The latest feature film from legendary British director Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Mr Turner, Naked) is in cinemas now. Peterloo, an epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history. Peterloo filmed partly in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, at Heptonstall and Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags and Shibden Hall with support from Calderdale Council. Other filming locations include Manchester, Gainsborough, Chester, Kent, Essex, Chatham and Lincoln
The massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform and protest against rising levels of poverty. Many protestors were killed and hundreds more injured, sparking a nationwide outcry but also further government suppression. The Peterloo Massacre was a defining moment in British democracy which also played a significant role in the founding of The Guardian newspaper.