***** ALL PHOTOS MINE *****
The Haseleys (Little & Great) (Oxfordshire)
The owner of this large private residence in Little Haseley, which became Melvyn Stockard’s house in Who Killed Cock Robin? and Noah Farrow’s home in Midsomer Rhapsody, sometimes makes their grounds accessible to the public. I was in luck — the gate was wide open when I visited; so I walked right in and took a look around …
The wedding scenes in Midsomer Rhapsody were filmed in Great Haseley church, as was the postman’s funeral in Dark Autumn.
Great Haseley village hall first morphed into an antique shop in Dark Autumn; then it was, in turn, the venue of the book signing event in The Fisher King and the photo exhibition in Picture of Innocence, and finally it was used as Midsomer Parva village hall in Blood Wedding.
Various cottages in both Great and Little Haseley were used as the homes of the inhabitants of Goodmans Land in Dark Autumn, as well as for character residences in Picture of Innocence, Midsomer Rhapsody, Hidden Depths, and Days of Misrule.
Turville became Midsomer Parva in the episode The Straw Woman, with many exterior shots — notably those of the church — filmed here, the village green being the place where the titular straw effigy was burned, one of the cottages serving as Liz Francis’s home, and Turville school posing as the village hall.
The cottage used as Liz Francis’s home (I think).
The Turville village scenery was also used for Murder on St. Malley’s Day, with the local pub masquerading as the Chalk and Gown public house.
In Dark Autumn, Barnaby talks to Louise August in a field near the windmill above Turville, with the vilage itself appearing in the background. As the photos suggest, it was raining the proverbial cats and dogs when I visited, so I decided to curb my enthusiasm for replicating that exact view and instead contented myself with a view in the opposite direction, from the village towards the windmill …
The village with the most classic Midsomer Murders “accoutrements” and hence, another “must” location choice for the makers of the series.
Warborough first appeared in Market for Murder, where we see Barnaby and Troy driving around the village green. The green was also used as the location of the “Midsomer Mallow in Bloom” open garden day in Bad Tidings (and Scott’s first abode is in a cottage off the green; another cottage becomes the dolls’ shop in that episode). The cottages along the green also make an appearance in other episodes, such as Left for Dead and Second Sight, and the cricket pavilion becomes the Badgers Drift village hall in The Great and the Good.
The Six Bells on the Green Inn appears under its own name in Bad Tidings and Left for Dead, and under a number of aliases in Second Sight, Sins of Commission, and The Great and the Good.
The village’s most striking feature, its 17th century post mill, became Sarah Proudie’s home in A Tale of Two Hamlets; and Sgt. Troy interviews Phil Harrison outside the mill while he is busily providing one of its sails with a new coat of paint.
The church and village green both feature in Four Funerals and a Wedding, with the green becoming the setting of the traditional “Skimmington Ride”.
The Henley Bridge, regatta course, and generally much waterfront scenery can be seen in Dead in the Water when the Barnabys go to see the regatta (or try to, only to have a murderer spoil their and everybody else’s fun).
Henley was a stand-in for Causton in Last Year’s Model, with the town hall (left) becoming the courthouse. In Down Among the Dead Men, Barnaby and Jones visit a solicitor near the market square, and in The Black Book, the town hall became the auction rooms.
In Last Year’s Model, Barnaby and Jones meet Pru Plunkett in the Argyll pub (above left), and Gabriel Machin’s traditional butcher’s shop further down the same street becomes Anton Thorneycrotf’s Butchers in The Magician’s Nephew.
Englefield House — chiefly the patio and library — was used as the house of Simon and Aloysius Wilmington in The Magician’s Nephew. Aloysius also attends Englefield church in the same episode.
For reasons immediately obvious to any visitor, this is another favorite location of the makers of the Midsomer Murders series. In addition to the episodes mentioned in connection with specific places below, it also features in Things That Go Bump in the Night, Dead in the Water, and Dance With the Dead.
Dorchester Abbey makes a brief appearance in Four Funerals and a Wedding.
The Abbey Museum becomes the Midsomer Newton Museum in The House in the Woods.
The George Hotel (an authentic coaching inn built in 1495!) appears under the name The Feathers in The House in the Wood, and as The Maid in Splendour in the episode of that same name.
The White Hart Hotel (built in 1691) can be seen in the background in some episodes.
A charming market town (pronounced “Tame”, incidentally) that was used a location in no less than ten episodes: Shot at Dawn, Midsomer Life, Picture of Innocence, The Maid in Splendour, Things That Go Bump in the Night, Dead in the Water, The House in the Woods, Vixen’s Run, Blood Wedding, and Days of Misrule.
The area around the Cornmarket and adjacent streets provided many of the visuals of Luxton Deeping in Picture of Innocence, and it was also the location of the jeweller’s shop in Dead in the Water, of Harriet Davis Estate Agents in The House in the Woods, of various cafés (both real and fictional) frequented by the detectives in these episodes, and the location of the infamous “kissing photo bomb scene” intended to incriminate / embarrass Barnaby in Picture of Innocence. — For the same episode, the shop at the corner of Cornmarket Street (now a picture framing business) was mocked up as a photography store called Quikpix, supposedly located in Causton.
Thame town hall became the Causton Arts Centre in The Maid in Splendour and the mayor’s office in Shot at Dawn. Joyce can be seen singing carols outside the building in Days of Misrule.
The (Georgean) Spread Eagle Hotel, a local institution, appeared as the Morecroft Hotel in Midsomer Life.
Finally, the wholly underused pièce de résistance among all the Midsomer Murders locations: Waddesdon, an honest-to-God neo-Renaissance Loire-style castle plonked right into the middle of the English countryside in the late 1900s; turrets, external corkscrew staircase, alcoves and all, on the behest of one … Baron Rothschild. (Though since 1957, the property has been administered by the National Trust.) The house and grounds were used in numerous big-screen movies — you may most recently have seen the grounds stand in for those of what Lord Peter Wimsey calls “Buck House”, i.e., Buckingham Palace, in The Queen — but in Midsomer Murders, we only get an ever so brief glimpse of a single side wing turret and a bit of lawn in the background while the Barnabys are having lunch in the café, all in aid of the suggestion that they are vacationing in France, at the beginning of Death of a Stranger. I’m sure you’ll forgive me if for once I was not interested at all in the actual filming location but, instead, spent all my time exploring the main attraction …
“Midsomer County”: A bit of English “Litscape”
Part 1: https://themisathena.info/midsomer-county-a-bit-of-english-litscape-part-1
Part 2: https://themisathena.info/midsomer-county-a-bit-of-english-litscape-part-2
Blogging Series: LitScapes