A QUAINT village in Essex is set to become the backdrop of a new major TV drama based on the best-selling novel The Essex Serpent.

The series, which will reportedly be streamed on AppleTV+, will feature the picturesque Alresford Creek as a replacement for the fictional village of Aldwinter.

The novel follows the story of newly widowed Cora, who moves from Victorian London to Essex, where she becomes intrigued by a local superstition that the mythical Essex Serpent has returned.

The series is based on Sarah Perry's bestselling 2016 novel.


Location - Alresford Creek 

The storyline is set in the 1890s and it is understood modern boats will not be allowed to moor there during filming.

Keira Knightly was set to act in the romantic period drama but she pulled out of production last year due to "family reasons".

It was reported that production was meant to begin at the end of November, but was delayed due to Knightly's decision.

Filming is now scheduled to start on Monday, January 25.

No other details have been disclosed about the mysterious series, but Clio Barnard is believed to be directing it.


Filming - Keira Knightly pulled out of filming last year

It is also understood the series is being produced by See-Saw Films, which won the best picture Oscar for The King's Speech.

Frank Belgrove, chairman of the village's parish council, has said Alresford Creek is an idyllic setting for filming as it is pretty much a timeless location.

It is understood the village has been chosen for some of the filming as it mirrors the countryside described by the novel's author.

For those who are familiar with the Alresford, here are our top facts about the village:

  • Many prehistoric finds have been discovered in the village, which include cropmark sites and the discovery of a Bronze Age urn found by a schoolgirl in 1942 in the remains of a barrow
  • The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book where it was recorded, in 1086, there were 19 homes in Alresford as well as 60 sheep and 100 pigs
  • In 2008 villagers paid an extra £13,000 on top of their normal taxes so Essex Police could have an officer assigned to specifically patrol the village following residents' fears over rising crime levels
  • The village is just 5.6 miles southeast of Colchester
  • When pronouncing Alresford the 'r' remains silent

See-Saw Films has been contacted for comment.