FILMING has started at York Minster and the nearby St William’s College for a new BBC drama series.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell started filming inside and outside both locations on Tuesday and is due to continue until tomorrow afternoon.

The series is based on Susanna Clarke’s novel, opening in York in the 19th century, when the people of England no longer believe in practical magic.

This all changes when the reclusive Mr Norrell causes the statues of the Minster to speak and move, starting a new enthusiasm for practical magic which takes in war, peace, fairies and even resurrection.

Months have already been spent filming in the region – in York, Leeds, Ripley, Wakefield and Rotherham – following investment from Screen Yorkshire.

Nicola Bexon, York Minster’s marketing director, said: “To have such a key role at the start of this series is fantastic for York Minster. I am sure that the many families who visit the cathedral will be delighted to see it featuring so prominently, and we look forward to welcoming those who haven’t visited before who are inspired to come and experience it for themselves.

“York Minster and St William’s College have proved fantastically popular locations for filming period pieces, with Death Comes To Pemberley and Bill shooting here, but in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the cathedral will be playing itself, rather than standing in for another location.”

Other programmes to have been filmed in York in recent times include Channel 4’s drama series Utopia and ITV drama Eternal Law.

The series is directed by Toby Haynes, who has also directed Doctor Who, and the producer is Nick Hirschkorn, of Five Children And It.

The cast includes Eddie Marsan (Best Of Men, Ray Donovan, Filth) and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel (Restless, Hidden, Matilda) in the roles of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

It is produced by Cuba Pictures for BBC One, co-produced with BBC America and will be distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.

Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire, said: “As well as showcasing landmark locations such as York Minster, which will doubtless inspire visitors to Yorkshire for years to come, the production will have a major economic impact for crew, facilities and local businesses such as hotels, taxis and restaurants.’’