BERKELEY Castle has provided period sets for a BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning books.

The historic castle played host to film crews from Company Pictures, who are producing the much-anticipated BBC drama Wolf Hall, last week.

The six-part adaptation of two of Hilary Mantel’s novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, will broadcast on BBC Two next year.

The Castle was transformed, with the great hall, drawing rooms, kitchens and larders all being used, as well as the outside courtyards.

Filming took place during a series of day and night time shoots over four days from Tuesday, May 13.

Wolf Hall will bring to life the tale of Thomas Cromwell, played by Shakespeare stage veteran Mark Rylance, charting his meteoric rise through the Tudor court from his lowly start as a blacksmith's son to Henry VIII's closest advisor.

Wuthering Heights director Peter Kosminsky is leading the series, with star of US thriller Homeland Damian Lewis taking up the enigmatic role of Henry VIII.

While the Emmy-nominated star didn’t film any scenes in Berkeley, the majority of filming has taken place around the South West.

Estate manager Roland Brown said everyone had been excited to welcome the production company to the castle.

“We were delighted to be able to host the Wolf Hall team,” he said. “Filming projects of this size aren’t without their challenges but we pride ourselves on being flexible enough to deal with most eventualities, even if this does mean moving and storing 40 paintings in a matter of hours.”

He explained that recent changes in the tax treatment for filming has encouraged investment in filming in this country.

“As a result, productions that were taking place in Ireland and mainland Europe a few years ago are now returning to the UK,” he said. “Berkeley Castle provides a wonderful historical backdrop and, no matter how it is dressed, directors, producers, cast and crew seem to like immersing themselves in the real history that we can offer.”