This Is England and The Virtues creator Shane Meadows will release his latest TV series The Gallows Pole, his first ever period drama, in 2023.

Based on Benjamin Myers' novel of the same name, The Gallows Pole is the remarkable true story of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.

"The Gallows Pole is little known outside of Yorkshire," said Meadows.

"It’s about a group of very naughty men and women who started clipping and counterfeiting coins out in the Moors, as a way to keep themselves and their community alive.

"I’ve never made a period drama before so I’m absolutely buzzing."

Here is everything you need to know about The Gallows Pole including the cast, release date and plot…

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The Gallows Pole confirmed release date

The Gallows Poles starts on BBC Two on Wednesday, 31st May.

All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer after it launces.

The Gallows Pole cast list

  • Michael Socha (This Is England, Papillon)  - Plays David Hartley
  • Thomas Turgoose (This Is England, Looted) – Plays William Hartley
  • George MacKay (1917, Captain Fantastic)
  • Tom Burke (Mank, The Souvenir)
  • Sophie McShera (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) – Plays Grace
  • Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey, Crazyhead)
  • Yusra Warsama (Castle Rock) – Plays Bethsheba
  • Eve Burley (Secret State)
  • Nicole Barber Lane (Hollyoaks) – Plays Susie
  • Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders) – Plays Isaac Hartley
  • Anthony Welsh (Master Of None) – Plays Abe Oldfield
  • Joe Sproulle (The A Word) – Plays Joe
  • Adam Fogerty (Legend) – Plays James Broadbent
  • Fine Time Fontayne (How We Used To Live) – Plays Joseph Broadbent
  • Ralph Ineson (The Office) – Plays The Clothier
  • Stevie Binns - Plays Mand
  • Jennifer Reid - Plays Barb
  • Soraya Jane Nabipour Plays Darya Hartley
  • Olivia Pentelow - Plays Hannah
  • Charlotte Ockelton - Plays Gwen Hartley
  • Dave Perkins - Plays Tom Hartley
The Gallows Pole cast on set BBC

The Gallows Pole cast includes some familiar faces from Shane Meadows series including This Is England alumi Michael Socha and Thomas Turgoose.

It will also feature a group of newcomers making their screen debut including Stevie Binns as Mand, Jennifer Reid as Barb, Soraya Jane Nabipour as Darya Hartley, Olivia Pentelow as Hannah, Charlotte Ockelton as Gwen Hartley and Dave Perkins as Tom Hartley.

Talking about his cast, Shane Meadows said: “Putting this cast together, with the undying support of [casting director] Shaheen Baig and her amazing team, has been an absolute joy.

“To be working with actors I’ve grown up with and/or have been desperate to work with, alongside oodles of incredible ‘as yet’ undiscovered Yorkshire-based talent, is an absolute honour and I’ve not been this passionate about shooting a project in years.”

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What is The Gallows Pole plot? Is it a true story?

Michael Socha in The Gallows Pole BBC

The Gallows Pole fictionalises the remarkable true story of the rise and fall of David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.

Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in 18th century Yorkshire, the compelling drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley (Michael Socha), as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.

Shane Meadows said: “This is the 18th century yes, but viewed through a slightly more anarchic lens and will - like my previous work - have a soundtrack that fits the mood like a psychedelic glove, rather than historical expectations.”

The writer said: “I really wanted to delve into the history of this story and the circumstances that lead to an entire West Yorkshire community risking their lives to put food in their children’s bellies. It was during the workshopping process with the actors I realised there was also a story to tell leading up to Ben’s incredible book.

“A prequel that not only allowed us to understand ‘why’ the Cragg Vale Coiners did what they did, but maybe fall in love with them a smidge while they did it.

“It may have turned into one of the biggest crimes in British history, but it was pulled off by a bunch of destitute farmers and weavers doing what they had to to survive, and I think people will resonate with that.

“You can tell a story in any century if you care about the characters, but there was something so attractive about this period in British history. Large mouthfuls of West Yorkshire were about to be inhaled by the Industrial Revolution and our country and its unspoilt sides set to change forever.

“So it was an honour to be able to go back and hold up a magnifying glass to some of dudes that were living through it.”

Sophie McShera and Michael Socha in The Gallows Pole BBC

The series is based on the Benjamin Myers novel of the same name.

Speaking about the adaptation, Benjamin Myers added: “Shane has retained the feel of The Gallows Pole and shot it in the very same landscapes that I have been exploring for many years now, and where the true events happened. So it looks, sounds and smells right.

“Shane is a true auteur, he has a singular vision, and he has taken it off in a new direction.”

Where is The Gallows Pole filmed?

The series has been filmed in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

Who is making The Gallows Pole?

Shane Meadows is the creator of The Gallows Pole TV series.

Meadows is best known for making cult classic This Is England (2006) and the TV sequels.

His other TV and movie credits include Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002), Somers Town (2006), The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (2013) and The Virtures (2019).

The Gallows Pole is being produced by A24 (Beef, Euphoria) and Element Pictures (The Favourite, Normal People).

Watch The Gallows Pole on BBC Two and iPlayer later this year.

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