Roundhay Garden Scene

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.[2][3] The camera used was patented in the United Kingdom on 16 November 1888.[4]

Roundhay Garden Scene
The film
Directed byLouis Le Prince
Release date
14 October 1888; 134 years ago (1888-10-14)
Running time
1.66 seconds
CountryUnited Kingdom


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.[5] The footage features Adolphe, his mother-in-law Sarah Whitley (née Robinson, 1816–1888), his father-in-law Joseph Whitley (1817–1891) and Annie Hartley in the garden of Oakwood Grange, leisurely walking around the garden of the premises. Sarah is seen walking – or dancing – backward as she turns around, and Joseph's coattails are seen flying as he also is turning. Joseph and Sarah Whitley were the parents of Le Prince's wife, Elizabeth. Annie Hartley is believed to be a friend of Le Prince and his wife. Sarah Whitley died ten days after the scene was filmed.[6]

Oakwood Grange was demolished in 1972 and was replaced with modern housing; the only remains of it are the garden walls at the end of Oakwood Grange Lane. The adjacent stately home, Oakwood Hall, still remains as a nursing home.[7]

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,[8] before it was lost. The copied frames were later printed on 35 mm film. Adolphe stated that the Roundhay Garden sequence was shot at 12 frames per second (fps) and a second film, Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge, at 20 fps; however, this is not borne out by analysis of the film, which suggests a frame rate of 7 fps for both, which was the speed of reproduction used in the 2015 documentary film about Le Prince, The First Film.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Smith, Ian (10 January 2016). ""Roundhay Garden Scene" recorded in 1888, is believed to be the oldest surviving film". The Vintage News. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Roundhay Garden Scene by Louis Le Prince". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  3. ^ "The First Motion Picture Ever Made – The Horse In Motion (1878)". Guyana Chronicle. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  4. ^ "First surviving film". Guinness Word Records. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  5. ^ Youngs, Ian (23 June 2015). "Louis Le Prince, who shot the world's first film in Leeds". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Monumental Inscriptions at St. John's Church, Roundhay, Leeds". Archived from the original on 31 May 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Roundhay Cottage – the scene of the first-ever moving pictures". Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Glass copy negative of Roundhay Garden Scene by Louis Le Prince | Science Museum Group Collection". Retrieved 16 April 2020.

External linksEdit

53°49′31.72″N 1°29′47.86″W / 53.8254778°N 1.4966278°W / 53.8254778; -1.4966278 (General location of Oakwood Grange and the Roundhay Garden Scene)