Slideshow: Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian thrills Hailsham townsfolk

Hailsham was put firmly on the map when Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen dropped into the town to film his latest movie Mr Holmes.

The star had been filming in Seaford and East Dean on Monday morning (July 28) and then headed to Hailsham for the afternoon filming session at Hailsham Pavilion in George Street.

Sir Ian McKellen filming Mr Holmes in Hailsham Pavillion1

Sir Ian McKellen filming Mr Holmes in Hailsham Pavillion1

Sir Ian, 75, plays the role of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes who is now in his 90s.

The film is an adaptation of Mitch Cullen’s novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind.

When filming was done for the day, Sir Ian crossed the road from the Pavilion to meet fans and sign autographs.

He generously gave up his time to chat with Hailsham residents and have his picture taken.

He then got into a black car and was sure to wind his window down and say ‘bye’ to the crowd that had gathered outside the Pavilion, while waving enthusiastically and smiling at fans.

Earlier in the day George Street was lined with production vehicles and crew.

Hailsham Pavilion was chosen to star in the film because it is a vintage cinema which fitted with the period the story is set in - post war England.

The film, which is due to hit the big screen next year, is the story of an aging Sherlock Holmes who is obsessed with one last case.

The film is directed by Bill Condon and follows Mr Holmes as he looks back at his life, the cases and the unsolved mysteries.

Sir Ian’s visit to Hailsham has caused quite a response on Twitter.

One resident tweeted: “Thanks for your autograph and having a photo with me and I hope you enjoyed Hailsham.”

Another said: “Just met @Ian McKellen in Hailsham, filming Sherlock Homes, just a nice guy, its so nice to meet such a brilliant actor .”

Another resident said: “@IanMcKellen so lovely to see you in my home town of Hailsham, most excitement we have had all year.”