Peaky Blinders in Yorkshire
Updated: Apr 22
The British period drama Peaky Blinders created by Steven Knight follows the exploits of the Shelby crime family and is loosely based on a gang of the same name who supposedly sewed razors into the peaks of their flat caps whilst controlling the betting and bootlegging in post-World War One Birmingham.
Whilst, the popular BBC TV series Peaky Blinders was originally set in the slums of Birmingham there was a problem. In Birmingham most of the architecture from this period had been lost in bombing raids in the Second World War, so locations scouts had to look further afield for places to film the drama.
The first series used locations in Leeds and Bradford, as well as other northern cities such as Liverpool and Manchester. The production was aided by investment from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund.
The Peaky Blinders production team hired office space at Studio 81 on Kirkstall Road in Leeds and used crew and facilities locally as well as a range of local enterprises bringing in a major economic benefit to the area.
With rave reviews and a massive following – the chronicles of Thomas Shelby and his family are now filming their sixth and final series which is due to broadcast later in the year.
Let’s explore some of the Peaky Blinders locations used in the last 5 series across Yorkshire…
Bradford City Hall
City Hall was used as a background in season 5, this landmark 19th Century building with a distinctive bell/clocktower was inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and is situated on Centenary Square. The Victorian Courtroom inside was also featured in series 5 as well as the Lord Mayor's chambers doubling as Tommy Shelby’s Westminster office.
Leeds Town Hall
This iconic city centre building was used to depict an Birmingham Art Gallery in season 1. This incredible Victorian building was designed by Cuthbert Broderick and is a huge statement of Civic pride. The building was also featured in scenes about Tommy Shelby’s political campaigning and for a political rally in series 5.
The meeting point for Grace and Campbell to exchange information in season 1. This stunning Georgian house with landscaped gardens is situated just outside of Ripon and is open to the general public. The cellars, billiard room and gardens were used in the show and the statue gallery also doubled as an interior of Birmingham Art Gallery.
Salts Mill, Saltaire
This huge mill building and its adjacent workers village founded by Titus Salt has been used by many production companies, most recently for scenes in the BBC’s Gentleman Jack. It is used for a industrial scenes and some scenes were shot along the nearby Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Leeds City Varieties
Used as a grandiose location for a racous night for the Shelby family in series one. This small Victorian theatre, is England’s longest running music hall and is an intimate location for concerts and shows with its original boxes, ornate plasterwork and blood red walls. Some of the great entertainers have graced the stage here and it was once home to the TV series The Good Old Days.
Brooks Mill, Huddersfield
Now mainly used as office space, the production company took it back to its historic origins for the show. The gypsy camp scenes in Peaky Blinders were also shot just outside Huddersfield, complete with traditional caravans, carts and horses.
Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford
Built in the 19th century as Bradford’s population grew around the booming textile industry, it contains some grand gothic revival crypts, decorated headstones, statues and monuments from wealthy industrialists and their families graves. This atmospheric location was used in many scenes including Thomas Shelby, Polly, Campbell as well as burial scenes.
Braimes Pressings, Leeds
This 125 year old factory in Hunslett is another of Yorkshire’s industrial settings and was used for one particularly violent fight scene.
Little Germany, Bradford
A conservation area close to the centre of Bradford with a wealth of listed buildings, it was once a thriving area where the warehouses were based for many successful worsted weaving businesses and wealthy merchants. The streets and former warehouse frontages were used regularly in later seasons.
Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
Various stations along the line has been used in TV series such as All Creatures Great and Small and films like the Railway Children. The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway featured in 12 scenes with station platforms, bridges, tunnels and carriages all used in the series to provide an authentic 1920’s feel. With its steam railway engines and vintage carriages – it is open to the public and makes a great day out.
Bolton Abbey and surroundings
This beauty spot with its ruined priory and stunning views down Wharfedale made a great background for the Shelby clan in early episodes. Once home to a group of Augustinian monks and now a popular destinations to relax and paddle in the River Wharfe, the land is owned by the Duke of Devonshire.
St.Chad’s Church, Headingley
This grade II listed church built in 1868 provided a backdrop some scenes and was visited a number of times Thomas Shelby.
The Winter Gardens, Ilkley
This grand Edwardian Hall is situated in the heart of the picturesque town of Ilkley, the glass roofed Winter Garden sitting next to the Kings Hall has always been a classy venue for functions and with its ornate staircase was featured later in the series.