Watch Now

With Prime Video

In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.
2,023 ( 64)




2   1  
2010   2008  
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 16 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Wives and Daughters (TV Mini-Series 1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend.

Stars: Francesca Annis, Justine Waddell, Bill Paterson
Lark Rise to Candleford (2008–2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An adaptation of Flora Thompson's autobiographical novel "Lark Rise To Candleford", set in 19 century Oxfordshire, in which a young girl moves to the local market town to begin an apprenticeship as a postmistress.

Stars: Olivia Hallinan, Sarah Lancashire, Julia Sawalha
Little Dorrit (TV Mini-Series 2008)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in ... See full summary »

Stars: Claire Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay
Daniel Deronda (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.

Stars: Jodhi May, Edward Fox, Amanda Root
Bleak House (TV Mini-Series 2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A suspenseful tale about the injustices of the 19th Century English legal system.

Stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Denis Lawson, Carey Mulligan
North & South (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

North and South is a four part adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's love story of Margaret Hale, a middle class southerner who is forced to move to the northern town of Milton.

Stars: Daniela Denby-Ashe, Richard Armitage, Tim Pigott-Smith
Emma (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her... See full summary »

Stars: Romola Garai, Michael Gambon, Jonny Lee Miller
Sense & Sensibility (TV Mini-Series 2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Widow Dashwood and her three unmarried daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, inherit only a tiny allowance. So they move out of their grand Sussex home to a more modest cottage in ... See full summary »

Stars: Dominic Cooper, Charity Wakefield, Hattie Morahan
Jane Eyre (TV Mini-Series 2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A young governess falls in love with her brooding and complex master. However, his dark past may destroy their relationship forever.

Stars: Ruth Wilson, Toby Stephens, Lorraine Ashbourne
Northanger Abbey (TV Movie 2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young woman's penchant for sensational Gothic novels leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.

Director: Jon Jones
Stars: Geraldine James, Michael Judd, Julia Dearden
Persuasion (TV Movie 2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Royal Navy captain Wentworth was haughtily turned down eight years ago as suitor of pompous baronet Sir Walter Elliot's daughter Anne, despite true love. Now he visits their former seaside ... See full summary »

Director: Adrian Shergold
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Alice Krige, Anthony Head
The Paradise (2012–2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of a young woman who works in a department store and gets caught up in the charms of the modern world.

Stars: Joanna Vanderham, Emun Elliott, Stephen Wight


Series cast summary:
 Miss Matty Jenkyns (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Mrs Forrester (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Miss Pole / ... (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Mary Smith (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Miss Tomkinson (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Mrs Jamieson / ... (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Harry Gregson (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Reverend Hutton / ... (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Captain Brown (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Miss Galindo (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Mr Johnson (7 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Jem Hearne (6 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Martha (6 episodes, 2007-2009)
Debra Gillett ...
 Mrs Johnson (6 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Lady Ludlow (6 episodes, 2007-2009)
Emma Lowndes ...
 Bella Gregson (6 episodes, 2007-2009)
 Dr Harrison (5 episodes, 2007)
Rosy Byrne ...
 Lizzie Hutton (5 episodes, 2007)
 Sophy Hutton (5 episodes, 2007)
 Dr Morgan (5 episodes, 2007)
Selina Griffiths ...
 Caroline Tomkinson (5 episodes, 2007)
 Mr Carter (5 episodes, 2007)
 Mrs Rose (5 episodes, 2007)
 Helen Hutton (5 episodes, 2007)
 Jessie Brown (5 episodes, 2007)
 Sir Charles Maulver (5 episodes, 2007-2009)
Hannah Hobley ...
 Bertha (4 episodes, 2007-2009)
Hannah Stokely ...
 Bessie (4 episodes, 2007)
Bessie Carter ...
 Margaret Gidman (3 episodes, 2007-2009)
Dean Lennox Kelly ...
 Job Gregson (3 episodes, 2007)
Andrew Byrne ...
 Malachi Gregson (3 episodes, 2007)
 Jack Marshland (3 episodes, 2007)
 Clara Smith / ... (3 episodes, 2007-2009)
 William Buxton (2 episodes, 2009)
 Miss Deborah Jenkyns (2 episodes, 2007)
 Mrs Bell (2 episodes, 2009)
 Peggy Bell (2 episodes, 2009)
 Edward Bell (2 episodes, 2009)
 Mr Buxton (2 episodes, 2009)
 Erminia Whyte (2 episodes, 2009)
Haydon Downing ...
 Walter Hutton (2 episodes, 2007)
 Mr Peter Jenkyns (2 episodes, 2009)
 Major Gordon (2 episodes, 2007)
 Mr Holbrook / ... (2 episodes, 2007)
Roger Ennals ...
 Mulliner (2 episodes, 2007)
Patricia Leach ...
 Gypsy Woman (2 episodes, 2007)
Andrew Westfield ...
 Farmer Graves (2 episodes, 2007)
 Kate (2 episodes, 2007)


In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

4 May 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(5 parts)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Judi Dench had read the novel 'Cranford' at school, and when a neighbor lent her the book, she was vividly reminded of Gaskell's writing. She stated that she hoped that this television adaptation would "make people want to read her." See more »


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 16 March 2010 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Heartwarming? Yes. But clever, too, with outstanding performances and a fine screenplay
27 May 2008 | by (San Antonio, Texas) – See all my reviews

The opportunity to watch so many of Britain's great female actors working together in parts that allow them to demonstrate just how good they are is one of the two immensely satisfying aspects of Cranford, the five-part, 291-minute drama imported from Britain by way of Masterpiece Theater. The other is the story itself -- a kind of Austen-like tale of good manners, gossip, punctilious courtesies and extraordinarily detailed production values. Cranford may be a genteel and gentle soap opera, but it glows with warmth, humor and the occasional dramatic crisis.

Cranford is a small English village, tidy and well kept. The time is the early 1840's. The village hasn't changed much over the years. The established ladies of the village plan to keep it that way. For the next 12 months of Cranford we'll see a new, young doctor come to town, the affects of a train line being built closer and closer to the village, romance and marriages, typhoid, death and poverty. We'll see why some think the lower classes should not be taught to read or write, how it really hurts to have your leg amputated, how a woman of a certain age who is not married may well expect to live a lonely life. We'll also see friendships, misunderstandings, the love for a cow and the deep comfort of accepted ways. Keep in mind that the story isn't simply a bucolic tale of a world long gone. We're going to deal with class distinctions, poverty, condescension to women, and customs that can strangle affection. There are several story lines that develop and weave around each other.

At the heart of the story are the women of Cranford, for whom gossip is a way of life. Eileen Atkins plays the elderly Miss Deborah Jenkyns, a severe woman who is not without feelings and who is the acknowledged arbiter of what is proper. Her sister, Miss Mattie Jenkyns, played by Judy Dench, is a bit scatterbrained but a warm and empathetic person. And we have Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton), a lightening transmitter of juicy information; Mrs. Forrester (Julia MacKenzie), a widow who is a bit of a ditherer but good-hearted; and Miss Jamieson (Barbara Flynn), better off than the others which she is careful to display, and more conventional, but prepared to be brought around. There is Mary Smith (Lisa Dillon), who comes to live with the Jenkyns sisters to escape a busybody stepmother and who finds more than she thought she would. Thankfully, she has a good mind and a sense of humor. And there is Lady Ludlow (Francesca Annis), the grand, aging lady in the grand estate nearby who learns to acknowledge that others may be correct, while not seeming to apologize for her class standards. What of the men? They're around, but for the most part they exist simply to provide the framework for the women's stories. Such superior actors as Michael Gambon, Jim Carter and Martin Shaw play them.

When we leave Cranford five hours after we arrived, we've smiled a lot, teared up a few times, and have come to admire these women, their capacity for friendship and their desire to keep the future from arriving too soon. If you hear the term "heartwarming," don't be put off. This program is intelligently written and is acted with extraordinary and underplayed skill.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: