Troll in the cloisters? The UK’s most beautiful cathedrals used in famous films
22 November 2021, 12:28
Some of the UK’s most famous cathedrals have featured in blockbuster film projects.
As well as being places of worship, cathedrals, abbeys and ancient monasteries, have served as the stunning backdrops to many films and TV series.
Here are some of our favourites, from across the UK...
This historic building is maybe most recognisable from the Harry Potter franchise, where it portrays part of the wizarding school, Hogwarts.
A famous shot at the cathedral sees a troll going on a rampage through the cloisters in the first film of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The cathedral has also been the setting of other major productions, including Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan’s hit tudor-period film Mary Queen of Scots, and the Sky fantasy drama A Discovery of Witches.
Ely Cathedral is a favourite venue among producers, with multiple high-profile productions having filmed at this grand Cambridgeshire venue.
Described by critics as one of the ‘best horror movies of the 1970s’, The Omen features Guildford Cathedral as one of its stars.
The isolated and plain exterior of this Surrey cathedral, adds to the unsettling nature of a scene in which the primary antagonist, Damian, has a tantrum as the main family arrives in a car outside of the cathedral.
The cathedral is also rumoured to feature in the new Netflix series, DC Comics 'The Sandman', as Guildford Live reported multiple instances of film crews working at the location earlier this year.
York Minster is one of the largest cathedrals of its kind in Northern Europe. It has featured in multiple television series including ITV’s historical drama, Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman.
The Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, better known as Westminster Abbey, is a large church in the City of Westminster, London.
The scenic remains of Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, made the perfect backdrop for the 1993, and 2020 film of the same name, The Secret Garden.
In the 2020 adaptation, the ancient abbey ruins were transformed into a sunken temple complete with vine-covered walls.
The ruins also featured in the Channel 5 psychological thriller, Anne Boleyn, and the location is pegged to appear in season 2 of Netflix’s fantasy-drama, The Witcher.
Founded in 1128, Waverley Abbey in Surrey was the first Cistercian monastery (order of catholic monks) to be established in Britain.
The ruins of this building have featured in multiple high-profile productions including the zombie flick, 28 Days Later, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and the 2017 remake of The Mummy.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Another iconic London landmark for our list is St Paul’s Cathedral. The original church on this site was founded in AD 604, and the current cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, has dominated the capital’s skyline for over 300 years.
Films such as Marvel’s, Thor: The Dark World, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock Holmes, have all featured the cathedral.