Great Expectations - BBC Drama
Old Hall Marshes, Essex
Great Expectations needed a home for Pip and his family, his uncle is a blacksmith and the cottage needed to have a forge beside it.
The director was keen for the location to be close by or situated in a salt marsh as the opening sequences of Pip being captured by Magwitch would take place here. Scouting the coast from Dorset to North Norfolk I found an area of salt marsh which worked well for the opening scenes in Essex. Then just along the coast was an RSPB site and walking along the sea wall around this site we spied a cross roads where this cottage could be situated. Negotiations with the RSPB gave us a month of access, removal of all the gates and fences from around this area then cottage was built on a scaffold frame a with working forge installed. Access was tough with a mile drive along rough tracks to this location but it was worth it!!
Many of the birdwatchers and walkers thought it was so good it should stay as a tea hut for them!
After filming the cottage and all set materials where removed and fences reinstalled you would never know we had been there.