The Long Shadow filming locations: Where was the new crime drama filmed?

True crime fans want to know more about where The Long Shadow was filmed as the series arrives on ITV

Toby Jones and Lee Ingleby as detectives in The Long Shadow
(Image credit: ITV)

As the new drama following the crimes of The Yorkshire Ripper gets underway on ITV, viewers want to know more about The Long Shadow's filming locations. 

ITV crime drama The Long Shadow sheds new light on the crimes of Peter Sutcliffe - also known as The Yorkshire Ripper - by focusing on the victims and their families as opposed to the murderer himself. But that hasn't stopped viewers wanting to know more about the killer, who killed 13 women over the course of five years before he was finally caught by police. True crime fans have been wondering how Peter Sutcliffe died and how much of the show is a true story, but other viewers want to know where The Long Shadow was filmed.

Much like BBC fans previously asked the same of The Sixth Commandment filming locations - while elsewhere on ITV there have been plenty of questions around where Payback was filmed - we've taken a look at The Long Shadow filming locations too, as well as where the series is set. 

Where was The Long Shadow filmed?

The Long Shadow was filmed in and around West Yorkshire - the same region where Peter Sutcliffe committed his crimes in the 70s and early 80s - with filming taking place in Leeds, Bradford, Wortley, Dewsbury and York, among other locations.

Filming in the Leeds inner-city suburb of Wortley took place to recreate the scenes at Roundhay Park, where one of Sutcliffe's victims, Marcella Claxton, narrowly escaped death on her way home from a party in 1976. 

In addition, the film crew was seen at a property on Langford Lane in Burley-in-Wharfedale, near Ilkley, with a van full of 70s-themed props - causing speculation that this location may also make an appearance later in the series. 

Some filming also took place at the Bulmer & Lumb dyehouse, off Halifax Road in Bradford, as a substitute for Millgarth Police Station in Leeds city center. Other filming locations in Bradford reportedly include Buttershaw, Low Moor, and Royds Hall Lane, while Roundhay in Leeds was also used as the filming location for Sutcliffe's home.

Meanwhile, it has been widely reported that Bradford City Council previously banned filming of the drama in public areas.

Emails obtained via a Freedom of Information request show that New Pictures, the production company behind The Long Shadow, explained to the council, "Families and others associated with the victims thought that it needed to be told in West Yorkshire".

But one email, understood to be from Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe, responded with: "I'm not keen on us participating in anything that perpetuates the memory of the man, so the answer's no from me I'm afraid."

According to the MailOnline, a Bradford Council spokesperson has since said, "The story of this very dark and painful era has been told many times including within well-researched documentaries which have given survivors and victims’ families a voice.

"We cannot ban filming in public spaces and have not tried to do so but we can choose whether to actively support this film or not.

"Out of respect for the many people affected, we have chosen not to support this film."

Clara Theobold as a PC in The Long Shadow

(Image credit: ITV)

Where is The Long Shadow set?

The Long Shadow is set in Yorkshire, where Peter Sutcliffe committed his crimes. The house chosen to double up as Sutcliffe's home is reportedly a residential property in the Roundhay area of Leeds, around 15 miles away from the actual house where he lived, which is situated in Bingley, Bradford.

Peter Sutcliffe, known as The Yorkshire Ripper, was convicted of murdering 13 women between 1975 and 1980 in Yorkshire, beginning in October 1975 with 28-year-old mother-of-four Wilma McCann - though he had attacked and severely injured several women before the first murder.

Two of Sutcliffe's murders took place in Manchester, the rest all occurred in West Yorkshire.

What is The Long Shadow about?

The Long Shadow aims to bring a new perspective to Peter Sutcliffe's crimes by focusing on the victims and their families, as well as the detectives working on the police investigation. 

To illustrate this, the opening episode begins with a montage depicting the struggles of life in 1970s Yorkshire and goes on to follow the lives of Sutcliffe victim Emily Jackson, her husband Sydney, and their family.

Willow Grylls, executive producer for the series, explained the motivation for focusing on the women and their families in this new crime drama, "This awful tragedy is one of the biggest crime stories of the last 100 years," she said. "It is definitely part of our social history. Yet it is generally retold in two ways.

"One focuses on Peter Sutcliffe and who he is. The other is the crimes and the details. So often, the victims and the families of the victims are represented in a simplistic way. So, it really felt important to redress the balance."

Daniel Mays as Sydney Jackson in The Long Shadow

(Image credit: ITV)

ITV explains, "With the victims, their families, and the survivors at the heart of this series, The Long Shadow brings a new perspective to a well-documented story," while a synopsis reads, "One murder has the power to cast a long shadow and this case plunged a whole society into darkness. For every victim, there were friends and loved ones. For every police officer, there was the burden of failure - of near misses and guilt - and the knowledge that as they failed to find their man, more women continued to suffer. 

"The impact on the lives of those who live on after the death of their loved one remains to this day. Those who cannot escape what happened, who must sit with their incomprehensible trauma for decades after, enduring their own life sentences."

The drama is also based on Wicked Beyond Belief, Michael Bilton’s critically acclaimed account of the case.

How to watch The Long Shadow

The Long Shadow airs on ITV1 at 9pm on Mondays, with the first episode broadcast on Monday 25 September. There are seven hour-long episodes in the series in total, and all will be available to watch on catch-up on the ITVX streaming service after they air on TV. 

If you're after more true crime, we've looked at the whereabouts of Richard Sackler now, the former president of Perdue Pharma and subject of Netflix's Painkiller. Candy Montgomery appeared to get away with murder, as documented in the drama Love & Death. Carl Lentz was once a pastor to celebrities, but why did he fall from grace and where is he now? We take a look.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.