Bray Studios

The Hammer Studios' permanent home in Bray, near Windsor, Buckinghamshire, from 1951 to 1967, when they began making productions at Elstree and occasionally Pinewood.

The aerial photograph (Google maps) shows the studios as they stand today.

Down Place

Down Place, the main house, which pre-existed the film studios, was featured a few times in the Hammer films. For example, on the right is a shot from The Mummy (1959), in which the ballroom of Down Court (the largest bay window seen near the top of the aerial photograph) was the exterior of John Banning's house.

The main entrance to Down Place was also used in several of the films, including (shown below) as the jail in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), the monastery courtyard in Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965) and the street market outside the Cafe Tzigane in Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1965).


The Bray Backlot

The backlot at Bray was home to the marvellous creations of set designer Bernard Robinson. The Curse of Frankenstein made minimal use of the backlot, but it came into its own with Robinson's formidable design for the exterior of Dracula's castle in 1958. The same set was revamped to become Baskerville Hall for The Hound of the Baskervilles, later the same year.

Over the next decade the backlot was to be transformed several times. When the Dracula set was finally struck, it became the beginnings of a village, beginning with the Inn from The Brides of Dracula:

This was expanded into an entire Spanish village, originally designed for a period epic that never transpired, but which eventually became the setting for The Curse of the Werewolf:

Subsequent alterations made it the village of Dymchurch (with extra location filming in Bray Village and Denham, Buckinghamshire) for Captain Clegg (1962):

The London setting of The Phantom of the Opera (1962):

English village setting for The Scarlet Blade and Devil-Ship Pirates (1963):

A completely new start for Dracula, Prince of Darkness (note the corner of Down Place in the background on the right), with the castle doubling up as a Russian palace in Rasputin, the Mad Monk (same year):

A brilliantly conceived Cornish hamlet for The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile (both 1966):

And finally, village sets for Frankenstein Created Woman and The Mummy's Shroud, both in 1967, Hammer's final year at Bray:






David L Rattigan 2005





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