Peaky Blinders: Where Was It Filmed & Can You Visit?
The BBC’s Peaky Blinders burst onto the scene in 2013, sparking a nationwide fascination with mob culture and the torrid underbelly of 1920s Britain. With the final season just days away, we take a look back at some of the show’s most iconic filming locations, which span the Midlands and North of England.
Warning: there will be spoilers in this article from previous series’ of the show.
Where Was Peaky Blinders Filmed?
Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
Featured: Series 1 – 5
Opened in 1978, this open-air collection of renovated industrial buildings serves as Charlie Strong’s scrap metal yard throughout the whole show. Dubbed ‘our Peaky home’ by series creator Steven Knight, the venue has seen its fair share of ups, downs and fisticuffs since its debut on Peaky Blinders.
In reality, the scrap yard is the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley. An industrial museum open year-round to history buffs and energetic families, it fits right in with the gritty aesthetic of the BBC show. The areas of the venue that feature prominently in Peaky Blinders include the Boat Dock (which doubles as the stables for the Shelby horses), The Blacksmith’s Forge, the Canal Street Bridge (where Ada would meet Freddie Thorne in the first series) and the Worker’s Institute (which stood in for a warehouse filled with armoured vehicles in Series three).
You can visit the Black Country Museum throughout the year to step back in time and get a taste of industrial Britain. bclm.com
Powis Street, Liverpool
Featured: Series 1 – 3
The Peaky Blinders are shown rising from rags to riches throughout the show, but their roots remain in Small Heath, Birmingham. The old, red-brick streets truly transport the show back to the early 20th century, with a CGI backdrop used to show the looming viaducts and train tracks further into town.
But while the show is set in Manchester, many locations further afield are used to create the Peaky Blinders landscape. Tommy Shelby’s home on Watery Lane was created using a multiple small streets in Liverpool, including Powis Street in the Welsh Streets of Toxteth. The area remained largely unchanged since the 1920s, having been derelict when the show first used it in 2012. But developers have since moved into the area, transforming the street into family homes. You never know, maybe you could bag yourself a Peaky property?
Victoria Baths, Manchester
Featured: Series 2
In series two, Tommy Shelby takes the Peaky Blinders to a horse fair, where he bids on a black mare that later becomes one of his best racehorses. The fair is also where he meets a potential love interest (and later horse trainer), May Carlton.
The fair, which is supposedly set somewhere in London, actually takes place a little further north. Manchester’s Victoria Baths were used as the auction ring for the horses to be paraded around, with sawdust laid down on the floor of one of the pools to hide its real identity.
The Grade II listed former swimming baths are open to the public from March to November, with guided tours around the building available to book. victoriabaths.org.uk
Port Sunlight, the Wirral
Featured: Series 2 – 4
Many fans will remember the moment in series two when Tommy gifted the Shelby matriarch, Polly Gray, a house for her and her son, Michael, to live in. The Tudor-style row of houses in Sutton Coldfield were a stark contrast to the gritty streets of Small Heath, and featured in multiple episodes of the show.
The houses are actually located in the north west of England, in the Wirral. The model village used to double as Polly’s home is Port Sunlight, which was built in the late 1800s as living quarters for workers at a nearby factory.
You can visit the area, and the Port Sunlight Museum, any time throughout the year. portsunlightvillage.com
Arley Hall, Northwich, Cheshire
Featured: Series 3 – 5
The imposing Shelby Estate, acquired by Tommy in series three, witnesses the darker turn of the Peaky Blinders storyline. Weddings, deaths, fights and even a few police arrests all take place here – an we expect this to continue in the final season. The exterior is often used for gloomy shots, heightening tensions in the storyline and highlighting the bloody cost of success for the Shelby family.
Arley Hall, a sprawling country house in Cheshire, doubles as the imposing Shelby residence. The Grade II listed building was built in 1832 and the grounds have been home to Viscount Ashbrook and his family for over 500 years.
Fans can visit Arley Hall – as well as the grounds, library, office, dining room and drawings rooms used in the show – throughout the year (although it’s best to check on the website when the house is open). Those wanting a bit of extra magic during their visit can also catch the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience, which is located in the surrounding woodland. arleyhallandgardens.com
Hawthorn Bank Cottage, Tatton Estate, Cheshire
Featured: Series 4
The fourth series of Peaky Blinders begins with the family becoming estranged from one another, with Arthur and John having both retreated to the countryside after abandoning the gang lifestyle. The eldest Shelby brother, Arthur, is shown living quietly in a small, chocolate box cottage with his wife, Linda, and their child – although this doesn’t remain the case for long.
Known in the real world as the Hawthorn Bank Cottage, the building used for filming is actually a holiday rental located near Tatton Park in Cheshire. Set on the vast estate, the cottage is in the perfect spot if you want to visit other filming locations in Liverpool, the Wirral and Manchester.
Fans of the show can book a stay in Arthur Shelby’s house (and see a little behind the scenes action) on the Tatton website. tattonstays.co.uk
Rochdale Town Hall
Featured: Series 4 & 5
By series four, Tommy has pulled himself up to the ranks of politician, working in the House of Commons and later serving as Labour MP for Birmingham. Consequently, many scenes come back to the Shelby leader navigating the offices, halls and corridors of Parliament.
The location of choice for filming these scenes was Rochdale Town Hall, whose Gothic architecture, tall ceilings and ornate wooden panelling made it a perfect location double.
Unfortunately, Rochdale Town Hall is currently closed for business while renovations take place – but you should be able to visit when it reopens in 2023. rochdale.gov.uk
Featured: Series 5
The chilling final scenes of series five take place in Bingley Hall, Birmingham, with politician Oswald Mosley giving a speech in aid of his newly formed party, the British Union of Fascists. The scene, which delivers some of the most heart-stopping moments of the series, is also one of the show’s darkest and most dramatic.
Stockport Plaza was used as a double for Bingley Hall in the show, and was redecorated with political campaign posters and aged fixtures to take it back to the 1930s.
Today, you can catch a show, host a wedding or visit the Plaza Café for a light bite. stockportplaza.co.uk
Featured image: Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby (c) Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd. – Photographer: Matt Squire
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