Monday 5th June. 3 PM Ė Travelled down to the West Country this morning for two days filming at Brean Down on the Somerset coast.
Driving down the coast road itís easy to find the location today as the rocky peninsular is now capped with a row of Tudor tents. For us this will be Tilbury, on the Thames estuary, where four thousand men prepared to defend the gateway to London against the 16,000 men of the Duke of Parmaís army.
To be honest the site of Brean does not look a lot like Tilbury did Ė Tilbury was a flat estuarine settlement now largely covered by a major container port. Brean in a steep down overlooking Weston-Super-Mare, with distant views across the sea to Wales. But bearing in mind the impossibility of shooting at modern Tilbury and our need for clean sea vistas (not lined with modern hotels and houses) across to where the armada was imagined to be attacking from, it suits our story perfectly.
Nor will our Brean look like the parkland most visitors see. Ours is lined with period tents, carts, piles of weapons, barrels and banners. Between them the five hundred or so men of our Tilbury army (which computer graphics will turn into thousands) prepare for the battle they expect any day Ė the bowmen string their bows, the untrained bands drill with their polearms, a troop of cavalry thunder past and in a corner a young lad dictates what he is sure will be his last letter to his family.