How Downton Abbey's use of Wentworth Woodhouse and North Yorkshire Moors Railway boosts region's film credentials

Downton Abbey will "reinforce the compelling offer" Yorkshire has for film producers as the movie is released to audiences across the UK, said a regional screen industry leader.

The movie off-shoot of the ITV series hits cinemas today after filming took place at locations such as North Yorkshire Moors Railway (including Pickering Railway Station), Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, Little Germany in Bradford, Harewood House in Leeds and Dalton Mills in Keighley, while Highclere Castle in Berkshire continues to serve as the key country house location.
Sally Joynson, chief executive of Screen Yorkshire, whose film office worked with producers on locations for the movie, believes a brand as high-profile Downton Abbey making use of the region will further strengthen the area's growing reputation in the industry.
She said: "It's very opulent and the story looks great. For fans of the TV series this feature film is going to play very well with them.

The ballroom scene in the Downton Abbey film was shot at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rortherham. Credit: Screen Yorkshire.

The ballroom scene in the Downton Abbey film was shot at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rortherham. Credit: Screen Yorkshire.

"It's undoubtedly a movie that's going to look very very opulent and sumptuous on screen."

"A big brand like Downton Abbey, which features Yorkshire as part of that production, is always going to be an important project to be a part of.

"It reinforces the compelling offer that Yorkshire has when it comes to filming."

She added: "Getting something on the scale, profile and prestige of Downton Abbey is always going to feel like a big win."

Screen Yorkshire's Sally Joynson. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Screen Yorkshire's Sally Joynson. Picture: Tony Johnson.

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Staff from the film office, which gets about 30 "major enquiries" a month, worked closely with production on locations.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway is featured in the opening scenes - Pickering Railway Station which doubles for London’s Kings Cross - while a ballroom sequence was we filmed at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.

Mark Ellis, supervising location manager on Downton Abbey, praised the variety of locations in Yorkshire.

He added: "What makes it such a joy to film in Yorkshire is the film friendly attitude wherever you go. From Screen Yorkshire’s Film Office to the staff at the locations where we filmed, everyone was hugely accommodating and switched onto the needs of a film crew."