Home > Films > J > Jabberwocky

Tuesday December 11th 2018

Jabberwocky | 1977

Jabberwocky filming location: Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Jabberwocky location: Gilliam's view of the muddy Middle Ages: Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Taking its name, but little else, from Lewis Carroll, Terry Gilliam’s imaginative, blood and mud-soaked Dark Ages fantasy paved the way for Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

Poor apprentice Dennis Cooper (Michael Palin) determines to prove himself in order to win his love, Griselda Fishfinger (Annette Badland), and eventually finds himself pitted against the titular monster which is terrorising a whole community.

The medieval locales are conjured up from two separate castles in South Wales.

One is Chepstow Castle, Chepstow, Gwent, near the M4 Severn Bridge on the England-Wales border. The southernmost of a chain of castles built in the Welsh Marches (the Welsh/English border), Chepstow dates from 1067 and is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. It's now managed by Cadw, the Welsh government heritage body, and open to the public.

Jabberwocky filming location: Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Jabberwocky location: Gilliam's view of the muddy Middle Ages: Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales

The other is Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, down towards Wales’ southwest tip, a mere youngster dating from 1093, and renowned as the birth place of King Henry VII and thus the Tudor dynasty.

Pembroke has also been seen in 1968 historical drama The Lion In Winter, with Katharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole, and in YA weepie Me Before You.

Dennis finally confronts the terrifying Jabberwock at Bosherston Quarry, about seven miles south of Pembroke.