The Cairnholm Filming Location: Where was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children filmed?

Miss Peregrine movie house screenshot
Posted by Ra Moon
The new fantastic movie of Tim Burton, based on a children’s book by Ransom Riggs, follows the adventures of a young boy traveling to a mysterious island which houses the ruins of an abandoned orphanage. Here he will meet a troupe of creepy kids endowed with superhuman abilities. But unlike X-Men, the bizarre inhabitants of this place are not trying to save the world, but to hide from it.

The movie features some famous actors (such as Samuel L Jackson, Eva Green, Judi Dench or Chris O’Dowd) and two key filming locations, the Welsh island of Cairnholm and Miss Peregrine's house.

The Edward Scissorhands director likes to have in-camera effects as often as he can, using visual effects trying not to make it overly green screen. This way the production went to a mixture of locations and had a real house. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has been filmed in the United Kingdom, Belgium and also in Florida:

Peculiar Children playing football in the yard of the manor

After a long research, the team settled on Torenhof Castle in Brasschaat, north of Antwerp (Belgium). Burton wanted a place that looked like a house, not a huge stately home or an institute. As they couldn't find anything in the UK, they expanded the search abroad. Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Inspiring mansion for the movie's household
The filmmakers found this Gothic manor following a clue from the author of the book, who described the orphanage inspired by the abandoned ch√Ęteau Nottebohm in Brecht (pictured), near Brasschaat. However, it was too dilapidated to film Miss Peregrine's house safely there. Image courtesy of Kiek Mal

Old Torenhof Castle postcard
Image of Torenhof Castle from the late 19th-century. One of the people in charge of finding the suitable location said that “You could sense something a bit weird about that place. It’s close to the city but it seems like it’s hidden in the woods far, far away from everything. The architecture was right: the pond around it, the garden - everything.” At the time they found the property no one was living there and it was up to be auctioned.

The studio was thinking of buying it just for the film, but many locals were interested in the villa. After the auction, agents from the production approached the new owner, who at first was not interested. Luckily, later on this family found out who was the film director, and the movie was allowed to be shot here. You can read the full story and much more in the book The Art of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Cairnholm town
Portholland in Cornwall is a tiny hamlet inhabited by only 40 souls. It is doubling for the movie as Cairnholm, the fictional town in an island located close to Wales. The Netflix Cursed Castle of Camelot was set on the top of a cliff in a beach nearby. Image by Philip Halling and 20th Century Fox

Portholland town Cornwall shooting set
The town had the character and the right coastline, but it lacked the pub and the shops (there are only like 15 houses). As you can see on the picture at the left, there is a big car park in the middle of the village, so the team decided to add a few buildings and a graveyard (the image at the right was taken during the shooting).

Ransom Riggs in the Miss Peregrine movie set
American writer Ransom Riggs on set with the Priest Hole in the background. This pub was also built as an interior for filming. Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Fake stores in Cairnholm
Two of the three Cairnholm shops for the set built by the production team (only the exterior).
Image by Tim Rowe

Portholland view beach landscape
A view of Portholland and the beach that became the cliffs where Oggie fell. The shoot for Miss P. in Cornwall also took place near a town called Minions(!!!), in the area of Bodmin Moor. Image by Nilfanion

Blackpool Tower and pier with CGI effects
The Backpool that we see in the film is a collage, a nicer version of this coastal city in North West England. On the top left, a screenshot from the film where a pier is located in front of the tower. The pic at the bottom left is the North Pier, where the action takes place in the film. At the right, an aerial image of the real Blackpool Tower, with no pier. Image by 20th Century Fox, Parrot of Doom and Jeremy

Ella Purnell Flying sequence in Blackpool
In this scene Emma levitates near Blackpool Tower, completed in 1894 and inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Google Maps

The pier street scene
The CGI team put the entrance to the Central Pier at the other side of the promenade. In real Blackpool this pier is located more than a thousand feet going down the coast. Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Alex Liivet

Actor running in the pier with special effects
In this screenshot we can also appreciate the changes to Blackpool's coastline in the film.
A few minor filming locations for the movie were set in Sun City Center, Florida (USA), doubling as Abe's neighborhood. Image by Ignacio Palomo Duarte

Can you help to improve this article about the shooting locations of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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For further information, we highly recommend the book The Art of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. This is a fantastic visual tour filled with outstanding extras behind the scenes. It also includes a chapter about the locations and sets of the movie.
If you haven't discovered yet the original 3 book series in which the film is based, this Boxed Set is a nice edition packed with the two sequels, Hollow City and the Library of Souls, plus 12 collectible peculiar photographs. Finally, the beautifully illustrated volume Tales of the Peculiar contains other stories outside the main one of this universe, and also has got very good reviews:

The art of the movie books box novel

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  1. Brilliant children love it..and as we live in blackpool they was quiet ecstatic when they saw the tower etc ...


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