What were the London locations of the first Kingsman movie?

Colin Firth’s fight pub looked very familiar

There is much speculation flying around on the internet about there being a third film in the Kingsman series. However, it is difficult to establish whether it will be a prequel or a sequel.

The first I knew of the existence of the original film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, was when I saw the bar fight scene trailer on the internet. I had been looking for clips from The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth when I came across it. Immediately I was struck with the “that bar looks familiar” feeling, but thought no more about it.

It was only later – when I saw the complete movie – it dawned on me that the pub was, indeed one I knew, the Black Prince in Kennington, close to the area I grew up in.

…or are we going to fight?

Strange how that gave me a feeling of “ownership” to know that the scene was set in a pub I recognised from my late teens.

It should be conceded that the first Kingsman is a little too violent for some movie-goers, and the bar fight scene is a case in point.

Perhaps the most violent episode which, I admit, left even me feeling a little queasy is the massacre of a hate group in a church in Kentucky, USA, carried out by Harry Hart (Colin Firth).

In reality, the exterior of the church is the sedate Garrison Church of St Barbara in Deepcut, Surrey.

Probably to keep down costs much of the movie was filmed in the south of England.

The backwards car chase with the police ends up in a shunt on Corbridge Crescent in east London’s Cambridge Heath. It’s a popular movie spot that provides the safe house in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a hideout in Fast And Furious 6 and also featured in Johnny Depp picture, Mortdecai.

The tailors which acts as a “front” for the Kingsman organisation really is in London’s famous Savile Row and has its own considerable pedigree. The real shop front bears the name Huntsman so only a few characters to change for the set designers.

Huntsman had Hollywood links long before Kingsman. Actor Gregory Peck was a big fan, wearing their creations in films such as The Million Pound Note and a tweed overcoat in The Omen. Clark Gable was also a customer having Huntsman make his costume for the big-game-hunter movie Mogambo.

The exterior of the Black Prince pub in Kennington; the Huntsman tailors in Savile Row; Imperial College in South Kensington; Stanhope Mews South in Gloucester Road

Still in London, Colin Firth’s character in the first Kingsman confronts Professor Arnold (Mark Hamill) at Imperial College behind the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington. Kingsman is full of nods to other British spy movies and those old enough to remember will recognise the entrance as the place that Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) faced up to Bluebird in The Ipcress File from the mid-60s.

The spy organisation’s country house training facility is the magnificent Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire.

Unfortunately, it’s a private house so isn’t open to the public, but it can be hired for events. Wrotham has been frequently used as a filming location, notably seen in Gothic, Peter’s Friends, and Gosford Park.

The railway tunnel in which main character Eggsy Unwin (Taron Eggerton) and other spy candidates are tied to the track and pumped for information about Kingsman, is the Sharpthorne Tunnel on the Bluebell Railway near Haywards Heath, East Sussex, which is also seen in The Theory Of Everything and Chaplin.

The railway is a delight for Londoners who take an interest in steam trains as it’s not too far to travel. Visitors looking to make a day out of it should note that the National Trust’s Sheffield Park and Garden is not far away.

Space doesn’t allow us to mention all the London locations for the film. But if you want to see the estate where Millwall supporter Eggsy “lived” it’s the Alexandra Road Estate in South Hampstead and the cul-de-sac that was “home” to Harry Hart is Stanhope Mews South close to Gloucester Road, south-west London.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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