Slideshow: The Locations of Poldark
From the blue Cornish sea to a stately manor, the locations of
Poldark are a captivating blend of gorgeous and rugged--just like the roguish romantic himself! Get an insider look at the real-life locations that brought this beloved saga to life.
Stay tuned for the final episodes of
Poldark, as the season finale airs on Sunday, August 2, 2015 at 9/8c; catch-up watching full episodes online, for a limited time.
Fancy a dip? Make like Ross Poldark, and head to Porthgwarra Cove! This lovely local swimming spot once served as a valued fishing hole. The cove was hollowed out by miners, to allow local farmers an easier way to harvest seaweed for fertilizer. In
Poldark, the cove is featured when Ross takes his infamous sea swim, and later in Episode 4 when the community comes together to harvest a haul of pilchards.
Built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Chavenage House sits in the county of Gloucestershire, and represents Elizabeth and Francis’ residence of Trenwith.
The estate is still occupied by its owners, so the crew took special care to cover all signs of modern occupants, such as light switches and radiators. They also added some period-specific touches true to the lavish lifestyle of the Poldarks, including a 30 candle chandelier. “The film crews knew exactly what they wanted,” said Chavenage’s owner Rona Lowsley-Williams, according to the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard (UK). “They took up all the gravel when they came to film in April, then they left and we had to put it back…then when they came back to film in September they took it all up again!”
Multiple other MASTERPIECE productions have been filmed at Chavenage, including
Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Dracula, Wolf Hall, and Poirot.
The Wheal Crowns and Wheal Owles Mines
A few of Cornwall’s historical mines were used to represent the exteriors of the mines in
Poldark, including Wheal Owles mine (used for Wheal Leisure) and Wheal Crowns mine (used for Wheal Grambler). Poldark director Ed Bazalgette felt the mines used for the series captured the rough-and-ready spirit of Cornwall, telling the Radio Times (UK), “Wheal Crowns perches perilously close to a precipice. In one image we were able to capture the jeopardy and danger the characters in Poldark faced throughout their lives.”
Cornish mines share the name “wheal,” the ancient Cornish word for ‘hole.’ Though the mines borrowed this simple name, the structures themselves were incredibly complex. For example, an entry from the 1873 edition of the Kelly’s Directory (a trade publication) states that in the Wheal Owles mine, “there are 33 miles of underground workings...The 3 or 4 principal shafts are 190 fathoms (1200 feet) deep.” Because both mines sit on the coast, their underground shafts extend under the ocean for over a mile.
Corsham and Charlestown, UK
Though much of the
Poldark lore takes place in the Cornish town of Truro, the real-life village looks much too modern nowadays, so the nearby Corsham (in Wiltshire) and Cornish port Charlestown acted as stand-ins. Poldark scenes in which Ross heads to Truro to conduct business and rally investors—such as the scene when he first meets Demelza—all took place in the two villages.
To turn modern day bustle into 18th century charm, the crew removed street signs, put new facades on storefronts, and covered the existing tarmac with a layer of dirt.
Lark Rise to Candleford and MASTERPIECE's Tess of the D’Urbervilles both filmed in Corsham, while Charlestown has been featured in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
The Poldark Mine Museum
In the new
Poldark, underground mining scenes were filmed in “The Poldark Mine,” a museum that once served as a filming location for the 1977 Poldark series. On filming in such an unusual, subterranean location, series star Aidan Turner said, “It’s…really scary. I mean it’s dark and dangerous…it gives you the heebie-jeebies going down there. I can’t imagine working there in the day with a candle…And then if that went out, you couldn’t see a thing. You were crawling back up again.”
The museum opened in 1972, and began as a simple collection of mining equipment. But when an abandoned tin mine was discovered below the property in 1974, its old tunnels were cleared and restored to enable public access. It is now the only complete, underground Cornish mine open to the public.