series Poldark.

The Vyne, Hampshire

Built for Lord Sandys, Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain, the Vyne is mentioned in Wolf Hall during a conversation between Thomas Cromwell and Mary Tudor.

In the book, Cromwell tells Mary that her father the King intends to visit Lord Sandys to see his ‘handsome new gallery’, which remains the same as Henry VIII would have seen it hundreds of years ago.

Sutton House, London

Sutton House in Hackney was built in 1535 by Ralph Sadler, who rose to be a prominent member of Henry VIII’s court, and also served Edward VI and Elizabeth I.

Ralph Sadler is an important character in Wolf Hall (and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies), he joined Cromwell’s household as a child and later wed his wife Helen Barre, who worked as a laundress for the family.

Supporting special places

As well as showing off beautiful locations, filming directly benefits the places 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.

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