Monty Python, Doune Castle and Winterfell

Our new Winterfell ‘Doune Castle’ has been used a number of times before for film work. The most notable is the 1975 filing of Monty Pythons Quest for the Holy Grail, which used the Doune Castle for the vast majority of its castle scenes.

In fact only other Castles were used in the filming of Monty Python and the Holy Grail Kidwelly Castle which appears near the start of the film, Bodiam Castle in Kent is used for the outside shot in the Lancelot at the wedding scene and final Castle Stalker which was used for ‘Castle Argghhhhhhhh’ at the end of the film.

Everything else we may see when we look at Monty Python and the quest and the Holy Grails that looks like a castle is Doune castle.

The big four scenes filmed at the castle were,

The French Taunting Scene

french taunting

Probably one of the most famous and over quoted Pythons scenes ever, which sees John Cleese playing a French night taunting King Arthur with lines such as ‘Your father was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberries’ which bizarrely is now a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream Flavour.


Anyway digressions aside this scene was filmed on the East Wall internally, and on the South Wall externally. The reason for this being is that the south wall has no step, so for the external shots the pythons are actually stood on a very large scaffold erected for the filming.

The Camelot Dance.

camelot dance

A someone what bizarre scene involving dancing cabaret knights, which has been expertly reproduced in lego.

click here for lego camelot dance

This was filmed largely in the great hall in which the Winterfell banquet scenes for Game of Thrones were also filmed.

Castle Anthrax

Where Sir Galahad the Chaste was tempted and pursued by Zute and a number of virgins was filmed in the kitchens and servery next to the great hall.

castle anthrax

To my knowledge nothing has been mentioned about using that part of the Castle for the filming Game of Thrones, but they could be included in the hall scenes due to there proximity.


Sir Lancelot and the Wedding

All of the scenes with Sir Lancelot his butchery at the wedding were filmed mainly in the courtyard, and the steps heading up to the great hall and servery. Which is part of the castle I would be very surprised if it didn’t make it into the film at some point.

Something I found out as I researched this article which is the Pythons had planned to use a number of castles but Scottish heritage removed permission at the last moment and thus the pythons were forced to use Doune Castle to represent large numbers of castles in the film.

Pythons fans still congregate here once a year, and the Castle has held a Monty Python day every year since 2004, please dont ask me when it is.