A set of historic St Albans ruins are featured in a new TV advert for electrical retailer Currys.

Sopwell Nunnery, also known as Sopwell Priory - off Cottonmill Lane - dates back to 1140, when the nunnery was founded.

However, the ruins that are on show today are the remains of a mansion that once belonged to one of Henry VIII's advisors.

According to St Albans Museums, the famous monarch gifted the land to Sir Richard Lee, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540.


Sir Richard Lee was a soldier, engineer and member of the king's court.

Upon receiving the land, he demolished the nunnery and built a house on its foundations.

The remains of Sir Richard's mansion feature heavily in the advert for Currys, which also shows a cow and students on a field trip.

The advert showcases the HP Pavilion x360, as it showcases the laptop as a suitable option for the students.

Sopwell Nunnery was chosen due to its quiet setting, and the crew's ability to bring a cow for filming.


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The site's proximity to London was also a contribiting factor.

The film's producer, Richard Martin, told The Herts Advertiser: "Exploring the back-to-school theme, the brand and agency wanted a setting that was a quick read for a school or college field trip. 

"For logistical reasons we needed to be close to London, and St Albans has many historical ruins frequently visited by students. 

"Sopwell Priory was particularly appealing because it’s a quiet, enclosed location, suitable for shooting sound, but close enough to a main road for access for crew and equipment.

"It was also one of the few sights of historical interest that were also happy for us to bring in a cow for our shoot day - which is obviously an unusual request for this kind of location."

The film can be viewed via Currys' YouTube page, or by catching the advert on TV.