Filming in Heritage Locations: Harrow School - Venue Perspective

Latest 17 May 2022

News Story

London is known worldwide for its amazing period properties and heritage locations. These offer location filming a level of authenticity and historical accuracy that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. However, preserving and protecting these locations from the activity of a busy film or television production, can be a challenge unto itself.

Film London’s Winona Navin-Holder spoke to some of our partners about the different creative ways in which they protect and conserve heritage locations, and parkland.

Harrow School - Venue Perspective

Harrow School, celebrating its 450 year anniversary this year, has provided the backdrop to many feature films, dramas and photoshoots over the past 20 years, including for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and dramas such as The Crown, for magazine shoots including for GQ, Vogue and Ralph Lauren, and for many music videos. With 300 acres of countryside in north London, and a large variety of buildings dating between 1615 and 2011, they have locations suitable for a wide range of shoots. The School also has its own unit base for up to 100 cars, and it is only a 15-minute ride from Baker Street to Harrow on the Hill on the Metropolitan Line. Outside of term time, many classrooms can be used as green rooms, dressing rooms, or hair and make-up, for larger scale productions.

The Four Form Room of Harrow Old School used in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Laura Bogard, Marketing Manager at Harrow School, shared some of the things her team has learnt from managing filming at a historic location.

Harrow Schools advice for location filming

1. No tape and no naked flame.

2. Use floor protection mats, tennis balls on tripods, and kit cases on mats to avoid scratching historic floors.

3. Beware of ramps and equipment on wheels - we nearly lost a bust which was knocked by an out of control trolley causing the bust to plummet to the floor, thankfully only inflicting minor damage. Now all busts are moved out of the location.

4. Props smoking is allowed with a risk assessment if the fire alarms have been isolated.

5. Beware fake blood!

6. All scripts go through the School’s filming committee for approval before booking

You can find further details on filming at Harrow School here.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Harrow School as a location is also welcome to contact them on