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Great Expectations

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  • Great Expectations

    I was watching this excellent David Lean film yesterday, which to my mind is the best interpretation of the novel. Once again it occurred to me that I would love to know the actual location of the Ship Inn where they set out from to meet the steamer. There are lots of theories as to where it was filmed and it seems that it is definitely somewhere in the Medway or adjacent channels but I have never see proof or found anywhere that looks even remotely correct. It looks to be very lonely out on the marshes but nowhere seems to fit. Could it have been a temporary structure made for the film?

  • #2
    Wiki says—
    Restoration House in Rochester was Dickens' inspiration for "Satis House", the decaying mansion of Miss Havisham. The production reproduced Restoration House in Denham Film Studios in Buckinghamshire.[citation needed]

    Dickens based Joe Gargery's house on the forge in the village of Chalk, near Gravesend, Kent – a replica was erected on St Mary's Marshes on the Thames Estuary.[4]:212 Pip and Herbert Pocket arrange to meet Magwitch and help him escape at Chatham Docks where slip 8 was used for the scene as well as exterior shots of the prison hulk ships.[citation needed] The River Medway and the adjacent St Mary's Marshes appear in scenes where Pip and his friend, Herbert Pocket, row their boat to a small inn whilst waiting for the paddle steamer to arrive. The ship used in the film was called Empress, dating from the latter half of the nineteenth century and owned by Cosens & Co Ltd of Weymouth. She was brought down to Stangate Creek[citation needed] on the River Medway for the shoot. [6] "New masts were stepped-in with square rigging and dummy sails, the funnel was lengthened and the paddle-boxes enlarged until it looked exactly right." [4]:224

    The company was based at Rochester, and stayed for six weeks at the Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel – the Blue Boar in Dickens' novel. The unit for the location work for the film was based on a derelict naval fort on Darnett Ness Island in the River Medway.[7]