THREE Bassetlaw landmarks are to feature in a major Hollywood movie about the Pilgrim Fathers' role in founding the world's most powerful country. All Saint's Church in Babworth near Retford, St Wilfrid's at Scrooby near Bawtry and historic Scrooby Manor have all been locations for the Monumental film crew.
Los Angeles-based Kirk Cameron Productions and the Pyro Pictures Corporation are filming in Europe for a documentary which is expected to become an American classic.
Due for completion at the end of the year, it aims to unearth the detailed history of the founding of America by settlers, including people from Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire more than 400 years ago.
Actor Kirk Cameron has called in local author and historian Sue Allan, who initially organised location shoots and has become one of the story-tellers in the film.
Christian Kirk, a father-of-six, confirmed that the movie was giving him an opportunity to seek out his roots.
He said: "I've traced my heritage back to the Scottish clans and as Americans we all sense our country's soul is on this side of the Atlantic."There's been a moral decline and much political noise, so I think it's important for us to go back and understand where we came from.
"If we can understand our forefathers we can learn so much about ourselves."
Producer and director Duane Barnhart said it was important to visit Babworth and Scrooby because of their connections with the people who eventually founded the Plymouth settlement in Massachusetts.
Duane said: "Over in America the Pilgrims are portrayed as men with big belt buckles and black hats. But we're filling in all the blanks because we have an expert in Sue Allan. "She's been fantastic and we couldn't have had a better tour guide and host." Ms Allan, who is now married to American artist and co-writer Roger Vorhauer, penned the Mayflower Maid trilogy.
She said: "Not only am I to be on screen a good deal of time in this film, I have also been responsible for supplying the locations."I insisted on using Babworth and Scrooby, so I secured the permissions. And I have also assisted the scriptwriter on historical content and even found hotel accommodation."But it's been an amazing experience because Kirk is making sure this documentary is going to be well received in the USA."
Babworth churchwarden Mike Board also has a small role in the movie. He said: "I just thought I was showing a group of tourists around the church."But I was surprised to see an American film crew who wanted to see the 16th century Babworth chalice and patten."