Oakwell Hall is screen star as BBC crews move in

The BBC are filming a new drama at Oakwell Hall.  (D532A404)
The BBC are filming a new drama at Oakwell Hall. (D532A404)

Oakwell Hall is set to become the star of the small screen after film crews started preparations for a new BBC drama this week.

Film crews have been busy transforming the historic hall into an abandoned site, which will feature in the new period drama Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

Oakwell Hall is transformed for the BBC drama.

Oakwell Hall is transformed for the BBC drama.

And the series, based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Clarke, will form the centre piece of the channel’s 2014 Christmas schedule.

Oakwell’s heritage manager Eric Brown said: “It has all been quite a rush but we are really excited to have the BBC here. They have begun the preparations and brought in all their props to the hall.

“The BBC do some creative sets and will be making the front of the hall look overgrown with a vine coming through the front window. It will look fantastic.”

The period drama tells the story of a time at the beginning of the 19th century, when England no longer believes in practical magic.

But Mr Norrell stuns the city of York, when he brings the minster’s statues to life, and is then invited to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell stars Eddie Marsan, of Best of Men fame and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel, known for roles in Restless, Hidden and Matilda.

Game of Thrones star Paul Kaye and Marc Warren from Hustle and Mad Dogs will also feature.

Oakwell Hall is no stranger to the small screen having featured in ITV’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights as well as The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister.

And Mr Brown said having the BBC film at the hall was good for exposure.

“They come in with these big props and sets but once they have gone, you do not know they have been,” he said.

“Filming will taking place in the great hall, the great parlour, on the staircases and outside of the hall. It will showcase a lot of the hall, which is great.”

Oakwell Hall will be closed today and from February 4-20. The rest of the site including the visitor centre, countryside centre and country park will remain open as usual.

The hall will reopen to visitors on Saturday February 22.