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Image of Sherlock - Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson in front of Thames

The Debating Chamber, County Hall in Sherlock

Date posted: 01.01.2014

Nearly 10 million people tuned in on New Year's Day to watch Sherlock return to the small screen, two years after the famous sleuth faked his own death.

And alongside the dramatic, if frosty, reunion of Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) with his trusty sidekick John Watson (Martin Freeman), viewers got to see London in all its glory at locations across the city - including the Debating Chamber at County Hall.

Finding Sherlock's 'mind palace'

Viewers of the show will know that for Sherlock to really crack a case he has to access his 'mind palace'. Location Manager, Ben Mangham was given the challenge of finding a space that could visually reflect the detective's exceptional ability to order his thoughts. He decided on County Hall's "spherical, imposing and impressive" Debating Chamber (located within the London Film Museum), because it provided a convincing "imaginative amphitheatre for the deducing of Sherlock as we enter his 'mind palace'".

Describing it as one of "London's hidden gems", Mangham said that the Chamber fitted the brief well, and viewers on Wednesday night seem to have agreed.   

Working with the Location

The London Film Museum complex has its own access regulations for filming, but by closing the museum and event spaces to the public, the location was able to give exclusive access to the crew for the duration of the shoot. The team also provided ample storage space to assist the production.

It went well. Dainen McDaniel, Events Managing Director for the Debating Chamber at County Hall, described the crew's professionalism as "exceptional", given their respect for the historic venue and the effort made to complete the filming with minimum disruption, while Mangham thanked the Museum's Mike Nugent and the Affinity crew for helping to ensure the shoot "went without a hitch".

About London Film Museum

The Historic Debating Chamber sits at the heart of County Hall and boasts a fixed 200 seat lecture hall with five screen projections. It can be linked with the museum or the various Riverside Rooms.

The full London Film Museum complex offers:

  • A variety of small rooms and larger spaces acting, as museum galleries
  • Five wood-panelled Riverside Rooms with views of the Thames, Parliament, and the London Eye
  • The fifth Riverside Room has dual aspect windows and raised bank of seats (as in a courtroom)
  • Wood panelled linking corridors
  • Original features which include plastered ceilings, fireplaces and clocks

Films to have shot at the London Film Museum include Trance and Made in Dagenham.

Contact details

For filming at the Debating Chamber, County Hall, please contact:

Dainen McDaniel
Events Managing Director
T: 020 7202 7045 | M: 07426 589 780