Filming locations in Yorkshire: Films and TV shows filmed in Halifax - the birthplace of Anne Lister and what they are about

It seems TV producers have taken a shine to the Yorkshire town of Halifax, the birthplace of diarist Anne Lister, as there are many films and TV shows that were filmed here over the years.

Halifax became an economic hub, predominantly in woollen manufacture with the iconic Piece Hall square that was later built for trading wool in the town centre.

It also became a thriving mill town during the Industrial Revolution with the Dean Clough Mill buildings, which is a surviving landmark.

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More recently, the town has been a popular spot for filming TV shows and films including BBC series Gentleman Jack, Channel 4 show Ackley Bridge, 1987 film Rita, Sue and Bob Too and 2023 Disney Plus miniseries Secret Invasion.

Piece Hall, Halifax. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)Piece Hall, Halifax. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)
Piece Hall, Halifax. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)

Films and TV shows filmed in Halifax

Gentleman Jack

Gentleman Jack is a BBC One historical drama series created by Halifax-born film writer Sally Wainwright set in the 1830s in Yorkshire that focuses on the life of Anne Lister.

It stars Suranne Jones as landowner and industrialist Anne Lister and is based on the collected diaries of Anne.

Other actors on the show include Sophie Rundle (Ann Walker), Joe Armstrong (Samuel Washington), Amelia Bullmore (Eliza Priestly), Rosie Cavaliero (Elizabeth Cordingley), Gemma Whelan (Marian Lister), Timothy West (Captain Jeremy Lister) and Tom Lewis (Thomas Sowden).

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The series was filmed in Shibden Hall as Anne Lister’s home and scenes in an episode in season two were filmed at one of the historic mines in the Shibden Valley, near the Bare Head Tunnel.

Ackley Bridge

Ackley Bridge is a Channel 4 comedy-drama set in a multicultural academy school of the same name.

It is filmed in Halifax and began broadcasting on Channel 4 on June 7, 2017.

The main cast members are Poppy Lee Friar, Amy-Leigh Hickman and Sunetra Sarker who have received awards for their portrayals of their characters.

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St Catherine’s Catholic High School in Halifax was used as the filming location for Ackley Bridge College, which was later renamed Ackley Bridge.

Secret Invasion

The American TV miniseries was created by Kyle Bradstreet for Disney+ and is based on the 2008 Marvel Comics storyline of the same name.

The cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Killian Scott, Samuel Adewunmi, Dermot Mulroney, Richard Dormer, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Don Cheadle, Charlayne Woodard, Christopher McDonald and Kate Finneran.

Filming took place at Piece Hall in Halifax in 2022, as well as other areas in West Yorkshire such as Leeds and Huddersfield.

Last Tango in Halifax

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The comedy-drama series began broadcasting on BBC One in 2012 and has been praised for its perspective on the older generation.

It was created by Sally Wainwright based on the experience of her mother Dorothy who was put in touch with her childhood sweetheart Alec via Friends Reunited after being widowed at the age of 75. Alec had also been recently widowed and the couple fell in love all over again and got married.

The series stars Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid as Alan and Celia as well as Sarah Lancashire as Celia’s daughter Caroline.

Filming took place at Holdsworth House in Halifax.

Brassed Off

The 1996 comedy-drama film was written and directed by Mark Herman and is about the troubles faced by a colliery brass band, following the closure of their pit.

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The soundtrack for the film was provided by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and the plot is inspired by Grimethorpe’s own struggles against pit closures.

The film stars Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan McGregor.

The brass band championship was filmed at the Piece Hall, Blackledge in Halifax.

No Love for Johnnie

This 1961 drama film in CinemaScope directed by Ralph Thomas and is based on the 1959 book of the same name by the Labour Member of Parliament Wilfred Fienburgh and stars Peter Finch.

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It follows the disillusionment and cynicism of a rebellious Labour MP, who looks for escape in a relationship with a younger woman.

It was partly filmed at Halifax Station.

Room at the Top

The 1959 drama film is based on the 1957 novel of the same title by John Braine and was adapted by Neil Paterson.

The film stars Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears, Donald Wolfit, Donald Houston and Hermione Baddeley.

It was filmed in the Savile Park area of Halifax as well as Halifax railway station which doubled as Warnley Station in the film and Halifax Town Hall, used as the Warnley Town Hall. It was also filmed at All Souls church, Boothtown in Halifax.

This Sporting Life

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The 1963 kitchen sink drama film directed by Lindsay Anderson and is based on the 1960 book of the same name by David Storey and follows the story of a rugby league footballer in Wakefield, a mining city.

The film stars Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, William Hartnell and Alan Badel.

It was filmed at Thrum Hall, the home stadium of Halifax.

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