Burke and Hare (2010)

Date: 2010
Director: John Landis
Production Company: Ealing Studios, Fragile Films, Aegis Film Fund

Stars: Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Isla Fisher, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Hynes, Bill Bailey, Tim Curry
Location(s): Edinburgh, Kent, London, Stirling

Region(s): , ,


Two nineteenth century grave robbers find a lucrative business supplying cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson


Buy this film on Amazon link

Can you help:

If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.

<?php echo 1; ?>

In Regency Edinburgh, Angus the Hangman tells how the corpses of the hanged are transported to Dr Robert Knox for dissection. Although set in Scotland’s capital, this first shot features Stirling Castle’s Inner Close.

image no 1

The Inner Close was also used as Edinburgh in 'Greyfriars Bobby' (2005) (SD)

The narration continues to explain that Dr Alexander Monro has to rely on severed limbs for dissection. Somerset House on Strand, London WC2.

image no 2

Peter provides this festive modern shot, with added cranes.

Somerset House is also seen in ‘Wilde’, ’The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’.

image no 3

Restricted by the seasonal ice rink behind him, Peter managed to capture the same location.

  • 'Now' required

Mad Maggie (Gabrielle Downey) awaits her fate with a rope around her neck as the charges against her are read out. Stephen Dean identifies this as Stone Court, Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

Angus the Hangman (Bill Bailey) pulls the lever to send Mad Maggie to her Maker. Stone Court, Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent once again Stephen tells us. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) roll a wooden barrel containing the body of one of Hare’s wife’s lodgers.

<?php echo 7; ?>

The two struggle uphill with the huge cask. Facing northward on Heriot Place, Edinburgh 1.

image no 7

Photographed mere seconds before the cars parked. (SD)

<?php echo 8; ?>

On the brow of the hill, the barrel rolls away. Heriot Place with Edinburgh Castle in the top distance.

image no 8

Viewed from the lower end of Heriot Row before it leads into Lauriston Place. (SD)

<?php echo 9; ?>

Burke and Hare chase the barrel through the streets. Possibly a split screen effect.

image no 9

Outer Close, Stirling Castle. No split screen needed here, although, due to renovation work on the Great Hall, the entire left side from the wall is currently split by scaffolding and hoardings (truly offensive to the eye) so I have used a photo I took in 2016 when I was here for 'Greyfriars Bobby' (2005) (SD)

<?php echo 10; ?>

Moving on . . . this is Old Fishmarket Close.

image no 10

Old Fishmarket Close was also seen in 'My Way Home' (SD)

<?php echo 11; ?>

Having recovered the barrel, the Ulster immigrants approach the residence of Dr Knox. The courtyard of Stirling Castle.

image no 11

Nearly a night-time shot. Viewed at dusk just before the castle closed. (SD)

The Militia arrive at the gates of Greyfriars Churchyard where Burke and Hare, having found their new career quite lucrative, are digging up a recently buried coffin inside. Suitably dressed for the occasion, this is The Dashwood Mausoleum on Church Hill, West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, which also makes an appearance in 'To The Devil a Daughter'.

image no 12

And this is what lies beyond the gate, in daylight. (PW)

  • 'Now' required

Wounded whilst escaping from the Militia, Burke asks Hare to examine his posterior.

<?php echo 14; ?>

Having earned a further five pounds from the death of another lodger, the pair decide to celebrate. Merchant Street with the George IV bridge passing above and a touch of CGI to move the tower of the Augustine United Church.

image no 14

Now with the Augustine United Church returned to its rightful place, (SD)

<?php echo 15; ?>

The shot tilts down to find the carriage bringing Burke and Hare to McMartin's opium den and brothel. Merchant Street leading to Candlemaker Row in the distance.

image no 15

Now, without the fake set of steps. (SD)

  • 'Now' required

A Drunken Gentleman (Paul Whitehouse) picks his way down stairs as he sings his way home. Stephen has also identified this location and tells us that it is the Lightwells which run alongside The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

After pushing him down the stairway, Burke and Hare watch as the extremely inebriated Gentleman recovers from the fall. See Capture 16 (RL)

  • 'Now' required

The desperate pair are amazed to see the Gentleman continue on his way. See Capture 16 (RL)

<?php echo 19; ?>

In the darkness, a Man (Tom Urie) makes his way along narrow alleyways. Milnes’s Court in Edinburgh 1.

image no 19

Now, without the darkness, or the rain. (SD)

<?php echo 20; ?>

Hearing a noise behind him, the Man turns fearfully. Milnes’s Court running between Lawnmarket and Mound Place.

image no 20

Now, without the set dressing horse trough. (SD)

<?php echo 21; ?>

Burke and Hare scare the Man causing him to suffer a heart attack. Looking south along Milnes’s Court.

image no 21

That passageway was not as long as it looked in the film. (SD)

<?php echo 22; ?>

The Irishmen approach the corpse of their newly deceased victim.

image no 22

Milne's Court, at the top of the steps leading to Mound Place, facing New College. (SD)

<?php echo 23; ?>

After spending an evening drinking champagne, Burke sees Ginny Hawkins (Isla Fisher) home.

image no 23

The Outer Close, Stirling Castle, at the doorway of the North Gate Kitchens. (SD)

<?php echo 24; ?>

A poster advertising auditions for Ginny's all female production of Macbeth is pasted onto a city wall. Edinburgh Castle with the New Barracks in the centre background.

image no 24

This part of Edinburgh Castle was also seen in 'Greyfriars Bobby' (2005) (SD)

  • 'Now' required

Burke leaves the theatre after meeting with Ginny in her dressing room. Stephen Dean tells us that this actually St Mary's Church, Wyndham Place, London W1H "dressed" to be a theatre. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

Dr Knox's assistant, Patterson (Michael Smiley) calls at the Hare’s lodging house with a request for a meeting.

<?php echo 27; ?>

Now supplying Dr. Knox with two bodies a week, the two entrepreneurs struggle with a box containing another cadaver.

image no 27

The gents toilet, Inner Close, Stirling Castle. (SD)

<?php echo 28; ?>

Burke and Ginny admire a poster advertising her upcoming appearance in Macbeth.

image no 28

Edinburgh Castle, viewed from the entrance to the National War Museum, with the hospital in the background. (SD)

<?php echo 29; ?>

As they part company, Ginny turns and smiles at Burke. Looking north between the Hospital and Cart Sheds at Edinburgh Castle.

image no 29

A similar shot appeared in 'Greyfriars Bobby' (2005) with the same white van in the 'now' shot. (SD)

<?php echo 30; ?>

After Ginny disappears from view, Captain McLintoch of the Militia is seen putting up posters. Edinburgh Castle with the Old Governor's House behind set dressing on the left and the Scottish National War Museum to the right.

image no 30

This area is not open to the public but the gate was open so I took a peek inside. (SD)

<?php echo 31; ?>

Burke is shocked to see several posters featuring the victims of the killers’ spree. Again looking north towards the Hospital and Cart Sheds at Edinburgh Castle.

image no 31

Viewed from just inside the gate, about where Simon Pegg is standing. (SD)

  • 'Now' required

A banner announcing the upcoming production of Macbeth is unfurled at the Lyceum Theatre.Not a theatre at all but St Mary's Church Wyndham Place, London W1H says Stephen Dean. (RL)

<?php echo 33; ?>

Sergeant Mackenzie (Reece Shearsmith) and Captain Tam McLintoch (Ronnie Corbett) call at The Barclay School of Anatomy. Stirling Castle with the Great Hall in the background.

image no 33

Now, viewed from the doorstep. (SD)

<?php echo 34; ?>

Patterson answers the door. The King’s Old Building at Stirling Castle.

image no 34

No-one in today. (SD)

<?php echo 35; ?>

Scotland's eminent physicians gather to attend a presentation by the King. Holyrood Palace at the eastern end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

image no 35

Viewed through the railings. I would have paid to go in until I saw the scaffolding. (SD)

In prison, Burke confesses to the murders which allows Hare and their wives to be released. Knole House near Sevenoaks in Kent. The location was seen in 'Fame is the Spur' from 1947, ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’.

image no 36

It is interesting to see just how many windows they "covered up" to make it look like a prison and how that clear straight line above the masking is so evident. (RL)

<?php echo 37; ?>

Outside the prison, citizens read about Burke and Hare's arrest.

image no 37

The Inner Close, Stirling Castle, facing the Scottish Regimental Museum with the Chapel Royal on the right. (SD)

<?php echo 38; ?>

Captain McLintoch senses unrest. In front of the Royal Chapel at Stirling Castle.

image no 38

All is calm in front of the Chapel. (SD)

<?php echo 39; ?>

The crowd turn nasty and head for the prison. Facing the Royal Chapel in the Inner Close.

image no 39

Thankfully no angry mobs today (or ever probably) (SD)

<?php echo 40; ?>

With his men standing beside him, Captain McLintoch holds up his sword. The Inner Close at Stirling Castle.

image no 40

As it would look here under normal circumstances. (SD)

  • 'Now' required

Having been charged and tried, William Burke stands on the scaffold. Also Stone Court, Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent, as are Captures 42 and 43 Stephen tells us. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

The crowd cheers beneath a CGI castle. See Capture 41 (RL)

  • 'Now' required

Angus prepares to pull the lever. See Capture 41 (RL)

  • 'Now' required

After the execution of his partner in crime, William Hare and his wife Lucky (Jessica Hynes) make a success of their new profession. More of Somerset House in WC2.