Arguably, it's the pub that's the most important location in 'Shaun of the Dead,' with the imposing Winchester Arms serving as Shaun (Pegg) and best friend Ed's (Nick Frost) shelter from life, responsibility and, ultimately, zombies. Known in real life as The Duke of Albany, the pub sadly is no longer with us, having been knocked down and turned into an apartment block shortly after filming finished. center>Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's 2006 "zom-rom-com" 'Shaun of the Dead' is about the efforts of the eponymous Shaun to rescue his girlfriend (and their failed relationship) amid the chaos of a zombie outbreak in North London. Its perfect use of the quiet suburbs shows a side of London rarely seen in the movies, with Sean's thirtysomething slacker life quietly revolving around the sofa, work, the local grocery store and the pub.
Arguably, it's the pub that's the most important location in 'Shaun of the Dead,' with the imposing Winchester Arms serving as Shaun (Pegg) and best friend Ed's (Nick Frost) shelter from life, responsibility and, ultimately, zombies. Known in real life as The Duke of Albany, the pub sadly is no longer with us, having been knocked down and turned into an apartment block shortly after filming finished.
Location as Character: The Winchester is a classic, old-school London boozer, run by a suspected gangster and frequented by murky characters with many secrets and little conversation. Most importantly, it becomes Shaun and the gang's barricade until their final stand against the zombies (an onslaught instigated by Ed's noisily winning on the fruit machine).Thankfully, the stories about the pub's name (and landlord) are true, and they find a Winchester rifle behind the bar ...
Historical Significance: Most of the locations in 'Shaun of the Dead' are situated in North London, particularly Crouch End, Weston Park and Highgate. The Winchester (known as The Duke of Albany in real life), however, was located across the river in New Cross, an area within the borough of Lewisham in South East London. New Cross is also famous for housing Goldsmiths College and for being the final destination of the last London tram in 1952.
The area's history is steeped in music, with the "New Cross scene" giving birth to Blur, Bloc Party and Art Brut; local club The Venue played an influential role as the hub of early period Britpop. A decade later, New Cross was said to have then birthed the gaudy, yet short-lived, "New Rave" movement.
Fun Fact: Pegg and Wright, huge fans of George A. Romero's zombie trilogy, so impresed the veteran director with 'Shaun of the Dead' that Romero offered them both roles in his comeback zombie film 'Land of the Dead.' They turned down the parts offered, asking instead to be featured as zombies (they are the sideshow zombies whom people pose to have their photograph taken with).
Directions: You can find Shaun's flat at 83 Nelson Road, N8, and the grocery store at 96 Weston Park, N8, in the Crouch End area. As mentioned above, the Winchester Arms won't save you from zombies nowadays -- but, if you feel the need to pay homage anyway, you'll find it at 39 Monson Road, SE14.
Visitors Info: Nothing to see here, south of the river ... buy a travel card and make a few stops north of Camden on the Northern Line to get a real feel of 'Shaun of the Dead.'