Shropshire castle to be filming location for new movie starring Billie Piper

A south Shropshire castle has been chosen as a filming location for a new movie starring Billie Piper.

Stokesay Castle near Craven Arms is a principle filming location in the adaption of Catherine, Called Birdy
Stokesay Castle near Craven Arms is a principle filming location in the adaption of Catherine, Called Birdy

Working Title is currently shooting the adaptation of a popular historical fiction novel, Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman at Stokesay Castle near Craven Arms.

Lena Dunham is the writer and director for the film which follows the adventures of a 14 year-old girl in medieval England, as she navigates through life and hopes to avoid potential suitors her father has in mind.

Variety reported in March that the film would see Game of Thrones' breakout star Bella Ramsey, 17, in the leading role, with Fleabag's Andrew Scott and I Hate Suzie's Billie Piper starring as Catherine's parents.

English Heritage said the castle was specifically chosen for the production as it is one of the most intact and well-preserved medieval castles in the country and it offers the perfect backdrop, combining both complete interiors and beautiful gardens. Building was completed on the castle in 1291 which is when the story is set.

Filming will take place between March and May during which Stokesay Castle will be fully closed to the public.

Billie Piper is set to star in the movie

Bosses at English Heritage said it is exciting news and will help more people to discover Stokesay Castle, but they offered apologies for anyone hoping to visit.

They also said English Heritage is a charity and every penny it receives from hosting this production will go towards looking after Stokesay Castle and the other historic sites in its care, many of which are open for free.

Rebecca Eade, Historic Properties Director for Stokesay Castle said: “We’re very excited to welcome the cast and crew of the film to Stokesay Castle. The castle’s starring role in such a high-calibre film will mean that more people will discover this beautiful and fascinating property.

"Stokesay Castle will be closed to the public for the duration of the filming. We’re sorry if this causes any inconvenience to any of our visitors. English Heritage is a charity and every penny we receive from this production will go straight back into looking after Stokesay Castle and the other sites in our care."

Award-winning Girls creator, Lena Dunham, adapted the 1994 novel, which is described as a "medieval coming-of-age story".

This is the largest filming project to take place at Stokesay Castle and the production will take in both the interior and exterior of the castle.

For the latest information and up-to-date opening times, check the website www.english-heritage.org.uk/stokesay.

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