Over 50 different movies and TV series have been shot at Powerscourt Estate since Laurence Olivier started the trend by filming Henry V here in 1944. Some of these movies have been filmed at the Waterfall with its ageless stunning backdrop.
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(Jane Seymour, 2000) Powerscourt’s tumbling waterfall and iconic views have proved irresistible to filmmakers since Powerscourt was used as a location set in the 1920’s. The waterfall has an enchanting quality when captured on screen which inspires many. From the 1981 dramatic sword and sorcery film ‘Excalibur’ to the world of Nordic legend in ‘Vikings’ in 2015, Powerscourt continues to grow in popularity as a stunning location for filmmakers.
Today you can experience the stunning scenery and lands that have starred in the movies and TV series of Powerscourt. When visiting us, perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot a movie being filmed!
The origins of film-making at Powerscourt waterfall
The 1926 film ‘Irish Destiny’ is an early black and white film made in Ireland. Featuring scenes of a young couple enjoying a carefree walk at the waterfall, the scenery looks remarkably unchanged from today. This incredible film was lost for many years until 1991 when it was finally located by the Irish Film Institute in the United States’ library of Congress. Irish Destiny is the first fiction film about the Irish War of Independence and the only film written and produced by Isaac (Jack) Eppel, a Dublin GP and pharmacist who was also a cinema owner.
Let’s go to the movies! Let’s see the stars of Powerscourt.
Over 50 different movies and TV series have been shot at Powerscourt Estate since Laurence Olivier started the trend by filming Henry V here in 1944. Since then movies including Black Beauty, Barry Lyndon, The Count of Monte Cristo, Ella Enchanted and King Arthur have been filmed or partially filmed at Powerscourt. We have had a host of stars visit us including Ryan O’Neal, Tom Cruise, Rock Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Sally Field, Guy Pierce and Clive Owen. Popular TV series such as The Tudors starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Camelot featuring Joseph Fiennes have also been shot here. Why not watch some of the movies below and see if you can spot Powerscourt Estate in any of the scenes! Here are some of the movies and TV series that have been filmed at Powerscourt:
Henry V (1944)
Movie Captain Lightfoot (1955)
Movie The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
Movie The Blue Max (1966)
Movie Black Beauty (1971)
Movie Barry Lyndon (1975)
Movie Excalibur (1981)
Far and Away (1992)
Movie Into the West (1992)
Movie Word Upon the Window Pane (1994)
Movie Moll Flanders (1996)
Movie St. Ives (1999)
Movie Mystic Knights (1998)
The Count of Monte Cristo
Movie The Abduction Club (2002)
Movie Highbinders (2003)
Movie Ella Enchanted (2004)
Movie King Arthur (2004)
The tranquil setting of Powerscourt was pillaged by Vikings as part of filming for the TV series ‘Vikings’. Vikings is a series high on adventure, exploration and warfare, but at its heart, it is also a family saga. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lathbork, a historical figure, and the greatest hero of his age, as he rises to become King of the Viking tribes.
The stellar cast includes Travis Fimmel (The Beast, Baytown Outlaws) as Ragnar and Clive Standen (Camelot, Robin Hood) as Rollo, Ragnar’s excessive, cruel cousin. Fans of Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, Usual Suspects) will be delighted to see him play Earl Haraldson, the most important local ruler in Ragnar’s district.
Did you know?
The Viking tattoos in the series are inspired by original Scandinavian artefacts
The main character Ragnar Lodbrok’s surname literally translates into “hairy trousers” or “hairy breeches.”
Vikings’ characters wear heavy eye liner in the series which is historically accurate. Vikings used a type of eyeliner known as kohl. It helped stop the sun from damaging their eyesight while also increasing the appeal of the wearer.
The myth of ‘King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table’ is one of England’s most famous sagas. Yet John Boorman’s 1981 film adaptation was shot entirely on location in Ireland, in counties Wicklow, Tipperary and Kerry. Director John Boorman had originally planned an adaptation of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. When funding dried up, he turned to the legend of King Arthur.
Fans of this fantasy drama will enjoy a 65km driving route, ‘Excalibur Drive’, which starts and finished in Roundwood, County Wicklow. Highlights of the drive include the spectacular Powerscourt waterfall, where the fight scene between Arthur and Lancelot was set, and Lough Tay, where Excalibur is finally grasped by the rhinestone-encrusted hand of the Lady of the Lake. Both the waterfall and Wicklow woods also feature prominently in a love scene between Lancelot and Guinevere, filmed in a freezing forest.