Mary, Queen of Scots, 1971


Mark Steven Johnson


visit the film locations

Northumberland: Alnwick Castle. Alnwick is 33 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and 80 miles south of Edinburgh (both served by international airports). (rail: East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross)

Bamburgh Castle, between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Berwick-on-Tweed

Sussex: Parham House, Storrington, near Pulborough, on the A283 about 10 miles northwest of Worthing (rail: Pulborough). Parham is open to the public on certain days from Easter to the end of October (tel: 01903.744888)

Scotland: Hermitage Castle, near Newcastleton, Roxburghshire. Hermitage is open from April to September (admission charge; tel:013873.762225)


Alnwick Castle is also featured in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, while Bamburgh Castle can be seen in The Devils, historical epic Beckett and Roman Polanski's film of Macbeth.

Mary, Queen of Scots location: Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Mary, Queen of Scots location: the ‘Palace of Holyrood’: Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Sturdy historical pageant, with Glenda Jackson reprising the character she’d played successfully on television in the series Elizabeth R.

The ‘Palace of Holyrood’ is represented by two locations: Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, off the A1, 30 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne – now forever known as the primary location for ‘Hogwarts’ in the Harry Potter movies); and Bamburgh Castle, on the coast a further 16 miles to the north, also seen in Ken Russell’s masterpiece The Devils.

Mary (Vanessa Redgrave) steps ashore at Seahouses, a few miles from Bamburgh.

Filming also took place at Hermitage Castle, on the B6399, ten miles south of Hawick, in the Scottish Borders. Hermitage is open from April to September.

Elizabeth and Mary never met, but what kind of movie would that make? The film’s totally invented confrontation, at ‘Fotheringay Castle’, was filmed at Parham House, Storrington, near Pulborough, on the A283 about 10 miles northwest of Worthing, West Sussex.

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