Netflix’s The Witcher filmed at Fountains Abbey in Ripon

Fountains Abbey has revealed that a huge filming project that took place last year was for the new second season of Netflix’s The Witcher.

By Gemma Jimmison
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 9:47 am

In October and November, around 250 cast and crew moved into a vast unit base in the overflow car park to prepare for filming - the largest scale production the Abbey has even seen. With a mixture of medieval ruins and Georgian gardens filled with crashing cascades and eerie statues, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal made a perfect backdrop for the fantasy drama. Cast, crew and National Trust staff and conservators filmed scenes over different parts of the estate, with elaborate sets constructed in Studley Royal and the abbey nave. The teams worked around the clock, with shooting taking place throughout the night in freezing conditions as well as in the daytime.

The main challenge of filming at an important historical site is ensuring that there is no impact on the buildings or landscape. Specialist filming conservators were enlisted to look at plans and were on site to monitor different aspects, from the heat of the controlled fires to the types of greenery used.

Justin Scully, General Manager of the site, said: “Our visitors really enjoyed seeing such a big production happening around the property and had fun guessing what was being filmed, which we had to keep confidential at the time. There was a huge amount of work that went on behind the scenes to make it all happen. The location fees we received will be reinvested to help carry out essential work.”

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The Witcher, season 2 premiered on Netflix on December 17.