The Living and the Dead: Where is Shepzoy House?

Some cast and crew members believe the 16th century manor really is haunted


Apart from the ghostly goings-on, the village of Shepzoy looks rather appealing – that tranquil valley, all those sun-drenched wheatfields.


The BBC’s supernatural drama The Living and the Dead is set in Victorian Somerset, but those lush scenes were actually filmed in neighbouring South Gloucestershire.

Nathan Appleby and his young wife Charlotte’s rundown farmhouse is actually Horton Court, a medieval manor near Chipping Sodbury at the south end of the Cotswolds. The 16th century manor house is built from the remains of a 12th century Norman Hall, which was awarded to one of William the Conqueror’s righthand men, Robert de Tosney, for his part in the Battle of Hastings. 

Horton Court, South Gloucestershire

The manor is also prize for the loggia (a room with open sides) in the garden, which is a rare surviving example of Renaissance design and decorated with the busts of Julius Caesar, Nero, Hannibal and Attila the Hun. 

For the last 60 years, it’s been a National Trust property (and boasts the Trust’s oldest roof), but is currently closed to the public for major renovations costing £2 million. The Living and the Dead isn’t Horton Court’s first TV appearance. It also had cameos in Wolf Hall and Poldark.

In the video below, Colin Morgan and other cast members talk about filming on location at Horton Court – and whether there really is more than meets the eye there…  

You can visit St James the Elder, the country church adjacent to the manor which can also be spied in the drama.

The nearby village of Horton lies on the Little Avon River between the villages of Little Sodbury and Hawkesbury, which is also notable for Horton Camp (also known as “The Castles”), an Iron Age hill fort.


The Living and the Dead continues on Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1

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