Poldark: behind the scenes

The BBC’s award-winning adaptation of Winston Graham's Poldark novels returns for a third season this summer. Once again many of our coastal places in Cornwall take centre stage but there are some newcomers too.

The series follows the return of Ross Poldark, played by Aidan Turner, from the American War of Independence. Finding his Cornwall family home in ruins and his former sweetheart engaged to his cousin, he works to resurrect his fortunes and develops a new love interest.

Historic houses join the cast

As well as the Cornish coastline part of the action in series three takes place at Killewarren the home of Ray Penvenen and his niece Caroline.

Great Chalfield Manor in Wiltshire doubles up as Killewarren and it appealed to the production team because it is still lived in by the original family, the Floyds. This gives ‘Killewarren’ a feeling of warmth and domesticity which couldn’t be recreated in a studio.

Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire, an impressive 17th-century mansion near Bath is another new location to look out for. 

Shining a light on Cornwall’s mining heritage

The fictional family mine that Ross Poldark tries to bring back to prosperity continues to be filmed at Botallack Mine. The derelict stone engine house which clings perilously to the cliff edge, doubles up as Wheal Leisure.

Building Poldark’s Cornwall

Anthony Power, the custodian for Levant Mine and Beam Engine worked closely with the production team to help bring the mines back to life. Levant appears as Tressiders Rolling Mill, where the copper from the Poldark mine is processed. 
 
‘I worked with the designers to advise on how the mine would have looked on the surface in the late 18th century – a difficult task as there are no photographs from that period and not many images.’
 
The crew built new timber structures, including winches to haul buckets of ore to the surface. The roofs of the engine-houses were recreated digitally by the visual effects team.
 
" So much of the piece came alive when we were filming in Cornwall and everyone found their character in the outdoors. "
- Eleanor Tomlinson, actress (Demelza)

Coastal locations inspire Poldark cast

The locations also had an impact on the Poldark cast. ‘So much of the piece came alive when we were filming in Cornwall and everyone found their character in the outdoors,’ said Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays Demelza Carne, Poldark’s love interest.
 
This article first appeared in the autumn 2016 edition of National Trust Magazine. Original author - Helen Beer.
The surface remains of Levant Mine, near St Just, Cornwall, including stacks and beam engine houses

Visit Poldark's Cornwall 

Ever wondered where the windswept cliff scenes in Poldark were filmed? Or whether you can visit the secret coves and mines? Here's the inside knowledge on where to go and see the locations for yourself.