If you’re a fan of the Enola Holmes Mysteries, then you’re probably wondering where in London they filmed the two films. Well, wonder no more! In this blog post, we will take a look at all of the filming locations used to create Victorian London. So, if you’re looking for some inspiration for your next outing, be sure to check out our guide to the London filming locations and how they recreate Victorian London.
Enola Holmes Mysteries and their setting in Victorian London
The Enola Holmes Mysteries are set in Victorian London, and the two films were filmed in various locations around the city.
It is 1884, during the reign of Queen Victorian. While searching for her missing mother, intrepid teen Enola Holmes uses her sleuthing skills to outsmart big brother Sherlock and help a runaway lord.
Meet Enola, a young lady with an extraordinary ability to detect clues and solve mysteries. When her brothers decide that she must attend finishing school against her will in order for the family name not to be ruined any more than it already has been since their mother disappeared without telling them where she went or why Enola rebels by running away.
She escapes all aspects of “school” including lessons on proper social graces (win order to be a socially-acceptable young later and perfect wife material). Her peculiar homeschooling syllabus (including history, physics and combat) has provided her with skills in which to live a life away from the tea parlours, if she so chooses. However, these skills, he will find out in Enola Holmes 2, would be very handy ni being able to blend in with everyone else. They allow her to venture into this unauthorised escapade into adulthood while still trying desperately keep ahead of Scotland Yard’s finest team because they’re equally determined to capture whatever secrets these running around have
Set in Victorian London and filmed across the UK Enola Holmes features Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes, Henry Cavill and Sam Clafin as Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, and Helena Bonham Carter as their eccentric mother Eudoria.
Enola heads to London in search for her mother. She enters London and jumps off into a busy Victorian London street. The real location is College Way in Greenwich, a popular film location for many big budget films including Pirates of the Caribbean, Les Miserables and Cruella. I must say, I like that they have added livestock and two CGI churches along the street.
There is a variety of shops along this busy street:
Liberty & Co (perhaps this is supposed to be Regent Street?), Bowman & sons, Simmonds & Lockett costumier (displaying crinolines which were out of fashion by then). A sign on the wall says on wall: lammers, hatters, canes and collars. There’s a Greengrocers, Crisp ladies outfitters, H J Deacon & Son
There’s a medicine man (quack) selling some sort of tonic, a Shoe polisher (they were all over London, many of them were deaf). Horses and carriages, a funeral horse and carriage and a no.32 omnibus add movement to the street. There are adverts for: Oakey’s Knife polish, Dessicated soup 57 years B.James Four varieties, Theo bald cocoa & chocolate and Bovril.
A man speaks in public on the reform Bill “votes for all men” subtly highlights that not even all men have the vote yet, let alone any women, which is what Enola’s mom and comrades are fighting for. As story in paper which Mycroft is reading states: The Reform Bill – The Lords Face Crucial Vote. The Lords listen intently to the Prime Minister’s proposal for reform. The prime minister Mr William Gladstone gave a most rousing speech in the House of Lords. “England is going to pot” comments Mycroft.
In which year is Enola Holmes set?
In short: 1884
Detail is provided in the newspaper Sherlock Holmes is reading. It’s The Pall Mall Gazzett – An Evening Newspaper and Review
No. 6220 Vol.XL, Tuesday 17 [June] 1884 price one penny. Top stories: Stanford’s popular map of the Nile and the environs of Khartum and an advert for Sun Life Assurance Society.
What is nice is that the real Pall Mall Gazette for 17th June 1884 did indeed have an advert for Sun Life Assurance Society. Established 1810 on the back page. Along with other adverts such as Apollinaris “The Queen of Table Water” and Epp’s (Grateful and Comforting) Cocoa.
It’s great to see the header and type font of the Pall Mall Gazette being replicated. The movie version has a number of large illustrations to assist in the storytelling in the film whereas this ‘Evening Newspaper and Review” has columns filled with text. The top story in the real Pall Mall Gazette on 17 June 1884 was about Mr Mundella and the Education Act. The Mundella Act (another Act credited to his name), properly known as the Elementary Education Act 1880, which became law only four months after the Liberals returned to power, established the means to enforce that all children would be sent to school.
The second top story is written by Miss Frances Power Cobbe and focusses on the Home Office providing licences “Permitting Experiments in Illustrations to Lectures”.
I wonder why the prop department decide to not include the month in the date of the newspaper. It clearly set in Summer and there can only be so many Tuesday 17th s in 1884. Any suggestions?
Enola is in need of a lodging house
The red brick decorations around the windows with once access to the mews is the east end of Fournier Street. A faded ghost sign and hanging washing add to the visual story. The bollards in the film are also there in real life. The small building on the right replaces the church. They have also removed the Hawksmoor church.
“London; the centre of civilisation, the home of polite society, of music, of literature and the finest things that money can buy.” Enola Holmes
Edith’s Tearooms are also on Fournier Street, this time on the west side.
Enola heads to Limehouse Lane. Chinese writing on packaging indicates that this is the Limehouse area originally occupied by the Chinese before moving to the current China Town in the West End. Black gunpowder Amberite is stored in barrels. Amberite is handy as it doesn’t produce any smoke when ignited. The newspaper headlines how this was a time of great change and unrest; “Protest, unrest and unrest.” with an image of a post box explosion which was a tactic that some branches of the suffrage movement used.
When Lestrade meets Mycroft in a barbers the street outside once again looks like Fournier Street.
Covent Garden Flower Market in Enola Holmes is actually Greenwich. There is a still of Covent Garden Market as if viewing it from the Royal Opera House. There are many chimneys billowing out smoke from the coal fires. The grand buildings on the right was where Drs William and John Hunter had their first anatomical surgery school.
The colonnades in the film, filled with flowers and foliage is the same section of Greenwich Naval College which was used by BBC One in one of Poldark’s Houses of Parliament filming locations. Admittedly, the columns look very similar but the lamps in Covent Garden market are bigger and have gold pineapples on them.
Enola leaves Dash on a statue in the court for Sherlock to find. This is actually Drum Court of HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road Westminster.
Houses of Parliament
One of the Enola Holmes’ filming locations for Westminster is King’s College London’s Maughan Library.
Tewksbury is seen inside the gates, with the library entrance and its tower to the left. You can see a CGI Westminster backdrop in the distance, behind the Grade II-listed building.
Enola returns to the street after talking to Lord Tewkesbury, and walks past a newspaper stand. The scenes were filmed just outside the same building. Hansom cabs and news placards appeared in front of the Maughan Library on Chancery Lane in July 2019.
The beautifully preserved lane links the Strand and Holborn, with law courts and chambers on either side. In the Netflix movie, Big Ben has been added where the Strand should be.
HM Treasury’s building at 1 Horse Guards Road is a Grade II-listed government building – and occasional screen star. Its English Baroque architecture housed the new MI6 HQ in Spectre. Daniel Craig’s Bond is seen walking through the same circular courtyard as Sherlock and Mycroft.
The last scene in Enola Holmes is shot to camera and was filmed in Greenwich, complete with cattle trough, reminding us of the 30,000 horses which worked on the streets of Victorian London and a hot air balloon reminding us that this was an age of scientific advancement.
Other non-london film locations in Enola Holmes
Minley manor, Minley Rd, Fleet GU17 9JT, United Kingdom
(Mrs Harrison’s finishing school)
The home of the Tewksbury family. It is also in Mr Holmes starring Sir Ian McKellen as well as Paddington and Bridgerton (the maze scene). When introducing the Tewksbury family they use a photo of the household; four family members and a ridiculously large number of staff. It’s easy to forget how large a sector of employment Domestic Service was. Life in Victorian society was physical; the effort it took to heat water for a bath, to get ready a carriage and horses. It all took such an extraordinary amount of time and forethought. The film makes this subtle point when Lestrade and Emola are waiting for the carriage when they are kicked out of the Tewksbury family home. I liked how the uncle had fought in the Afghan war (the same as Dr Watson).
Minley manor, Minley Rd, Fleet GU17 9JT, United Kingdom was used as Mrs Harrison’s finishing school.
Enola’s clues lead her to London’s East End – and the Limehouse Lane filming location at Luton Hoo Home Farm complex.
Luton Hoo is situated across the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border, it’s certainly not in Limehouse. It’s a unique and historical estate that has been featured in many movies, TV shows or other media. The cobbled streets are just one small area of this incredible property; you may know it from various films like Four Weddings And A Funeral, Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife or even Justice League where they all shot some scenes here!