Lincoln’s four film adventures

What do Gwyneth Paltrow, Sir Ian McKellen, and Tom Hanks have to do with Lincoln? When it comes to films, Lincoln has played host to several big-budget productions, and accommodated some of Hollywood’s most famous faces. Here’s our round-up of films shot in Lincoln.

The Da Vinci Code — 2006

Budget: $125 Million | Revenue: $758 Million

In the summer of 2005 Lincoln’s iconic 13th century Cathedral was used during the filming of blockbuster movie The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown’s 2003 best-selling book arrived on the silver screen in 2006, starring Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen and, Audrey Tautou — all of whom stayed in Lincoln during the shoot. The Cathedral was used for filming as Westminster Abbey when the originally desired filming location refused the filmmakers on religious grounds. The Cathedral reportedly gained £100,000 for its use over five days for filming, and later auctioned the props.

Possession — 2002

Budget: $25 Million | Revenue: $14 Million

An adaptation of A. S. Byatt’s 1990 award-winning novel of the same name, Possession is based on the tale of two literary scholars uncovering secrets from two Victorian poets. However, whilst unearthing old literacy, they soon find themselves passionately taken by the poetry of the past. The 1990 book was set in a then-fictitious Lincoln University — but when filmmakers decided to finally adapt the book for the big screen, with Gwyneth Paltrow taking the lead role, it was a pleasant surprise to find the University of Lincoln was now very real. An article in The Independent reveals that when the relatively-new university was asked if filming could take place on campus, there was little hesitation.

The Young Victoria – 2009

Budget: $35 Million | Revenue: $27 Million

Oscar-nominated The Young Victoria is based around Queen Victoria’s early days as the head of the monarchy. The film sees her rise to the throne, and her marriage to Prince Albert. Starring Emily Blunt, this production also used Lincoln’s Cathedral as a double for Westminster Abbey. Filming took place two years before the picture hit cinemas, during September and October 2007.

The Wind & The Willing — 1962

Budget: Unknown

1962 black and white production The Wind & The Willing (known as Young & Willing in the US) is a BAFTA-nominated romantic drama based around university life. It portrays an insight into early 60s studenthood, showcasing how a wide variety of society come together. Parts of the 110 minute-long film were shot around the city in addition to scenes filmed at Bishop Grosseteste College.

— There were also other short films and various TV programmes shot in Lincoln over the years, including the likes of Top Gear, Property Ladder, and Diamond Geezer starring David Jason.