Filming Locations Guide: Where was A Discovery of Witches filmed?

Where is A Discovery of Witches filmed
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Halfway between Twilight and Harry Potter, this fantasy series is based in the 2011 best-selling novel by Deborah Harkness. A Discovery of Witches revolves around an Oxford's Bodleian Library ancient manuscript called Ashmole 782.

Diana Bishop (played by Teresa Palmer) is a historian descended from witches, who will team up with vampire Matthew Goode (Matthew Clairmont) to unravel the secrets of this mysterious manuscript. The couple will engage in a forbidden romance, living in a world unaware of the existence of beings like them.

A Discovery of Witches was filmed on location in Oxford, Bristol, Wales and in Italy. Here is our updated and complete filming locations guide of the show:

A Discovery of Witches location
Diana and Mathew first meet at the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in England established in 1602.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Sky One - Map


Library Oxford
Interior library scenes and the Bishop House were shot in a painstakingly recreated set at Cardiff's Bad Wolf Studios. A Discovery of Witches was the first production to be filmed in this brand new facility in Wales.
Image courtesy of Sky One


Oxford Radcliffe Camera cityscape
The stunning architecture of the so-called city of dreaming spires served as the perfect backdrop for many exterior scenes. Pictured, the Radcliffe Camera circular library. Image courtesy of Tejvan Pettinger - Map


College Oxford scenes
The exterior scenes of the college in Oxford were filmed in Exeter College. In the first episode, there is a scene with Matthew on the Folly Bridge over the River Thames. The production was also shooting at Brown's Café and in the Covered Market. Some of the places that are featured in the novel include All Souls College, New College, Blackwell's Bookshop and the iconic Bridge of Sighs. Image courtesy of Sky One - Map


Cafe terrace scene
Local newspaper Bristol Post reports that the crew was filming in several locations in Bristol, including The Rummer restaurant in All Saints Ln (first episode, pictured), the Harbour Hotel, Highbury Vaults pub, and Deanery Road. Image courtesy of Sky One and Google Maps


Matthew room in the college
The official Visit Wales website states that the Victorian Gothic mansion Insole Court in Llandaff (Cardiff) served as the Matthew Clairmont’s chambers at All Souls College, almost as cool as the What We Do in the Shadows house. Cardiff Market was also used as an additional filming spot. Image courtesy of David Meenagh - Map


Scotish scenery road
The scenes set in Scotland were filmed near Llyn y Fan Fach lake in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.
Image courtesy of Sky One - Map


Sept-Tours castle
The Gardens of the Aberglasney House in Llangathen (Carmarthenshire) are also featured in the series as the courtyards of the Sept-Tours castle in France. Image courtesy of Sky One and Gareth Lovering - Map


The castle in ruins
A Discovery of Witches was filming scenes for episode 6 in the ruins of Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Also it has been published an image with lead actress Teresa Palmer in St Donat’s Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan. Image courtesy of Sky One and Simon Redwood - Map

Filming Locations in Italy

The Venice Shoot
Most of the interiors of the scenes in Venice were filmed in the studios in Wales. The exteriors for the stronghold of the Congregation are located at the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Image courtesy of Sky One - Map


The Congregation palace
The grand meeting hall of the powerful Congregation is inspired by the Pantheon vault in Rome.
Image courtesy of Sky One and Sean O'Neill - Map


The streets and canals of Venice
The vampire's palace where Gerbert D’Aurillac, Domenico and Juliette live is the Palazzo Contarini Polignac. One of the entrances is the Gallerie dell'Accademia facade, near Ponte dell'Accademia bridge over the Grand Canal. Image courtesy of Sky One - Map


A Discovery of Witches Castle
Clermont's family home, the Sept-Tours fortress, was filmed in the Castle of Monselice (Castello Cini) located also in the Veneto region. However, the towers and many elements and details of the compound were added using CGI effects. Image courtesy of Sky One and Google Maps


The vampire family palace interiors
The dining hall of the Sept-Tours palace follows the same design as the noble rooms of the Italian castle, probably filmed in the studios. The new netflix Italian comedy Love Wedding Repeat house was filmed near Rome. Image courtesy of Sky One and Google Maps


The French town
The village of Arquà Petrarca is also doubling for the fictional village of St. Lucien, which Deborah Harkness placed in Auvergne, France. The shoot was set at the oratory of the Santissima Trinità, in Francesco Petrarca's house and in the neighboring streets. Image courtesy of Netflix - Map


Die Seelen der Nacht drehort
Diana’s aunt's house, Sarah and Emily, was also filmed in the countryside in Wales, although in the fiction it is located in Madison County, New York (United States).

Can you help to improve this article about the shooting locations of A Discovery of Witches? 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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2 comments
  1. I have looked on google maps and found Gerbert's palazzo is specifically the Contarini Polignac, just a couple of buildings east of the Accademia bridge on the Dorsoduro side of the canal. Its website shows some interior views which are identifiable as the vestibule where Juliette greets Domenico in episode 2 or 3, and playing with Street View will show that the second floor (2nd to USA, 1st to Europeans) balcony is also used for a scene in a later episode.

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    1. Thanks, we updated the post including the reference to this palace.

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