THE Force is with us in Dorset....as Hollywood takes over a quarry to film scenes for a new Star Wars production.

There's a flurry of activity at the old Winspit Quarry on the Purbeck coast as cameras roll for an installment of the epic space franchise.

The Echo understands that it is a Star Wars TV series, likely to be Andor, which will serve as a prequel to 2016’s Rogue One and focus on the early formation of the Rebellion.

The Disney+ series has already started filming in England, with lead actor Diego Luna and stormtroopers spotted filming on a beach in Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Film crews have taken over Winspit Quarry to film a new Star Wars TV series to air on Disney . Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael TaylorFilm crews have taken over Winspit Quarry to film a new Star Wars TV series to air on Disney . Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

Some scenes are being filmed at Winspit Quarry, near Worth Matravers, over the next two weeks with more film crews set to arrive in the coming days.

Multiple signs have been tied to gates and posts in the area announcing that Winspit Quarry will be closed until Friday, May 21.

They read: “The producers and crew would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused during the preparation and filming of this production. Thank you for your cooperation.”

While the main footpath into the quarry is closed, people can walk above the site and can look onto the set.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: A pile of Star Wars props can be seen at Winspit Quarry. Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael TaylorA pile of Star Wars props can be seen at Winspit Quarry. Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

Yesterday, production crews were seen transporting what appeared to be props in a trailer covered by a blue sheet.

A number of weathered props could be seen together in a pile which appeared to be pieces of sci-fi equipment and technology.

An ambulance from Polaris Medical Services, which offers medical assistance at film sets, was also there.

Locals unaware of what's being filmed - but 'excited' 

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Film crews have taken over Winspit Quarry to film a new Star Wars TV series to air on Disney . Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael TaylorFilm crews have taken over Winspit Quarry to film a new Star Wars TV series to air on Disney . Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

Locals were unaware of what was being filmed there, but some had commented that there had been ‘lots of vehicles’ driving to and from the quarry.

One resident said: “I haven’t got a clue what’s being filmed there, in all honestly. We have been made aware of filming but not what it was for.”

Two dog walkers, who regularly walk the route, were excited with the prospect of Star Wars being filmed in Dorset.

He said: “If it’s Star Wars, then that is huge news for the area. It’s great to see Dorset being used as a filming location.”

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Production crews have taken over Winspit Quarry in East Dorset to film a new Star Wars TV series. Picture: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

Roger Khanna, the parish clerk of Worth Matravers Parish Council, revealed they had been approached by the production company weeks ago about filming at the quarry.

He said: “They have been very good with us in terms of letting know what they are doing and we have been happy to see them here.

“It is nice to see that in these troubling times that film crews are coming into our area to film a new series and they have been really good from the beginning.

“They have also been really good with the community.”

Sci-fi shows have previously filmed at quarry

Swanage and Wareham Voice: Film crews have taken over Winspit Quarry to film a new Star Wars TV series to air on Disney . Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael TaylorFilm crews have taken over Winspit Quarry to film a new Star Wars TV series to air on Disney . Pictures: Dorset Echo/Michael Taylor

The derelict Winspit Quarry has been used as a filming location over the years, including for classic Doctor Who and Blake 7 TV series. It was also featured as a scene location for the ‘Orkney Dig’ in the 2012 Disney film John Carter.

Dorset has played host to many Hollywood and silver screen hits over the years, which has helped spark a film tourism boom in the area.

The Jurassic Coast has had a starring role in films like Dunkirk and The Boat That Rocked, whilst some of the county's glorious manor houses have been the set for films like Emma and Far From the Madding Crowd.

Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, was the most recent movie to be filmed in Dorset, which was shot on location in West Dorset during 2019.