Tredegar House transformed into army garrison for Journey’s End
One hundred years from the end of the First World War, the film adaptation of Journey’s End will transport viewers back to those dark days. Originally a play from 1928, Journey’s End tells the story of the British army in the final year of the war.
Journey's End opens in cinemas on 2 February.
In 2016 Tredegar House, in southern Wales, became the location for the British Army’s World War One base in northern France, for the filming of Journey's End. With 90 acres of parkland surrounding the grand 17th-century house, the expanse of green was the ideal choice for the garrison scenes.
" With so much open space the parkland at Tredegar House offered us the scale we needed to open the film, while also conceivably passing for northern France. "
For two days in November, the parkland and stables became the bustling location for tents, marquees, military vehicles, horses and around 100 supporting actors. Those with a keen eye might spot that the Stable Hall was transformed into a General’s Office.
To capture the essence of what life was like for soldiers, the extras, many of whom were local re-enactors, camped out overnight.
" The parkland is open all year round and it was a great surprise for some of our regular local visitors to see it transformed into the garrison"
In 2017, Tredegar House underwent an extensive conservation programme to replace 35 tonnes of Welsh slate on the roof, rebuild the chimneys and replace roof timbers. This vital work ensures that the house remains weathertight and that the collections inside are saved for future generations to enjoy. The cost of this conservation work was supported by income from the filming of Journey’s End.
Featuring Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Tom Sturridge, Asa Butterfield and Stephen Graham Journey’s End opens in cinemas on 2 February.
" It was wonderful to see the property dressed for a big production and to see the stables in use. We look forward to seeing Tredegar House on the big screen."
The many stories of war
While Tredegar House and its occupants escaped the ravages of the First World War, many of the houses now in our care, and the people that lived and worked there, were not so lucky.
Some of the most notable connections to the Great War were experienced at Powis where the death of heir Percy Clive in 1916 had tragic consequences for the family. Similar stories occurred at Stourhead and Llanhydrock.
It wasn’t just the people from country estates that were involved in the First World War, the places themselves were. Clandon Park in Surrey, Dunham Massey in Cheshire and Attingham in Shropshire, all opened their doors to the wounded, through conversion to military hospitals. In this way more than 5,500 soldiers were cared for at these properties.
At Overbeck’s and Basildon Park wounded soldiers from battles throughout the First World War recovered in these homes, which had been transformed into convalescent hospitals.