Dark age epic filmed at Derwent Reservoir



The gateway to a Dark Age empire was built . . . along the shore of Northumbrian Water’s Derwent Reservoir on the border of Northumberland and County Durham!

The fort and campsite of Bregan, home to tough fishermen and warriors, will appear on TV screens (from January 2016) in a 12-part epic chronicling the adventures of legendary hero Beowulf and his battle with the terrifying monster Grendl.

ITV Studios’ biggest ever production stars Hartlepool’s Kieran Bew as Beowulf, alongside a stellar cast including multi award-winning actor William Hurt.

Beowulf ‘Return to the Shieldlands’ is a new adaptation of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring stories and is the latest adaptation of the classic childhood dream.

Bregan, the coastal settlement gateway to the Shieldlands, was built at Derwent reservoir’s Millshield.

Elsewhere on Northumbrian Water’s second biggest reservoir a small mining camp was created as the scene of a monumental battle with a troll.

And a big warrior fight sequence was also filmed on the shoreline at the western end of the reservoir.

Herot, the Anglo Saxon fortress heart of the Shieldlands was constructed in a quarry in Weardale.

Co-creator and executive producer Tim Haines said: "We decided to film in the North East because I knew the darkest skies in England are in Northumberland and we also chose Northumberland and Durham because we wanted to represent a big and varied landscape.

"You can go from the high moorlands right down to the sea, through lakes, forests and rivers in a very short space of time and we knew we had to find wilderness everywhere."

Alistair Baker, Northumbrian Water’s PR & Media Manager, said: "It’s fantastic that our region was chosen as the place to film this major TV drama series and we were delighted to host the production at our beautiful Derwent Reservoir.

"Northumbrian Water has many rural and industrial sites which are ideal locations for film making and we are always keen to support the film industry which is becoming increasingly important to our regional economy."

The 12-part series is screened on ITV at 7pm from 3 January and is being heralded as a rival to the highly successful Game of Thrones.

For further media information contact: Alistair Baker, PR & Media Manager, 0191-3016851 / 07711-793493

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