Dame Judi Dench will reprise her role as Miss Matty Jenkyns in the drama, based on the novels of Elizabeth Gaskell, which also features newcomers Jonathan Pryce, Celia Imrie, Lesley Sharp and Nicholas Le Prevost, among others.
Imelda Staunton will also be back as Miss Pole, with Julia McKenzie returning as Mrs Forrester and Deborah Findlay reprising Miss Tomkinson in the story, which takes place one year on from the death of Miss Matty’s sister Deborah (Eileen Atkins).
Filming begins next month in and around Wiltshire and London.
Kate Harwood, BBC Controller of series and serials, and Cranford executive producer, said: “BBC One viewers are in for a treat with the return of Cranford this Christmas.
“Old favourites return as well as exciting new characters in a richly moving story that will once again delight, enthral and entertain our audience.”