Roundhay Garden Scene

Coordinates: 53°49′33″N 1°29′42″W / 53.8259°N 1.4951°W / 53.8259; -1.4951 (Location of the Roundhay Garden Scene at the demolished Oakwood Grange)
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Roundhay Garden Scene
The film
Directed byLouis Le Prince
Produced byLouis Le Prince
CinematographyLouis Le Prince
Edited byLouis Le Prince
Release date
  • 14 October 1888 (1888-10-14)
Running time
1.66 seconds
CountryUnited Kingdom

Roundhay Garden Scene is a short silent motion picture filmed by French inventor Louis Le Prince at Oakwood Grange in Roundhay, Leeds, in Northern England on 14 October 1888.[1] It is believed to be the oldest surviving film. The camera used was patented in the United Kingdom on 16 November 1888.[2]



According to Le Prince's son, Adolphe, Roundhay Garden Scene was made at Oakwood Grange, the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, Northern England, on 14 October 1888.[3] The footage features Adolphe, the Whitleys, and Annie Hartley leisurely walking around the garden of Oakwood Grange. Sarah is seen walking – or dancing – backward as she turns around, and Joseph's coattails fly as he turns also. Joseph (1817–1891) and Sarah (née Robinson, 1816–1888) were the parents of Elizabeth, Louis Le Prince's wife, and Hartley is believed to have been a friend of the Le Princes. Sarah Whitley died ten days after the scene was filmed.[4]

Oakwood Grange was demolished in 1972 and replaced with modern housing; the only remnants of it are the garden walls at the end of Oakwood Grange Lane. The adjacent stately home, Oakwood Hall, still stands, and is now a nursing home.[5]

Oakwood Hall, the filming site of Roundhay Garden Scene


Roundhay Garden Scene was recorded on Eastman Kodak paper base photographic film using Le Prince's single-lens camera. In the 1930s, the Science Museum in London produced a photographic glass plate copy of 20 surviving frames from the original negative[6] before it was lost. The copied frames were later printed on 35 mm film. Adolphe Le Prince stated that the film was shot at 12 frames per second (fps), but analysis suggests that it was shot at 7 fps. The First Film, a 2015 documentary about Louis Le Prince, shows it at 7 fps.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Ian (10 January 2016). ""Roundhay Garden Scene" recorded in 1888, is believed to be the oldest surviving film". The Vintage News. Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  2. ^ "First surviving film". Guinness Word Records. Archived from the original on 30 December 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  3. ^ Youngs, Ian (23 June 2015). "Louis Le Prince, who shot the world's first film in Leeds". BBC News. BBC. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Monumental Inscriptions at St. John's Church, Roundhay, Leeds". Archived from the original on 31 May 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Roundhay Cottage – the scene of the first-ever moving pictures". Archived from the original on 7 July 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Glass copy negative of Roundhay Garden Scene by Louis Le Prince | Science Museum Group Collection". Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.

External links[edit]

53°49′33″N 1°29′42″W / 53.8259°N 1.4951°W / 53.8259; -1.4951 (Location of the Roundhay Garden Scene at the demolished Oakwood Grange)