The Woman In The Wall: A Journey To Where It All Happened

the woman in the wall

Updated On: February 28, 2024 by   Yasmin ElwanYasmin Elwan

The Woman in the Wall, a BBC thriller, has hit the screens, and fans are on cloud nine, eagerly awaiting the gripping storyline. But you know what adds extra charm to this show? Ireland! Having a gander at the trailer BBC shared a few weeks ago, you can’t turn a blind eye to the stunning sights of the captivating Emerald Isle.

What is “The Woman in the Wall” About?

The Woman in the Wall trailer

The Woman in the Wall is a mind-bending rollercoaster of a story, taking place in the make-believe Irish town of Kilkinure. Ruth Wilson delivers a captivating performance as Lorna Brady, an Irish woman in her mid-30s, who is unexpectedly confronted with a life-altering discovery—a dead body is hidden in a wall inside her own home, sending shockwaves through her world. 

Lorna is completely in the dark about the identity of the deceased lady or how she ended up in that predicament, and it dawns on her that she might have a hand in the foul play. Plagued by mysterious sleepwalking episodes, her nocturnal wanderings began when her life was abruptly torn apart at the tender age of 15, thrusting her into the obscure Kilkinure Convent.

On the fateful night of the crime, Lorna found herself in the clutches of sleepwalking, only to rise with the sun, completely oblivious to the events that unfolded. The deceased woman has been identified as Bridie Connolly, a well-known oddball in the community. (Connolly Cove has absolutely nothing to do with her!)

In a chilling turn of events, the police find themselves entangled in a web of suspicion as they zero in on Lorna as the prime suspect in the shocking murder of Bridie. However, amidst the mounting evidence against her, Lorna insists she is innocent, leaving everyone to wonder: Is she truly a victim of circumstance or a master manipulator hiding a sinister secret? 

In her relentless pursuit to reclaim her innocence, Lorna delves into the dark depths of Kilkinure, unveiling a labyrinth of sinister secrets concealed within the haunting walls of the Magdalene Laundries.

Is the Show Based on True Events?

Kind of! You see, Magdalene Laundries was a real place in Ireland with a famous, terrifying story. The show delves into the dark underbelly of the Magdalene Laundries, a series of Irish establishments where women and girls were incarcerated and forced to work under inhumane conditions. The show also explores themes of guilt, haunting trauma, and the power of the past. 

If you dig a little deeper into the real story of Magdalene Laundries, you will find out that girls were often sent to those wretched institutions for unfathomable reasons, such as being unwed mothers, labelled as “promiscuous,” or deemed utterly “morally unfit”. 

The unfortunate souls trapped within the suffocating walls of the laundries were mercilessly subjected to unspeakable acts of physical and emotional abuse. Basic human rights were cruelly snatched away, leaving them to languish in a desolate existence devoid of hope.

Where Was “The Woman In The Wall” Filmed?

This gripping series chose its filming locations to be the dramatic landscapes of Northern Ireland and County Mayo, Ireland. Ireland’s green jewel brings its enchanting mix of rolling hills, coastal beauty, and charming villages to the screen. But there are more reasons behind that choice. 

In fact, the series creator, Joe Murtagh, told BBC that many people have no idea about the Magdalene Laundries, which inspired him to bring the tragic story to the small screen.

“In order to tell a story about Magdalene Laundries, I wanted to tell it in such a way that it would reach as wide an audience as possible”.

– Joe Murtagh, Irish film writer

Northern Ireland

While The Woman In The Wall says, “This is London”, it’s not! In fact, the crew never left the Irish island. The London scenes were all shot in Northern Ireland. Why not? It’s a filmmaker’s paradise with all the ingredients for blockbuster success, anyway.

Generally speaking, the scenery in Northern Ireland is off the charts. It’s like Mother Nature herself decided to show off. The rugged coastlines, rolling green hills, and lush forests are the stuff of legends. 

You’ve got the Giant’s Causeway, a natural wonder that looks like something out of a fantasy flick, and the Dark Hedges, a mystical avenue of trees that’s straight out of a fairy tale or a spine-tingling movie—it depends on your perspective. And who can forget the stunning backdrop of the Mourne Mountains? If you’re filming a fantasy epic or a historical drama, Northern Ireland’s got you covered.

On top of all of that, Belfast, the capital, is a buzzing hub of creativity. The urban cityscapes here are as diverse as Arsenal’s players, from the modern architecture of the Titanic Quarter to the edgy street art of the Cathedral Quarter. It’s like having a dozen different film sets in one city. Plus, the locals have that Irish charm in spades, making it a breeze to work with them.

The Most Popular Flicks and TV Shows Filmed in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has already played a starring role in some major productions. Remember Game of Thrones? Yeah, that blockbuster was filmed all over Northern Ireland. You can visit iconic locations like the King’s Road (aka the Dark Hedges), Winterfell (Castle Ward), or Lordsport (Ballintoy Harbour). It’s like stepping right into the Seven Kingdoms. 

And if you’re into thriller dramas with a pinch of crime, Sons of Anarchy filmed numerous scenes across the country. Derry Girls is another hit that put Northern Ireland on the TV map. This hilarious coming-of-age sitcom is set in a plethora of Irish locations and captures the spirit of the ’90s like nothing else. The humour, the characters, and the Northern Irish backdrop make it an absolute winner.

Northern Ireland is like a chameleon, offering everything from modern cityscapes to medieval castles, all within a stone’s throw of each other. You want a contemporary drama? Belfast’s got sleek offices and trendy neighbourhoods. Shooting a period drama? Head to Carrickfergus Castle, which dates back to the 12th century. It’s like having a time machine at your disposal.

And don’t even get me started on the weather. Yeah, we know, it’s famous for being unpredictable, but that’s the magic. You can go from moody clouds to glorious sunshine in the blink of an eye, giving your scenes that extra oomph without any fancy CGI.

While in Northern Ireland…

Wander around the Titanic Belfast museum, a gleaming architectural masterpiece that tells the tale of the ill-fated ship. Afterwards, take a stroll along the river Lagan, where you’ll find sleek, modern buildings rubbing shoulders with centuries-old pubs. And when hunger strikes, find your way to St. George’s Market, where food vendors serve up everything from Ulster fry (a scrumptious breakfast) to artisanal cheeses that are fancier than a top hat.

Feeling the call of nature? The Giant’s Causeway is your ticket to Mother Nature’s most bizarre masterpiece. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that looks like a giant Lego set spilt into the sea. The hexagonal basalt columns are a geological wonder, and the number of sights surrounding it adds even more charm to the spot.

For a slice of history, head over to Carrickfergus Castle, where knights and lords once roamed. This medieval fortress is straight out of a fairy tale, and you can explore every nook and cranny. Next: Causeway Coastal Route. This road trip is the bee’s knees, offering breathtaking vistas at every turn. From the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, which dangles like a daredevil, to the serene beauty of the Glens of Antrim, it’s a visual feast that’ll leave you gobsmacked.

Last but not least, the food. Northern Ireland knows how to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re tucking into a hearty Irish stew, savouring fresh seafood by the coast, or indulging in a glass of locally produced Jawbox gin at a traditional pub, your culinary adventure will be top-notch.

County Mayo, Ireland

You know that imaginary village they call Kilkinure in The Woman In The Wall? It is actually County Mayo, situated on the west coast of the Emerald Isle. This is not the first time County Mayo plays backdrop for movies and TV shows; in fact, the county is featured in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023), The Banshees of Inisherin (2022), and Reign (2013–2017).

As you can see, producers love it here, and here’s why: First off, it’s got this diverse landscape that’s straight out of a Hollywood dream. You’ve got your wild Atlantic coastline, lush green valleys, and those eerie bogs that’ll give you the creeps. 

It’s like having a whole movie set in one county. And let’s not forget the cosy villages and the picturesque towns, in addition to Westport, with its colourful Georgian houses and lively pubs that could double as the ultimate quaint backdrop for any heartwarming drama.

But the real star of the show here is Achill Island. It’s like the crown jewel of County Mayo’s natural wonders. With its towering cliffs, hidden beaches, and rolling hills, it’s a cinematographer’s paradise. Imagine filming a daring chase scene along the dramatic cliffs or a romantic moment on one of the secluded beaches—it’s pure gold!

While in County Mayo…

First stop: Westport. This town is like a colourful explosion of joy, with its Georgian streets and vibrant pubs. Grab a pint of the black stuff (that’s Guinness, in case you’re wondering) at Matt Molloy’s pub, where the craic is all around you. If you’re into a bit of adventure, hop on a bike and tackle the Great Western Greenway, a 42-kilometre cycling trail that’ll take you through some of the most picturesque scenery you’ve ever laid eyes on. 

That trail will eventually get you to your next stop, Achill Island. When you reach Achill, you will get a chance to relax, take in the awe-inspiring views, go hiking (if biking wasn’t enough), surf, or just laze around on the beach at Keem Bay.

The Woman in the Wall - Ireland
Achill Island

Now, let’s talk food! You can’t claim you ever had a truly good meal until you’ve tried some fresh seafood at a local joint. County Mayo’s got a food scene that’s hotter than a jalapeño, with seafood chowder and brown bread that’ll make your taste buds do a happy jig. Pop into a cosy little café in Newport or Castlebar, and you’ll feel like you’re in foodie heaven.

And if you’re a history buff, you’ll be chuffed to bits with Mayo. Explore Westport House, a stately home with oodles of history, or visit the ruins of the pirate queen Grace O’Malley’s castle on Clare Island. It’s like stepping into a time machine.

Ireland is so familiar with cameras rolling around its hills, shores, and cities. The country’s diverse scenery and rich history provide an incredible backdrop for a wide range of films and television shows, offering endless possibilities for captivating storytelling and breathtaking visuals. Filming in real-world locations in Ireland helped The Woman In The Wall feel more realistic and intriguing.

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