Call The Midwife: Film Location

Fans of BBC’s Call The Midwife who wish to see 1950-60’s Poplar can join the official Call the Midwife Tour in the Historic Dockyard Chatham, the film location of the mid-Century series (and countless of other period dramas). These 90-minute walking tours around the 400-year-old Dockyard are led by guides dressed as midwives in a blue uniform and red hat. During the tour, the guide will point out all the places that featured in the episodes, provide behind-the-scenes fun facts, and show you a recreated film set for visitors.

Starting this year, visitors on the CTM tour will be able to enjoy cream tea inside the Commissioner’s House which had been recreated into a Grosvenor Hotel tea room in Series 2 Episode 7 (or it could have been for a wedding in another episode but I’d have to rewatch every episode to ascertain if that is the case).

The Commissioner’s House is the oldest naval commissioner’s house in England, dating back to 1703.

If you’re hoping to visit Nonnatus House, you’ll be disappointed to learn that the house, Manor House in Long Cross Film Studios, is in Surrey and that many of the interior scenes were filmed inside a studio. (Nonnatus in 2012 had been filmed at St Joseph’s Missionary College in North London before it had been converted into retirement studios. Manor House has served as Nonnatus House since 2013.) Also, if you’re looking for a ‘Nonnatus House’ in London, you won’t find it; the real Nonnatus House is St Frideswide’s Mission House.

In lieu of Nonnatus House, visitors will be treated to the recreated Dining Room and Clinic Room in one of the warehouses built in 1919. There are also props and costumes from the film and you’ll be glad to know that photos are allowed.

The Clinical Room, featuring the new medical bag that will be introduced in S8.
Props!
Nun’s habit based on the ones worn by the nuns from the Community of St John The Divine. The original habits were saxe blue! This costume was designed by Amy Roberts.
Trixie’s two-piece white linen outfit which she wore on a date with Tom Hereward in S3 was designed by Ralph Wheeler-Holes.
This is the current midwife uniform worn in S5 (to S8), designed by Nigel Egerton. The original uniforms were grey but for screen purposes, Amy Roberts chose blue and gave the midwives red cardigans.
Nurse Barbara’s wedding dress with hooded velvet cape was inspired by Dame Judi Dench’s wedding outfit! This costume was designed by Maggie Chappelhow.

Here are some of the interesting facts I learned during the tour last year:

  • The same building, street, or naval vessel would double as different locations depending on the camera angle. It was also very helpful that our guide brought along the Official CTM Companion book (not for sale, I believe) with photos to jog our memory.
  • The trains are still used for filming, conducted by their own staff members who serve as extras in films.
  • The same goes for the Ropery where the Robins family worked (in the series); the rope workers still make rope using old equipment and act as extras.
  • The white winter that we enjoyed on Christmas Day in 2017 was filmed earlier in June!

Ticket: £25 (adults – incl. entire Dockyard)

Tour length: 90 min walk

Hours: 10am – 3pm/4pm/6pm* (check the website)

Directions:

  • Take the train to Chatham
  • Take the 191/190/175 or Sapphire 101 to Dockyard Main Gate
  • From there, it’s a long walk to the entrance through the car park. I assume most visitors arrive by car.