Back in August 2011 a scaffolding ramp was erected down onto Marloes Sands, a field commandeered, portable stables set up and for four days in Septemeber 100 horses and 500 extras spilled onto the beach at low tide to do battle with practical effects while helicopters filmed overhead.
I’d wondered for some years how the colossal battle scenes in The Lion in Winter were filmed on the beach, given that there’s only sand for a couple of hours either side of low tide. I’d heard that bulldozers had been employed to cover rocks, and the filming of Snow White and the Huntsman revealed that this was the least of the logistical arrangements needed for a beach that is half a mile for the nearest (narrow back) road.
Anyway, I’ve been fascinated with films that have used the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, and as I’ve begun to build up a collection, I’ve started to discover more. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has a list that has filled in a few gaps for me, though it has some omissions itself. Sometimes discovery has been more luck – I didn’t know Their Finest had filmed in the county until I spotted Porthgain up there on the big screen, and I found out about Moby Dick from a paving at Goodwick. I’ve only just spotted this very comprehensive list posted in January on the website for Warren Farm (where we were very hospitably offered refreshment as we passed on our coast path walk).
Some of the films inextricably associated with Pembrokeshire themselves (Third Star was going to be called Barafundle Bay) while for others its just a convenient substitute (the coastguard hut in the Deer Park as Camelot…)
Here’s my list as it is now – corrections and additions welcomed.
- Moby Dick* (1956) Goodwick and Fishguard
- Fury at Smugglers’ Bay* (1961) Abereiddi
- The Lion in Winter (1968) Marloes Sands and Pembroke Castle
- Under Milk Wood (1972) Fishguard Harbour
- Jabberwocky (1977) Pembroke Castle and Bosherston Quarry
- I Capture the Castle (2003) Manorbier Castle
- I’ll Sleep when I’m Dead* (2003) Fishguard and the Preselis
- The Edge of Love* (2008) Tenby
- Robin Hood* (2010) Freshwater West
- Third Star (2010) Bosherston Lily Ponds, Dale Airfield, Martin’s Haven, loads of other places and of course Barafundle Bay
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) Freshwater West
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) Freshwater West
- Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) Marloes Sands
- Under Milk Wood/Dan y Wenallt* (2014) Solva
- Their Finest (2016) Porthgain, Freshwater West and Cresswell Quay
- The Chronicles of Narnia (1988-90) Manorbier Castle (and the Dawn Treader was in Milford Haven)
- Merlin (1998) The Deer Park
- Vanity Fair* (1998) Tenby (in the role of ‘Brighton’)
- The Sarah Jane Adventures: Lost in Time (2010) Freshwater West
- The Hollow Crown: Richard II* (2011) Whitesands
- Sherlock: The Final Problem (2017) St Catherine’s Island
* Things I’ve not yet seen