Travel News

Where is This Town filmed? Birmingham locations behind the BBC drama

Simon Calder’s Travel

New BBC drama This Town has been a top hit with ska music fans since its debut at the end of March, and the retro local settings are reminiscent of an industrial city’s musical heyday.

The six-part miniseries from Peaky Blinders creator – and Midlands native – Steven Knight is set in Eighties Birmingham and narrates the tangled lives of those living in the social unrest of “a city on edge”.

Described as a story of “feuds, family and fierce music”, actor Levi Brown stars as the lyrical poet Dante Williams alongside Downtown Abbey’s Michelle Dockery and Jordan Bolger.

Soundtracked by Ray Charles, The Clash, Bob Marley and Coventry-based ska revival band The Specials, the heart of This Town beats in Birmingham.

Here are the West Midlands locations behind the Brummie-based family saga.

Where is This Town filmed?

Druids Heath in south Birmingham is used for the high-rise blocks of Chelmsley Wood (BBC/Banijay Rights/Kudos)

Druids Heath, Birmingham

In This Town, the tower blocks of Druids Heath in south Birmingham double as the high-rise blocks of Saxelby House, Kingswood House and Barratts House where Dante lives in Chelmsley Wood.

The original Chelmsley Wood blocks, Europe’s largest single housing development in the Sixties, were demolished in the 1990s.

Heartlands Parkway, Nechells 

A spaceman was carried roadside down Heartlands Parkway in Nechells during a motorway scene, across the red and black diamond brickwork.

Gravelly Hill, Birmingham 

The famed tangle of roads at the motorway interchange Spaghetti Junction is seen on screen in the series. Actors filmed underneath the Gravelly Hill motorway junction to save getting caught up in the on-road confusion.

Filming too place underneath Gravelly Hill’s motorway junction (BBC/Banijay Rights/Kudos)

Horse and Coaches, West Bromwich

The Horse and Coaches in West Bromwich was used as a set to recreate Chelmsley Wood’s former The Happy Trooper pub. New signage and retro tweaks to interiors by production brought the Trooper, demolished to make space for a housing development, back to life.

Aston Parish Church, Birmingham

The cameras rolled at Aston’s Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul in Witton Lane, believed to have been founded in the 9th century, to encapsulate the community hubs of Birmingham 40 years ago.

Set designers used shop signage to recreate retro Birmingham (