Tag Archives: Gloucestershire

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire -December 2016

Tom Project Indigo visits Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire
Welcome to Dyrham Park

Hello and welcome to 2017! I hope you enjoyed Christmas and FINALLY seeing a new Doctor Who episode – The Return of Doctor Mysterio (2016)! I really liked it, it is one of my favourite Christmas specials ever. It felt really different and I was so pleased that Nardole was revealed as a new companion as I have wanted the Doctor to have another non-human companion for a very long time. I am looking forward to Series 10 and seeing how the Doctor, Nardole and Bill get along. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think about the Christmas special, I would love to hear what other people think.

The entrance to Dyrham Park, Doctor Who filming location
The front of Dyrham Park

This time on Project Indigo we are visiting Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire, filming location for The Night Terrors (2011) which was an Eleventh Doctor episode. In this episode the Doctor, Amy and Rory visit a little boy in London who is so scared of his wardrobe that his fear is transmitted throughout the universe. This mission to help the child leads them to become trapped in a Dolls House where they must fight peg-dolls that would scare anyone silly!

Dyrham Park is a National Trust property near Bath. This country house was built in the late 17th Century for a politician named William Blathwayt who received the land through marriage to Mary Wynter. He is very well known in America as he was a key figure in the administration of the American Colonies and he also served as Secretary of War under James II and William III.

This house was chosen as the filming location as it looks like it would make a perfect Dolls House. I visited at Christmas time when the weather was grey but dry. First I explored the grounds which are famous for being home to a herd of fallow deer. The name Dyrham comes the Anglo-Saxon word ‘dirham’ which means ‘enclosure for deer’.  The deer park covers 270 acres! 

Tom Project Indigo explores the Lost Terraces at Dyrham Park
Exploring the lost terraces

The gardens are in the middle of a project to recreate the look of the 17th Century. I found a gate which took me to the Lost Terraces which are still undergoing work to restore them. I walked in the footsteps of William Blathwayt which have just been uncovered and looked down upon St Peter’s Church where he got married. It felt very tranquil in the terraces and I saw a lot of wild-life including a friendly robin, squirrels and a bird of prey.

Afterwards I went into the house which was very imposing. I recognised the wooden panelled walls from The Night Terrors but in the episode all the furniture had been removed for filming and replaced by Dolls House furniture, including a wooden frying pan. Luckily there were no peg-dolls there so I was not scared.

Tom Project Indigo visits Doctor Who 'The Night Terrors' filming location Dyrham Park
Enter the Dolls House!

I could see lots of worldwide treasures from a time of exploration including Dutch items such as blue and white Delftware Pottery and a still-life by Cornelis De Heem.  There was also a famous Trompe L’oeil by Samuel Van Hoogstraten, a picture which messes with your mind. Trompe L’oeil is French for ‘deceive the eye’ and creates a 3D illusion. In the 17th Century a painting like this was as new and exciting to people as a trailer for the new Nintendo Switch now!

Dyrham Park Trompe- L'oeil -'A View Down the Corridor' by Samuel Van Hoogstraten
This messes with your mind! ‘A View Down the Corridor’ by Samuel Van Hoogstraten

On the way out I was offered some hot chocolate made using a 17th Century recipe. For me it felt more like a punishment than a treat – it was very, very spicy!

It is not just Doctor Who that has been filmed at Dyrham Park – in the New Year some of the new series of ‘Poldark’ was filmed there too! Other things filmed at Dyrham include the film The Remains of the Day (1993) and the original series of Poldark from the 1970s.  

Tom Project Indigo hunts Pokemon at Dyrham Park
A most excellent place to hunt Pokémon!

I had a fantastic day at Dyrham Park and I would recommend anybody to check it out – even better if you are a Pokemon Go player because it is chock full Omanytes and lots of long walks to help hatch your eggs. 🙂  Thank you for reading and sorry it has been so long since I have written a post, now I am at Senior School I have lots of homework and can’t blog as much as I used to BUT Project Indigo is still going strong and I will try my best to get about in my TARDIS as much as I can. ALLONS-Y!

 

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Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire – August 2015

Tom at the entrance to Puzzlewood
Welcome to Puzzlewood!

Hello!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you enjoyed The Husbands of River Song (2015) as well! It was an amazing Doctor Who story to watch at Christmas and I really enjoyed it, I’m just sad that we now have to wait a long while until the next new episode comes!

In the meantime we are going to hop in my TARDIS and travel back in time to the summer of 2015. Welcome to Puzzlewood near Coleford in The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire – a forest for which there is no map! Puzzlewood is a filming location for many TV shows and films – including a little known film called Star Wars Episode VII- The Force Awakens. Have any of you seen it? I would be surprised if you have 😉

SPOILER ALERT – if you haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VII look away NOW!!! Kathleen Kennedy from Lucasfilm says that Puzzlewood is

“the most magical forest on the face of the earth”.

Highlight the following text to reveal the spoiler! When I saw Star Wars Episode VII I instantly recognised Puzzlewood in the scene on the planet Takodana, where Rey takes BB-8 to the woods for safety and bumps into Kylo Ren…..

DON’T BLINK! Do you remember in Flesh and Stone (2010) when the Doctor, River and Amy are being chased down by the Weeping Angels? Puzzlewood was the filming location for the cybernetic forest on board The Byzantium which provided the passengers with air. As they travelled through the forest, poor Amy had to keep her eyes shut as she had a Weeping Angel in her eye. Luckily for me I didn’t run into any Weeping Angels when I was there!

Aboard the Byzantium - Doctor Who filming location Puzzlewood
No sign of any Weeping Angels, phew!

Puzzlewood was also a filming location for The Time of the Doctor (Christmas Special 2013), Matt Smith’s final episode which saw the Eleventh Doctor regenerate. In this episode the Doctor and Clara were attacked by the Weeping Angels in a frosty land – rescued only by the old Key in the Quiff Routine!

The Puzzlewood Wall of Fame! Photos of the programmes and films that have been filmed at Puzzlewood
The Puzzlewood Wall of Fame!

Apart from Star Wars Episode VII and Doctor Who, other things filmed at Puzzlewood include Atlantis, Merlin, Wizards vs Aliens ( written by Russell T Davies) , Jack the Giant Slayer and Tree Fu Tom which stars Sophie Aldred aka Ace and the Tenth Doctor David Tennant! Puzzlewood is so popular because of its very special scenery and it looks amazing on screen.There is a wall of photos inside showing the many programmes and films that have used this location and you can spot many famous actors who have filmed here.

On show at Puzzlewood, Scowles are the geological feature. Scowles are found throughout the Forest of Dean  and are ancient caves formed millions of years ago in the carboniferous limestone that have come to the surface due to erosion. The rocks are covered in a feathery moss and there are bright green ferns that make the forest so green (and the trees are so green too!) that it is the greenest place I have ever been. It is said that Puzzlewood was the inspiration for the forests of Middle Earth in JRR Tolkein’s books, which sounds pretty reasonable to me!

I had a really nice time at Puzzlewood and enjoyed getting lost in the woods and trying to figure my way out -it was a real puzzle! I found many things including a magic doorway and dinosaur feet. The weather changed all the time and it got wetter and muddier as the weather changed from good to bad, good to bad. The mud got more slippery and more  slippery and I ended up with my first Project Indigo related injury – a banged collar bone and very muddy trousers! Top tip – if you visit Puzzlewood, wear old clothes and wellies :).

Puzzlewood is a must visit place for fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy of all ages! Thank you for reading and I hope you will join me again for my next Doctor Who adventure – and I wish all Project Indigo readers a Happy New Year for 2016!