The fictional English county of Midsomer may have an exceptionally high murder rate, but it’s no wonder people still want to live there considering its its beautiful villages and stately homes.
Long-running ITV drama Midsomer Murders is based in Causton (also fictional), where DCI Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) lives with his wife Sarah (Fiona Dolman).
In real life, Causton is filmed in the town of Wallingford in Oxfordshire, while the police station scenes are filmed at the former RAF Staff College in Bracknell.
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As Midsomer Murders returns for series 20, here’s what you need to know about the locations we’ll see on screen:
Where was Midsomer Murders episode The Lions of Causton filmed?
In this episode, the Causton Lions rugby team comes under Barnaby and Winter’s scrutiny when club owner Mark Adler is frozen to death in the team’s cryotherapy chamber. Who killed him? And what is the complex conspiracy beneath it all?
This episode was filmed back in 2017 at Henley Rugby Football Club in Henley-on-Thames.
As the club writes on its website, “we’re very excited to see the final results as the Club was transformed into the home ground of the Lions, Causton’s top rugby side.”
And while the fictional team includes actors Richard Rankin (as Danny Wickham) and Aaron Cobham (as Jake Galpin), the real-life rugby club teases: “Keep an eye out for familiar faces in Lions side…”
Where was Midsomer Murders episode Death of the Small Coppers filmed?
This episode takes us to a local school, where Circulus – a mysterious international club for geniuses – has taken over the premises during the summer holidays. The local village is crawling with butterfly enthusiasts, so Barnaby and his team have a difficult case to solve when the school’s unfortunate headmaster is found murdered and pinned to the wall just like one of the insects in his own butterfly collection.
Filming took place at the Bulstrode Estate in Gerrard’s Cross, Buckinghamshire. The Victorian mansion we see on screen in Midsomer Murders sits in the beautiful grounds of Bulstrode Park, which is renowned for its beautiful trees from around the world.
The site at Bulstrode dates back to the medieval period. Over several centuries it was home to a series of grand families, before ending up in the hands of the Christian evangelical mission agency WEC International in the 1960s.
It was recently sold to private developers for £13 million – with plans to turn it into a luxury hotel.
Where was Midsomer Murders episode The Ghost of Causton Abbey filmed?
This episode is based around a disused abbey that is believed to be cursed by an angry monk called Brother Jozef. Now two enterprising sisters are about to launch the Cursed Ale Microbrewery – but on the launch night, the curse appears to claim another victim when a body is found boiled to death in a kettle of beer.
As Causton Abbey doesn’t actually exist in real life, the exteriors were filmed on location at Waverley Abbey in Surrey. As pictured below, one body was discovered in the remains of the vaulted undercroft.
Waverley Abbey was founded in 1128 as the first Cistercian abbey in England, with an abbot and a dozen monks coming from Normandy to make this institution their new home. It was inhabited by Cistercian monks until King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1536.
After the abbey closed, it was reduced to ruins as the stone was reused in local buildings, including the Waverley Abbey House which stands on the abbey’s former land.
During the First World War, the house was converted into a military hospital which treated over 5,000 soldiers, and it also has numerous defences which were installed during the Second World War.
Waverley Abbey House is now a nursing home and a Grade II listed building, while the ruins are managed by English Heritage, who keep them open to the public.