Rainham Hall in the BBC adaptation of A Christmas Carol

Scrooge, played by Guy Pearce, next to the Entrance Hall shutters in the Hall

A star-studded cast including Guy Pearce and Andy Serkis took to the small screen in December 2019, in the BBC One/FX adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Rainham Hall, a striking Georgian townhouse on London’s eastern fringes, provides the perfect backdrop for Dickens' classic tale. Once home to an early 18th century merchant, Rainham stands in as the home of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly and cold-hearted money-lender who find himself haunted by ghosts one freezing Christmas Eve.

Sally Parker, Volunteering and Community Involvement Officer at Rainham Hall, explains the appeal of the Georgian home for the three-part dramatisation.

“Rainham Hall and gardens 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.”

“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 we have 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 the way in which suits the filming company.”

“The main entrance of the Hall was transformed into Scrooge’s sitting room and our beautiful mahogany staircase (dating from when the Hall was built) comes into its own. The area outside the front of the Hall, the exterior of the stable block (where our café is) 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”.

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

Many of the cast including Guy Pearce, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge, were on set for the filming, which mostly took place at night.

As well as an all-star cast, film studies students from a local school came to visit the site and meet the production team, including the locations manager. A local schoolgirl called Thea Achillea plays Scooge's daughter in the show and appeared in episode two.

Not only did A Christmas Carol bring Rainham Hall into the homes of millions during Christmas 2019, the fees from the production will be used to continue the care and conservation of the Grade II listed Hall and its community gardens.

A Christmas Carol was on in three parts over the Christmas break on 22 December at 9pm, 23 December at 9.05pm, and 24 December at 9pm on BBC One and is available to catch up on BBC iPlayer.

Filming tours

Join us for a filming tour of Rainham Hall, as we open our big front door to welcome you to the site of Scrooge’s house in BBC One’s A Christmas Carol 2019. Go behind the scenes with a guide to see where the action happened, have a look at photographs from the filming and, if you want to, recreate Scrooge’s (Guy Pearce’s) photo next to our Entrance Hall shutters. The tours are on Friday 24 January, 2-3pm, and Saturday 25 January 2020, 2-3pm and 3:30-4:30pm, and cost £10pp. Pre-booking online is essential. We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

Our community gardens and café will be available to explore before and after the tour.