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Set-Jetting Destinations

Napoleon – Inside the Surprising Filming Locations

Ridley Scott’s latest cinematic masterpiece, Napoleon, is a compelling journey into the life and legacy of one of France’s most infamous historical figures and one of the year’s most intriguing premieres. Starring Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role, the film delves into the captivating tale of Napoleon Bonaparte, exploring his meteoric rise and eventual fall.

Spanning the years between 1770 and 1820, Napoleon chronicles the sweeping influence of the Emperor across France, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia. The pivotal battles of Toulon, Austerlitz, and Waterloo come to life on the big screen, offering audiences a front-row seat to the epic historical events that shaped an era.

To authentically recreate the grandeur of filming locations and intense battle sequences, the film’s production team scouted across England and Malta. The majority of the filming took place in England, specifically across the East Midlands and South East, providing a visually stunning backdrop for the unfolding drama.

Napoleon’s filming locations:

Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire

First built in 1072, Lincoln Cathedral is a magnificent piece of gothic architecture that doubles Notre Dame in Paris where Napoleon and his wife Josephine were coronated.

Boughton House, Northamptonshire

Sitting in an estate of over 11,000 acres, Boughton House is a stately home in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Originally a Tudor building, Boughton House’s inheritor Ralph Montagu expanded the house into a French architectural masterpiece, resulting in its reputation as ‘The English Versailles’.

The perfect double for a French chateau, Boughton was used as Napoleon’s estate when the production team filmed there in March 2022.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is a country house in Woodstock with a wide range of film credits, including blockbuster franchises James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Mission: Impossible.

Its neoclassical, Palladian-style architecture makes it a magnificent double for France; it features in the film as Napoleon’s staterooms in the Fontainebleau and Tuileries Palaces.

Petworth House, West Sussex

Petworth House

Owned by the National Trust, Petworth House is a 17th-century house and park in West Sussex which homes a magnificent collection of paintings and sculptures. In Napoleon, the house was used for interior scenes of The Victim’s Ball and Chateau de Beauharnais (Napoleon’s wife Josephine’s residence).

Bourne Woods, Surrey

Bourne Woods

Bourne Woods is a large woodland set above a vast heathland clearing, owned and managed by Forestry England. Napoleon isn’t the first Ridley Scott production to have been filmed in Bourne Woods, Gladiator was shot there in 1999.

Hankley Common, Surrey

Napoleon filming locations

Hankley Common is a nature reserve in Farnham, Surrey, owned by the Ministry of Defence and managed by Landmarc Support Services. The grounds have seen a footfall of many large productions over recent years, including Enola Holmes 2, 1917, and Skyfall.

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