Poldark returns to British television screens Spring 2015, tipped to be even more popular than the 1970s series which took the country by storm. However, who or what will you fall for – Ross Poldark, Demelza or the beautiful county of Cornwall?
Based on the novels written by Cornwall based author Winston Graham, the story is set in the 18th century and combines smuggling and romance amidst a backdrop of Cornish tin mines and breathtaking views. Winston Graham lived in Perranporth and adored the rugged north coast Cornish landscape around his home. Researching old Cornish letters and journals, he gained inspiration for his Poldark stories, written from 1945 until 2002.
The new series opens with views across the dramatic cliffs at Lellizzick, near Padstow with the wild moors of Bodmin capturing the essence of Nampara, Ross Poldark’s heart and home, filmed near St Breward. Nampara Cove itself is Porthcothan, close to St Merryn in Padstow whilst some of the rugged cliff views were filmed looking out over the Camel Estuary.
It wasn’t difficult to recreate the Cornish mining landscape with so many former mines and engine houses still visible. Using the sweeping cliffs from Botallack to Levant to set the scene, Levant Mill takes the part of Tressiders Rolling Mill in the series. Moving back to the north coast, the town of St Ann’s was inspired by the charming village of St Agnes with its iconic Wheal Coates engine house which also doubles in the TV series as Nampara Valley.
Bringing the 18th century back to life at Charlestown was easy with the historic harbour, complete with its original tall ships becoming the Cornish capital city of Truro in the series with other scenes being shot in the Wiltshire village of Corsham. However, nothing could be substituted for the Cornish coves, once the haunt of smugglers. Church Cove at Gunwalloe on The Lizard took the part for the night time ship wrecking scenes whilst the crystal clear waters at Porthgwarra also have a starring role.
What is clear is that Winston Graham found a winning combination – a rugged and romantic adventure set in a wild and beautiful location. At least Poldark 2015 won’t have vicars changing the Sunday service times so as to not clash with the tv screenings, as happened in the 1970s. Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark and Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza Carne look like a formidable combination with former Ross Poldark actor, Robin Ellis, also making an appearance. However, if original Poldark fans struggle with new actors, they certainly won’t struggle with the scenery.
All images courtesy of Visit Cornwall.
Read more about Cornwall film locations.