Margam Park will be one of the stars when high-profile Fox TV series Da Vinci’s Demons premieres in April.
The location helped programme makers create a lavish back drop of 15th Century Florence.
Expect sex, scandal, intrigue, murder and mystery as, with an almost super-human level of genius, our hero Da Vinci fights those who wish to keep a nation repressed against progress and remain under tight religious control.
The show was shot on more than 100 sets in South Wales.
More than 30 of these were constructed in a 200,000 sq ft Bay Studios off Fabian Way.
Creator David S Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Trilogy) said: “The sets are absolutely massive.
“It was one of the benefits of going to Wales to recreate period Florence.
“One of the other reasons we went to Wales is because there are over 600 castles there within easy travel distance. And we’ve been shooting in quite a few of them.”
One of the castles where shooting took place was the Margam Castle, which burned down in 1977 and remains a shell with notable elements still intact, including an intricate stone stair case.
The series is produced by a British team featuring Julie Gardner (Doctor Who, Life on Mars) and Jane Tranter (Little Dorrit, State of Play) as executive producers.
• Over 100 sets were shot during the filming of the first series.
• More than 30 sets were built in the Fabian Way studios.
• Over 20,000 images were collated for the referencing process.
• Sixty-four carpenters used 55,000 screws, nearly 1,000 sheets of ply wood and 40 miles of timber.
• Over 600 gallons of paint were used to paint every single surface.
• Furniture and props were imported from three continents using eBay, garage sales and antique fairs to find hidden gems from taxidermy to fake human skulls.
• Over 2,000 candles were burned including a number of hanging wrought iron candelabras.
• Over 30 tons of soil was shoveled into the Florentine streets.
• Crews drove over 20,000 miles back and forth from the prop hire houses.
• Thousands of individual dressing items were used.
• Specific props had to be designed and made including da Vinci’s folding crossbow, Medici’s coat of arms, and hand-carved renaissance statues from polystyrene.
• Fearsome weapons and intricately stitched leather work, among other props, all had to be created and delivered to set.
• “Da Vinci’s Demons” had an artist in residence through production to reproduce many of da Vinci’s most famous sketches at various stages of completion.
• Local art schools were also involved in making many hundreds of sketches inspired by da Vinci’s work for both Leonardo’s and Verrocchio’s studios.