Title ID 8406Collection ID1189
TitleA Day in the Hayfield
CollectionEarly Films
ThemeEarly film in the South East Rural Life
KeywordsChildren Workers Men Farming Animals Rural Areas Dresses Suits
RegionalBrighton and Hove
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionCecil Hepworth
DirectorCecil Hepworth
FormatBlack & White Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Men and children are seen at work and play in a hayfield in this 1904 film by Cecil Hepworth.


Horses pull a mower through a hay field towards the camera. The film cuts to the same harvester shot from behind, this time moving away from the camera, creating continuous movement. A horse and driver pull a wide rake to row up the dried hay, leaving large linear tufts of hay in its wake.

Children play, throwing the hay and falling over. They wear dresses or short jackets and shirts, many of the girls have hats tied round their necks. The children hold hands and scrabble into a group to sit and wave at the camera.

A worker lifts the loose hay onto a wagon. Atop the wagon is another man, who piles up the hay from above. A further man drives the horse-drawn cart. The wagon moves off, reaching a hay store where the hay is lifted onto a hay stack.

Related resources


Hepworth, Cecil. Came the Dawn: Memories of a Film Pioneer n.p. London: Phoenix House

Date: 1951 Autobiography by Cecil Hepworth.

Barnes, John. The Beginnings of the Cinema in England 1894-1901. Five Volumes, n.p. University of Exeter Press

Date: 1996-1998 All five volumes of John Barnes’s archaeological study of early cinema charts its development between 1894 and 1901. Barnes founded the Barnes Museum of Cinematography with his brother William in the 1960s. The collection provided primary material for Barnes’s study of early cinema.

Low, Rachael. The History of the British Film 1906-1914. n.p. London: Allen and Unwin

Date: 1973 Volumes 1-4 contain material on Hepworth and his films.

Gifford, Denis. “Fitz: The Old Man of the Screen.” in Charles Barr (ed.) All Our Yesterdays

Date: 1986


BFI National Archive, British Film Institute, London

Holds copies of many Hepworth films.

Further Information on File at Screen Archive South East

BFI National Archive, copy kept on file SASE 950000.


BFI Screenonline: Cecil Hepworth

BFI resource providing biographical overview and film synopses.

BFI Screenonline: Lewin Fitzhamon

BFI resource providing biographical overview and film synopses.

BFI Screenonline: Percy Stow

BFI resource providing biographical overview and film synopses.

Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema: Cecil Hepworth

Provides biographical overview and further reading.

Hepworth Films

Website dedicated to the life and work of Cecil Hepworth, includes information on his ‘film stars’, such as Alma Taylor and Chrissie White.