Filming Locations Guide: Where was Taboo Filmed?

Posted by Ra Moon

The BBC and FX channel co-production is a superb period drama starring Mad Max: Fury Road Tom Hardy.

Set in 1814, this fictional story takes the viewer to the darkest nineteenth-century England, in a world where the powerful East India Company controlled the most profitable private business of the British Empire.

Taboo Filming Locations

James Keziah Delaney is a mysterious adventurer returning from Africa where he was presumed dead, to claim the family heritage.

The plot of Taboo is an idea of the actor Tom Hardy, who wrote the script with his father and Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders.

Taboo was filmed around London in many historic homes and buildings, making this project remarkably interesting regarding the filming locations.

The setting is an important part of the story, and the locations are a journey into the early 19th century Regency London. The long-awaited season two should be released this year 2021 or 2022.

Taboo locations
The magnificent interiors of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire served as the headquarters of the East India Company, and some rooms and the facade as the palace of the Prince Regent.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and Paul Hudson

East India Company headquarters
Several rooms from Hatfield House were used, included the armory, the library, or the stunning Marble Hall, pictured.

This opulent state has been the setting for many other productions. It was also featured as a filming location in Wonder Woman, in the BBC series Trust and 1989's Batman.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks

Taboo House
Some rooms from the 17th-century Ham House in the south of Richmond were used for scenes with Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce) and some company's Counselors.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and Allan Harris

Footage in London
The facade of the East India Company building in the series is the Goldsmiths' Hall in the City of London.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks

Danson House state
Some parts of the Danson House in Bexley were used to film the concert from episode 2.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and Jill Catley

Mansion Interiors during the event
Pictured, the library of this Georgian mansion during Beethoven's sixth symphony play.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and Jill Catley

Vaulted basement sanatorium
The cellar of Danson House was also the setting for a room in St Bartholomew Hospital, as seen in episode 2.
Image courtesy of Barbara Rogerson

Temple cemetery
The funeral from episode one was filmed in St Mary's the Virgin church and graveyard in Wanstead.
Image The Wub

Taboo drehort
The Golden Hind berthed in Southwark is Sir Francis Drake’s ship replica. It was used for scenes of Delaney onboard a boat.

By the way, did you spot the mysterious ghosts hidden like Easter eggs in some sequences of Taboo? It reminds us a lot of The Haunting of Hill House spectres appearing in the background of many scenes.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks

Boat in Cornwall historic port
Taboo was also filming in the harbor of Charlestown in Cornwall, a popular shooting location (series like BBC's Poldark or movies like Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland were set here).
Image by Andrew King

Shoot in London streets
A scene outside a theater takes place in Trinity Church Square, Southwark.
Image by Paul Farmer

Citadel scenes with James Delaney
Many sequences in the streets of London have been filmed in Tilbury Fort, a 16th-century fortress on the north bank of the River Thames in Essex.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and Peter Taylor

Tom Hardy in the water
Some scenes with boats have been filmed in the inner moat of Tilbury Fort. The wooden bridge, pictured at the right, also appears in several scenes.

The Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury doubles for Bedlam Hospital.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks

Ball party scene
The ball from episode 4 was amazingly filmed in the 18th-century country house West Wycombe Park (Buckinghamshire).
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and John Griffiths

Period windmill
The watermill is located in the state of Mapledurham House in Oxfordshire.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and Hugh Mothersole

Islington tunnel
Boats passing through Islington tunnel on the Regent's Canal.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks

Charterhouse Smithfield
The historic Charterhouse in Smithfield also appears in the show (pictured).

Other confirmed locations are St Martin’s building in Camden and the House of Detention on Sans Walk (Islington).
Image by James Morgenstern

Large Tudor Mansion
Countess Musgrove lives in the Tudor Chenies Manor House in Buckinghamshire.

The house interiors and other parts of the garden were also used as the mansion where Zilpha and Thorne Geary live.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks

Zilpha house
James's half-sister house exteriors were shot in the Hall Barn Estate in Beaconsfield (Buckinghamshire), the location where the Tambury town from the After Life series was filmed.
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks

Tombstones burial ground
The church and graveyard from episode 6 are also located in Beaconsfield old town (Saint Mary and All Saints Church).
Image courtesy of BBC/FX Networks and Emma Johnson

Delaney House
The Delaney family house is located on Stepney Green Gardens in East London.
Image by Google Maps

James studio room with large round window
Can you help to find the missing filming locations for Taboo?

Have you recognized other shooting locations when watching the series? To complete this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

NOTICE: If you’re using this information on your website, please credit and link to this page as a source.

  1. In Taboo part two I saw what looked like wind turbines turning in the background of the scene where Delaney drops the stones from the ship into the water. What are they?. Is this Gravesend Docks.

    1. You are right, some modern wind turbines can be seen in a corner of the screen... It must be from Gravesend, as it is on the other bank of the Thames (from Tilbury Fort).

    2. no - they are CGI renderings of (some of) the real windmills that stood along the bank of the Thames at Millwall in the early C19.

  2. Ham House long room used in episode two. The picture above with the organ and book shelves looks like Hatchlands Park.

    1. Thanks, updated! Not sure about Hatchlands Park, though.

  3. The Temple was used in ep2, appropriately enough for the legal scenes. There were shots on Kings Bench Walk and also the colonnade by the church

  4. The Delaney House looks very much like the beautiful Georgian houses in Stepney Green, East London.

    1. The Delaney house is the same house where Tom Hollander as Adam Smallbone (Rev) went to the bishop (Ralph Fiennes). Very funny!

  5. Exterior shots of EIDC are in fact Goldsmiths'Hall,Foster Lane, City of London.

  6. I easily recognised Tilbury Fort, but think I also recognised exterior shots of Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury being used to represent bedlam

    1. Thanks, the Coalhouse Fort Park Facebook page has confirmed this.

  7. The water mill is Mapledurham house and mill in Berkshire.

  8. Does anyone know which church was used for the scene where the man in the confessional had had his tongue removed?

  9. Hey Ra Moon,
    I was wondering you knew when Taboo was filmed. Over Summer I was near Elder st (London) and saw some filming going on there? Could it have been Taboo?

    1. According to BBC, Taboo started filming on November 2015 in London. The crew was in Cornwall in May 2016, where some parts of the last episode take place.

  10. The external shots of Geary's house and the church/graveyard scene in episode 6 were all filmed in Beaconsfield Old Town, Buckinghamshire as I work across the road and saw it going on. I have pictures but not sure how to post them?

    1. Thanks a lot for your pictures and for your help Emma!

  11. She is his half sister, not his stepsister 😊

  12. Delaney riding across heathland in various episodes looks like the old airstrip on Ashdown Forest, Sussex

  13. Can anyone say where the room of Delaney’s mother is? Does it exist or was this scene filmed on a set? Thank you!

  14. Hi. I noticed that some of Taboo was filmed in Kings Lynn,Norfolk notably the back of the Arts Centre/Red Barn, outside of the Guildhall and I think also St Margarets Church and one of the buildings opposite ( Hanseatic?) viwed through railings in St Margarets Churchyard.

  15. The scenes on the heath, with Delaney riding his horse, look very much like parts of the New Forest national park, with the high ground in the background looking like the Isle of Wight


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