Alexandra & Ainsworth Estate

Tenants and Residents Association

On Film

Filming on the estate

Since its construction the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate (often locally known as Rowley Way) has been a popular location for films, TV series and pop promos and we get crews here several times a year.

Its’ striking architecture (as well as the easy parking and access) makes the estate popular with location managers. One of the main reasons for its frequent appearance on film and television is that that the estates’ architecture provides a dramatic backdrop, with it’s curved red brick road and it’s staggered terraces. The estate has been used in feature films, adverts and pop videos and it seems nearly every major crime series has paid a visit to estate at some time. Notable examples are ‘The Sweeney’ (while the estate was still being built), the last series of Prime Suspect and most recently ‘The Bill’. Among feature films there has been the supernatural drama ‘Trauma’ with Colin Firth and most famously Anthony Minghella’s ‘Breaking and Entering’.

This being a council estate, the location is often used as short hand for crime and poverty, with set decorators dirtying up the estate with fake graffiti and rubbish and generally making it look threatening, much to the irritation of many people living here as this totally misrepresents the estate. It was partly this irritation which has inspired people living on the estate to make their own documentary film about it. You can find out more about it here.

One Below the Queen: Rowley Way Speaks for Itself

It is over three years since since the documentary film made by residents with the arts and education organisation digital-works about theirestate “One Below the Queen” premiered at the Tricycle Cinema. Since then it has been shown at various exhibitions and festivals and garnered amazing reviews so we thought we’d add it to our estate website. You can find out more about this amazing project, and see it on a larger screen at

See some of examples of Rowley Way on film

MTV Breaks promo filmed on the estate in July 2014


Two more films made by residents

In Autumn 2013 visual artist Jana Koelmel and dancer Lauren Bridle ran a wonderful project with children and adults living on the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate using film and dance to explore peoples lives. These two films are the result. Read more about the project on the news page of this website.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Honour is Everything: Sci Fi 48 Hour Film Challenge 2014

This is a nice little film shot recently on the estate. Uses the modern architecture really nicely.

Breaking and Entering

Three scenes from Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking and Entering”. Juliette Binoche plays a Bosnian refugee who lives on Rowley Way with her delinquent son. The geography is a bit off, because the estate appears to be located right next to the Regent’s Canal off Camden Road.
See it here.

Prime Suspect 7

Some of the last episodes of Prime Suspect was shot here.
See it here.

A Christmas Carol

TV update of the Dickens classic with Ross Kemp as a loan shark Scrooge.
See it here.

New England

80’s pop promo for the Kirsty MacColl hit.
See it here.


A supernatural drama starring Colin Firth.
See it here. 


The budget for this zombie movie was apparently £45, which probably makes it the most low budget film feature film to ever get a DVD release. It was quite successful at various film festivals and even got some good reviews in the mainstream press.
See it here. 

Never Never

A Channel 4 series about debt collectors starring John Simm and Sophie Okonedo. Guilty of making our fantastic estate look very grim, but a good story.
See it here.



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