Film crews believed to be filming Downton Abbey movie spotted near Sudbury

Film crews were spotted at Belchamp Hall in Belchamp Walter, near Sudbury. 

Film crews were spotted at Belchamp Hall in Belchamp Walter, near Sudbury. - Credit: Chris Brinkley

Crews have been spotted filming in the grounds of a Grade II listed hall near Sudbury — believed to be shooting the latest Downton Abbey movie.

The grounds of Belchamp Hall, in Belchamp Walter, have been transformed back in time to the 1920s, with the main road closed off to traffic. 

Hundreds of actors and actresses have been pictured at the site near Sudbury, with reports the stars are filming the latest Downton Abbey movie, which was recently being shot in the streets of Harwich. 

Michelle Dockery on the Downton Abbey film set in Lacock, Wiltshire.

Michelle Dockery on the set of the first Downton Abbey film. Her character Lady Mary was filmed driving along the streets of Harwich this week - Credit: PA

The film, which has the working title Downton Abbey 2, stars Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West and is expected to be released around Christmas.

Chris Brinkley, from Great Cornard, snapped the photos of the set on Wednesday evening, and said there was more than 200 cars on site.

"I spoke to the security guards and they said they were filming the new Downton Abbey movie," explained Mr Brinkley. 

"It was very weird to see as I'm not used to seeing big groups due to Covid.

Downton Abbey filming in Belchamp Walter, near Sudbury

Filming in Belchamp Walter, near Sudbury, believed to be for the new Downton Abbey movie. - Credit: Chris Brinkley

Most Read

"They also had loud speakers and I could hear one of the crew members shouting 'action'."

Mr Brinkley believes they were filming a wedding scene as they were using the St Mary the Virgin church and the grand hall.

The sighting comes days after crews were spotted taking over the streets of Harwich in Essex for filming of the new Downton Abbey movie. 

Downton Abbey filming at Belchamp Hall, near Sudbury.

Filming at Belchamp Hall, near Sudbury, thought to be for the new Downton Abbey movie. - Credit: Chris Brinkley

They shot street scenes in King's Quay Street by the grand Electric Palace Cinema, one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in the country, dating from 1911.

This formed a perfect backdrop for the period film, which saw star Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary driving a vintage Lagonda along the narrow streets.

The scenes required lots of extras, dressed in period costume, milling about in the background. The streets where filming was taking place were sealed off to modern traffic and passers-by in order to keep noise down and maintain ‘period integrity’.

Wellington Road Car park was shut to the public as it served as the film unit’s production base. Cast and crew were seen wearing Covid masks and clear visors in between takes.

Belchamp Hall, near Sudbury, has been home to film crews over the last few days. 

Belchamp Hall, near Sudbury, has been home to film crews over the last few days. - Credit: Chris Brinkley

The Downton Abbey TV series has been a huge success, first appearing on our TV screens in 2010 and enjoyed six series before ending its run in 2015. In 2019 a spin-off film was a huge hit which has prompted the sequel currently in production.

While street scenes are being shot in Harwich, the main filming is taking place at Highclere Castle in Hampshire.

Screen Suffolk said it was aware of the filming taking place at Belchamp Hall, but was unable to comment further. 

Producers of the Downton Abbey films, Carnival Films, also was unable to comment.