Where was His Dark Materials filmed? Guide to ALL the Filming Locations

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The rich and extended universe of the novel trilogy by English author Philip Pullman has been adapted for tv in the reportedly BBC's most expensive project so far, co-produced by HBO.

His Dark Materials was filmed in Wales and England. The first two seasons were filmed simultaneously between 2018 and 2019, covering the first two books, Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in North America, 1995) and The Subtle Knife (1997).

His Dark Materials location

In the story, every human is born with a daemon companion, which is the soul living outside of the body taking an animal form.

This steampunk show is written by Jack Thorne (the creator of acclaimed shows like Skins or This is England).

The cast is led by Dafne Keen (the young wolverine from Logan) as Lyra Belacqua, Ruth Wilson as Marisa Coulter, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, and James McAvoy as Lord Asriel Belacqua.

Welcome to our spoiler-free guide to the filming locations of His Dark Materials. We have updated this report with the new season 2 locations.

Jordan College
The fictional Jordan College was filmed in the New College in Oxford, founded in 1379.

Several areas of the complex are featured in the series, like the spectacular chapel (pictured), the hall, and the courtyards.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of HBO / BBC and Udo Schuklenk - Map


Fictional Oxford panorama with zeppelins
The show required a lot of visual effects; this view of Oxford was entirely created by CGI.

The studio work was done at Wolf Studios Wales, headquartered in a former factory in Cardiff.


Marisa Coulter's Apartment
The Londonist suggested that Marisa Coulter's Apartment is inspired by the facade of the art deco Temple of Peace in Cardiff.

The location, volume, and the clock at the top are from the Shell Mex House in London.
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO, - Chris Sampson and Google Maps / Shell Mex House Location


Marisa luxury flat
This hall pictured was filmed in the interior of the Temple of Peace.
Image courtesy of BBC One / HBO and BristolIcarus


Magisterium building location
And where is the massive Magisterium building? In Lyra's parallel world, the Holy Church headquarters occupy the position of the Buckingham Palace! Image courtesy of BBC / HBO and Google Maps


Dónde se rueda La materia oscura
A street from a scene in episode 3 with Lord Carlo Boreal shot at Plasturton Gardens in Cardiff.
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO and Google Maps


Sharpness Docks on location
The scenes with the Gyptians sailing in the river were filmed in the River Severn and Sharpness Docks.
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO and Nick - Map


Trollesund location
The set of the run-down town of Trollesund was built in a disused quarry on Llangynidr in Crickhowell.

Trollesund is the main port of Lapland, which Lyra and her Gyptian protectors visit during their journey to Bolvangar.

Wikipedia has a magnificent list of all the fictional locations and worlds where the books take place.
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO - Map


À la croisée des mondes Lieux de tournage
Many exterior shots were filmed at the stunning landscapes of Brecon Beacons National Park, located only 40 miles north of Cardiff.
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO - Map


Seine dunklen Materialien drehort
The location pictured is the historical Blaise Orangery at Blaise Castle in Bristol, which was CGI'd to look abandoned.

Bristol Film Office reported that a chase sequence was filmed in the city at Trenchard Street, Colston Street, Host Street, Pipe Lane, and Colston Yard. .
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO and Peter Barr - Map

The New Second Season Locations

Cittàgazze
The cobbled streets of the spectral city of Cittàgazze were built at Bad Wolf Studios. But would you like to visit a town like this in the real world?

We reckon that the Mediterranean-looking city is inspired by the wondrous Croatian walled settlement of Korčula, located on the island of the same name.

However, the sharp hills that surround the peninsular city seem out of the spectacular Nā Pali Coast on the island of Kauai (Hawaii). The Nā Pali coast has been featured in lots of productions, including the Jurassic Park movie series.
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO and Saluto-Team - Maps: Korcula / Na Pali


Season 2 in Oxford
In the second episode, the round glass building in Oxford is the new Blavatnik School of Government, which opened in 2016.

In the same episode, Lyra visits the Pitt Rivers Museum, a magnificent natural history museum displaying the archaeological and anthropological collections of the University of Oxford.

Later on, Lyra and Will meet in the Oxford Botanic Garden.
Image courtesy of BBC / HBO - Maps: Blavatnik School / Museum / Garden


Bolvangar location

Can you help to improve this article about the filming locations of His Dark Materials? 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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6 comments
  1. The exterior shots of Will's school (epp 5 and 7) are Cardiff Uni's John Percival Biulding and Arts and Social Science Library.

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  2. I'm sure there's a Charles Voysey House used as a location when Will is drawn into a trap.

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  3. I wondered whether the walls of the Magisterium 'court' were somewhere inside 55 Broadway and then saw those bands of granite at the back wall of the Cardiff Temple of Peace main hall.Oh the Irony! The beautiul black fluted colomns must be made of solid 'dust' !! also ironic but not iconic (columns) !

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  4. The hills around Cittigazze are definitely Kaua’i in Hawai’i. The two waterfalls flowing down the enormous hills have a small lake between them, my husband and I swam in them when we went hiking during our visit

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  5. In the scene where Lyra is in the car with Carlo Boreal in Oxford, she gets out of the car (and forgets the alethiometer) on Elmdale Road near the University of Bristol. At the end of the road, you can see the building where the Bristol museum is located and Bristol Grammar school is on the left.

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  6. Hi, the designers of Cittagazze traveled across Italy looking for inspiration. Most of the interior parts of the town itself are heavily based on a bunch of towns from Cinque Terre, but the shape and profile of the peninsula are definitely based on the aerial view over this place in Tuscany called Monte Argentario and Orbetello.

    https://siviaggia.it/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/05/orbetello_argenatrio_oly.jpg

    They could have easily found it even by just looking at the Italian map, looking for a place that would stick out of the mainland as they imagined it.
    It was quite mind-blowing to me to see this because I was born there and I live on the island of Kauai right now!

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