Yorkshire village of Heptonstall transformed for filming of new BBC period drama The Gallows Pole adapted by Shane Meadows

BBC film crews have taken over the cobbled village of Heptonstall, near Hebden Bridge, to shoot an adaptation of The Gallows Pole.

The period drama, written by This Is England's Shane Meadows, is based on the 2017 novel by local author Benjamin Myers which tells the story of the Cragg Vale Coiners.

The Coiners were a group of 18th-century counterfeiters who operated in the area as it felt the first changes brought by the Industrial Revolution. Their coin minting con so successful it almost brought down the Bank of England.

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Led by ironworker ‘King’ David Hartley, they used melted down shavings from real coins to produce counterfeits and had their accomplices place them in circulation - a scheme that became the biggest fraud in British history and which damaged the national economy.

But after one of the gang betrayed them and revealed details about their operations to the authorities in 1769, it set in motion a chain of events involving arrests, murder and mass hangings as their criminal enterprise rapidly crumbled.

Hartley was executed in York but buried in the churchyard at Heptonstall, where writer Sylvia Plath's grave can also be found.

The cast of the six-part series includes two actors who worked with Meadows on This Is England - Michael Socha as Hartley and Thomas Turgoose.

Heptonstall's old weaving cottages are being used for filming

They are joined by George MacKay, who starred in 1917, and Bradford actress Sophie McShera, who played maid Daisy in Downton Abbey. Another Downton alumnus, Cara Theobald, will also feature.

Many of the extras and those cast in minor roles were chosen from open auditions held in Yorkshire.

Meadows said: “Putting this cast together has been an absolute joy. To be working with actors I’ve grown up with and/or have been desperate to work with, alongside oodles of incredible ‘as yet’ undiscovered Yorkshire-based talent, is an absolute honour and I’ve not been this passionate about shooting a project in years!

"After some initial rehearsals back in spring, me and the team went on an open-casting odyssey, watching over 6,500 self-tapes from unrepresented actors and actresses, and were blown away by the quality of tapes that were submitted. We went from hoping to find one or two new faces, to making up half of the entire cast from those tapes and I believe it’s going to create a series quite unlike anything else I’ve ever worked on.

A crew member in the village

"This is the 18th century yes, but viewed through a slightly more anarchic lens and will - like my previous work - have a soundtrack that fits the mood like a psychedelic glove, rather than historical expectations.”

Heptonstall, which also featured in BBC crime drama Happy Valley, is ideal for filming historical productions as in the 1980s residents campaigned for its modern paving and street lighting to be removed in order to reveal the original cobblestones and Victorian gas lamps.

Author Benjamin Myers, who has lived in Hebden Bridge since 2008, is a former music journalist who has published several novels set in the north - including The Offing, based in Robin Hood's Bay, which was a hit this summer.

Georgian carts being prepared for filming
Film crew members at work in Heptonstall
The Gallows Pole was written by Hebden Bridge author Benjamin Myers