Peaky Blinders’ last spectacular season is now available on Netflix; viewers are once again intrigued by the tragedies of Tommy Shelby and his family on screen.
The historical drama spanned six seasons, depicting the Shelby family’s ascent to fame in the 1920s and 1930s Birmingham, and returned for one last season on the BBC earlier this year. However, with the announcement that it would be accessible on the streaming provider Netflix beginning June 10; it is now going worldwide.
While the show is famously set in Birmingham’s Small Heath district; shooting in recent years has primarily taken place in and around the northwest, with Manchester and Liverpool’s picturesque streets and rivers serving as stand-ins for Birmingham.
Series six was no exception, with film crews and the show’s star, Cillian Murphy, who portrays Tommy, sighted around Castlefield and Manchester for many weeks of shooting during spring and summer.
Here we look at some of the shooting sites utilized for the action in Series 6 – and the good news is that many of them are open to the public around the area.
Small Heath – Via Castlefield
While previous episodes employed a variety of Manchester’s ancient cobblestone alleyways to masquerade as Birmingham, for series six; the whole Castlefield was taken over for several weeks to portray 1930s Small Heath properly.
The genuine Small Heath is a neighborhood south of Birmingham where the real Peaky Blinders were said to have originally appeared; terrorizing the streets from the 1890s through the 1910s.
On the other hand, peaky Blinders director Anthony Byrne chose to take over the whole Castlefield for series six shooting to construct the show’s Garrison Lane and Small Heath; – owing to its dramatic combination of canals, bridges, and cobbled lanes.
Anthony posted on Instagram, “We took over Castlefield in Manchester and transformed it into the streets of Small Heath, Birmingham in 1934.”
During the first lockdown, I walked here every day and conceived the notion of converting this wonderful spot into the Peaky world.
“I was incredibly fortunate to see this come to fruition a year later with some incredible collaborators and friends; as well as the great perseverance and talent of Nicole Northridge; our production designer, and Jess Dove, our location manager, who pulled it together, and you will see a lot more of it on the 27th.”
When not being utilized as a film location; Castlefield is a popular destination on the city’s outskirts for its canal-side pubs and restaurants; and the outdoor Castlefield Bowl stages a live series of performances during Sounds of the City in the summer.
Tommy will be featured in significant moments in the upcoming season in the China Town neighborhood. But, once again, Castlefield served as a stand-in for Birmingham in these sequences, with purpose-built sets dotted across the neighborhood. Again, it was a collaborative effort between the Peaky Blinders crew and Screen Manchester.
Jessica Dove, the Peaky Blinders 6 supervising location manager; appreciated Screen Manchester and Bobby Cochrane for supporting the massive production in the city last year. “Bobby and his crew helped make the Peaky Blinders fantasy a reality in Castlefield,” she added. “With its dramatic arches, cobblestones, canals, and massive size; it served as the ideal background to some of the new season’s most intriguing sequences.”
“That would not have been possible without Bobby’s and Screen Manchester’s advice and assistance throughout the process.” “Bobby was there day and night, from the concept stage, when we were figuring out what may be doable; through our inevitable tweaking of dates and plans along the way, the late-night shoots, and eventually the strike and reinstatement.”
“The demands for Castlefield were some of the most ambitious and complicated we have enabled to date;” Bobby said, “but I am glad that we were able to assist make the director’s vision a reality.” “I am looking forward to seeing how this magnificent portion of the city will appear in this series; and it was great to see the site in the first teaser.”
The Garrison Pub
The Garrison bar has been at the center of the action from the beginning of Peaky Blinders; and it is modeled on the real-life tavern in Small Heath, where the original gang is said to have drank. Unfortunately, the real-life Garrison bar had been closed for some time and could not be utilized for shooting.
So the interiors we see on TV today and many of the other interior sequences; in series six were purpose-built on sets at West Gorton’s Space Studios in Manchester. The exterior was constructed as part of the massive set created at Castlefield for the city’s big shooting last summer.
Director Anthony has disclosed that the pub has received a makeover for the new series; to embrace the colors black and gold, which are “essential to the concept” in series six. So while fans of the show may not be able to visit the real-life Garrison pub these days; they may immerse themselves in Peaky Blinders-themed pubs on Peter Street in Manchester and Stanhope Street in Liverpool.
The majestic pile where Tommy Shelby currently lives is one of the drama’s most intriguing scenes. And the scene is Arley Hall and Gardens in Cheshire, near Northwich. The house depicts Tommy’s advancement in life from his childhood in Birmingham’s Small Heath.
We’ve previously seen the estate used as a dramatic background in the season 6 teaser; with Tommy patrolling his grounds with a machine gun and firing multiple shots. The interiors of the mansion home, such as the library and dining room, have also been significantly featured in previous episodes and will be seen again in series six.
In real life, fans of the show may live the Shelby dream by visiting the historic estate grounds; which are accessible Monday through Sunday all year, and the home itself, which opens on certain weekends in the summer and is periodically updated on their website here.
The Grays’ Boston Mansion
In the first episode, Tommy travels to Boston to meet the cunning Gina Gray in her opulent house. It seems to be the ultimate of the American Dream, with the Great Gatsby black and gold. However, the stunning space was shot in Lancashire rather than Boston.
The living room’s unusual circular area was shot within the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster. The folly was erected in Williamson Park by rich industrialist Lord Ashton in remembrance of his second wife Jessy between 1907 and 1909.
The enormous dome has been termed the “Taj Mahal of the North,” and it is accessible to the public daily and for weddings and festivities.
The “Midland Hotel”
Tommy is shown driving to a breathtakingly gorgeous Art Deco skyscraper with the name The Midland Hotel engraved on it in the season six teaser. In reality, the building is a hotel, although Manchester’s Hotel Gotham was transformed into Peaky’s Midland.
Peaky fans will be thrilled to know that it appears just as good in real life as in the show’s cinematography. The five-star hotel is located in an imposing old bank building at the top of King Street. It is regarded as a famous hangout in Manchester, having entertained Will. i. am, Simon Cowell, Robbie Williams, and Jennifer Hudson over the years.
It first debuted as Hotel Gotham in 2015, and the inside is also 1930s-themed; with the public Honey Restaurant on the ground level and the exclusive members-only Club Brass on the top floor.
Meeting Hall – Salford Lads Club
In episode two, Tommy travels to a striking green-doored facility to talk to his supporters before a large demonstration. Music enthusiasts would have recognized the renowned Salford Lads Club, which can be located at the cobbled end of Salford’s real-life Coronation Street.
The club is arguably best known in contemporary society for its connections to The Smiths. However, it remains a popular site for music lovers to stand outside the famous doors in the manner of Morrissey, Marr, and co.
The Political Rally
This was all shot over many nights in St George’s Hall in Liverpool for sequences that will appear in Peaky Blinders episode two. As the globe approaches war, Oswald Moseley (played by Sam Claflin) will return as head of the British Union of Fascists; with Tommy as his deputy.
The new series will include dramatic moments of a demonstration inside the historic hall, as shown in the teaser, with Nazi banners flying inside the venue. The huge public hall, which opened in 1854, is regarded as one of the world’s best neo-classical structures.
It recently debuted a new tourist attraction, the St George’s Hall Experience; The History Whisperer, which takes you on a paid tour of the building’s history.
In season six, Tommy goes to make atonement for his misdeeds inside a beautiful church. Tommy is seen in photos from the new series with a massive stained glass window behind him.
Many will recognize Liverpool Cathedral’s beautiful architecture and the famed Te Deum window. Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is the largest in the United Kingdom and the fifth in Europe.
The cathedral is free to visit; however, tickets to explore the tower and enjoy panoramic views of Liverpool are available.
Peaky Blinders will be released on Netflix on June 10, 2022.