The Augusta Victoria College: Where was Six Minutes to Midnight filmed?

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The spy story inspired by a real Nazi elite college, Six Minutes to Midnight, was entirely filmed in Wales. Set in the seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex (South East England), the primary filming location of the Augusta Victoria school is the stunning Golden Grove house located in southwest Wales.

The plot is loosely based on true events, but most of the storyline related in the film was imagined by writer and actor Eddie Izzard, playing literature and language teacher Thomas Miller. The school for daughters of prominent and high-ranking Nazis in the United Kingdom was in operation between 1932 and the war’s outbreak in 1939.

Six Minutes to Midnight College

The college was named after the last German empress and queen of Prussia Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. The German plan was to help create diplomatic cadres to establish future relationships between the British Empire and the Third Reich. The last girls return home on 26 August 1939, just five days before the outbreak of World War II with the invasion of Poland.

The movie is also starring Judi Dench as the school’s headmistress Miss Rocholl, Carla Juri as Ilse Keller, James D'Arcy as Captain Drey, Jim Broadbent as Charlie, Celyn Jones as Corporal Willis, and David Schofield as Colonel Smith.

These are the completely spoiler-free filming locations of Six Minutes to Midnight:


Augusta Victoria College
The Augusta Victoria College was filmed at the house at Golden Grove Estate in Gelli Aur Country Park near Llandeilo (Carmarthenshire, Wales). This is the largest and most important estate in South West Wales. At some point in history, the estate comprised 50,000 acres which included five castles and 12 manors. The actual manor house was completed in 1834.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Lionsgate - Map


Augusta Victoria School
The Bexhill Museum still keeps a badge incorporating the Nazi swastika alongside the British union flag coming from the original female high school. The real-life academy hosted up to 24 students aged between 16 and 21 primarily studying for the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English. The school's original building, called Lindsay Hall, still stands today converted into flats at No.128 Dorset Road.


Six Minutes to Midnight house
WalesOnline reported that at the peak of the shoot, a film crew of more than 150 people was on site. After decades of neglect, Golden Grove is undergoing a restoration plan to reopen its deer park. The magnificent arboretum and gardens, the Glasshouse Café, the country park walks, the Quarry Garden, and West Wood are already open to visitors. The mansion also served as a filming location for the 2017 BBC television series Decline and Fall.


Penarth Pier Pavilion
Several scenes take place in the elegant Penarth Pier Pavilion in the Vale of Glamorgan near Cardiff. Opened in 1898, this historical landmark was a popular Victorian-era attraction. The refurbished pavilion includes an art gallery, auditorium, a small cinema, retail area, bar, and a tea room overlooking the Bristol Channel.
Image courtesy of Lionsgate - Map


Llandudno Pier
The scenes in the seaside town combine sections of the movie filmed in Penarth, in the south of the country, with other ones shot in Llandudno's promenade seafront and pier, situated in North Wales. The Daily Post reported that a spokesman for the film’s production company said that due to unforeseen circumstances, the movie was no longer able to film on the pier in Llandudno, so cast and crew moved to Penarth to complete the shoot. A location of the Moordale Secondary from the Netflix series Sex Education was also filmed in Penarth.
Image courtesy of Lionsgate - Map


Llansteffan Beach
In the movie, German physical education teacher Ilse trains the girls like a scene out of the films of talented Nazi propaganda producer Leni Riefenstahl. This sequence was filmed at Llansteffan Beach, situated on the south coast of Carmarthenshire. This is also the beach of the plane scene.
Image courtesy of Lionsgate - Map


Llansteffan Castle aerial view
The ruins of Llansteffan Castle also appear briefly in the film. According to WalesOnline, a scene featuring Mr. Miller and Miss Rocholl was recorded at the secluded Jackson's Bay in Barry (a small city located 9 miles south-southwest of Cardiff).
Image courtesy of Lionsgate - Maps: Llansteffan Castle / Jackson's Bay


Six Minutes to Midnight drehorte
The dramatic white cliffs that appear at the end of the movie are the rock formations at Nash Point on the South Glamorgan coastline. The Glamorgan Heritage Coast is a spectacular 14-mile (23 km) stretch of coastline with interesting exposed Triassic period fossil deposits of carboniferous limestone. The real story is that the girls and their teachers hurried into civilian planes and boats to return to Germany before being cut off from their homeland.

The movie title addresses the infamous Doomsday Clock maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947. This is a symbol that represents what close is human race to extinction by a nuclear holocaust.
Image courtesy of Lionsgate - Map


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