The Evening Post
February 15, 2000Lord of the Rings Quarry Battle
Actors dressed in armour and waving swords could be seen
marching on a set for Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings film project in a quarry
below Haywards Hills early today. Filming on the set for the $360 million epic began last
The fortress and castle-like structures are understood to
represent Helms Deep -- a fortified ravine in JRR Tolkiens classic trilogy. In
his second book, The Two Towers, Helms Deep is besieged by armies of creatures
called orcs and men obedient to the wizard Saruman. Interest in the set has been high
because parts of it can be seen easily from the road. Onlookers have parked their cars
across from the set entrance at night in the hope of getting a peek at filming.
Susan W. also sent in some info about the
quarry where this set is built:
The quarry has at least two main parts. That part nearest the
road and at a lower level has a blue marquee and another really huge blue and white one,
used especially at meal times around 1am, when there could be upwards of 400 people to
The actual filming is happening further back in the quarry
and at a higher level, and you need binoculars to see reasonable detail from the road.
There appears to be only one access point [no public access], controlled by security
guards who act as traffic wardens (with light wands) as well -- the quarry entrance is off
a very busy road (Haywards Hill) where traffic going up are speeding up to climb the hill,
while traffic coming down are coming down at a fair speed, though it is a winding hill
road. Orange "witches hats" or traffic cones are distributed liberally along the
road, plus signs warn traffic of "trucks crossing".
Opposite the entrance, a security guard's vehicle has a
yellow light on it flashing continuously. About 20 security guards, some with dogs are
placed at strategic points around the quarry. Filming is being done at night -- right
through the whole night; only stopping when daylight starts to make an impression. Two
massive sets of floodlights have been set up -- these are the sports stadium type banks of
lights. The electricity bill for those must be massive!