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Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan filming Ammonite in Charing near Ashford

By Dan Wright

The first pictures have emerged of crews filming a period drama in Kent starring Kate Winslet.

The Hollywood star is shooting part of her new movie called Ammonite in Charing, just outside of Ashford.

She has been spotted in the village with her co-star Saoirse Ronan.

Scroll down to hear from reporter Molly Mileham-Chappell who's at the scene

Film crews in Charing last night. Picture: Mickey Wildman
Film crews in Charing last night. Picture: Mickey Wildman

It's understood the stars were filming in a property called Romney House for a few hours late last night.

School Road, close to the High Street, was closed from 5pm until 2am last night to allow crews to film, but mystery still surrounds the A-listers' visit, as large black screens were placed in front of the building, preventing residents from seeing inside for a sneak peak of the film.

Outside on the road, large wagons, crates and barrels could be seen as part of the set, designed to appear as if they were from the 19th century.

Romney House where filming is said to have taken place. (9159283)
Romney House where filming is said to have taken place. (9159283)

Large cranes with cameras and lighting rigs were also positioned on the roads.

A blue carriage attached to a cart of ale casks could also be seen parked up on High Street.

One of the film crew vehicles. (9159285)
One of the film crew vehicles. (9159285)

One resident claimed that around 25 security staff were at the scene last night, while residents have been told very little about the filming and crews have taken over the house where the scenes were being shot.

According to Saddlers estate agents website, the Georgian town house, which is grade II listed, boasts seven bedrooms.

The wagons on School Road (9159264)
The wagons on School Road (9159264)

Security staff remain in the village today.

Villager Mickey Wildman, who lives in nearby Downs Way, said he spotted many people in costumes walking around the village.

Kate Winslet is filming in Charing
Kate Winslet is filming in Charing

"The filming is taking place in a house - there's no external filming," he said.

"I've been in Charing all my life and I've never seen anything like it.

An old style carriage. (9159304)
An old style carriage. (9159304)

"It's nice the village is being used, you talk about Charing and no one would've heard of it, so it's pretty exciting.

"Where they are filming is just down the road from where I live, so I hope to pop down and see if Kate is there."

Ammonite - set to be released next year - stars Winslet as Victorian fossil-finding pioneer Mary Anning, with Ronan featuring as her lover.

The film's award-winning director Francis Lee was forced to defend the homosexual angle of the plot, with Ms Anning's family members questioning the historical accuracy of the portrayal.

Filming began last month on the Jurassic Coast, where Mary Anning lived and uncovered a number of important fossils including the first correctly identified ichthyosaur skeleton - a discovery that raised questions about the age of the Earth and life on it in a devoutly religious Britain.

Her fossil-hunting work in Lyme Regis was tough and dangerous, with Ms Anning almost being killed by a landslide that claimed the life of her dog.

Selling the found specimens for a livelihood, it's been alleged that she inspired the 1908 tongue-twister "she sells seashells on the seashore".

Crates, wagons and barrels as part of the set. (9159287)
Crates, wagons and barrels as part of the set. (9159287)
The camera and lighting rigs. (9159275)
The camera and lighting rigs. (9159275)

Her work and prehistoric finds captured the minds of the 1800s public, inspiring the first widely circulated pictorial representation of the time of the dinosaurs.

The road is expected to be shut for the same period again tonight, but it is believed the actors have now wrapped on the scenes they were shooting.

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