Street View sightseeing: Miss Marple’s House (BBC 1980s series)

Miss Marple lives in the fictional village of St. Mary Mead. The house used as a location in the 1980s BBC series is on Five Bells Lane in Nether Wallop, Hampshire.

The shop in A Pocketful of Rye

Was the building next to Miss Marple's house a shop at the time of filming or ever a shop? Perhaps it was all a bit of clever set-dressing by the BBC? Today it's a house, but retains the old bread sign on the wall which can be seen in A Pocketful of Rye which was screened in 1985.

Miss Marple's house and the shop

In that story, the shopkeeper tells Miss Marple (Joan Hickson) about the murder of Rex Fortescue and later is seen delivering a newspaper which has further details about the case.

However, looking at the first story in the series — The Body In the Library (1984) — I see the bread sign isn't there. Also at one point there's a brief glimpse of a grassed area opposite Miss Marple's house, which now is occupied by a more modern building.

I would guess that was built in the 1980s when they were still making the series and probably to the dismay of the BBC which needed an English village of the late 1940s. In later episodes the director employs some deft camera manoeuvres to avoid ever showing the opposite side of the street.

For example, in A Pocketful of Rye, as Miss Marple leaves her house and walks towards the shop, she seems to step over something. At first I couldn't figure out what. Then I realised the camera is in that spot at the beginning of the shot, so she is stepping over the metal camera track.

The first shot in The Body In the Library includes an ivy-covered market cross in the foreground. The camera tracks and cranes up from the front of a bus, revealing Miss Marple's home in the background. The cross was another prop courtesy of the BBC scenery department...


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Returning to A Pocketful of Rye, in real life the market place is some distance away and doesn't have the covered feature with seats.

Village market place, A Pocketful of Rye

But the church-like building that appears as an infants school is further up the street that Miss Marple walks along.

School, A Pocketful of Rye

School, A Pocketful of Rye

The film-makers shot the scene with a telephoto lens, while the Street View photos are a wide-angle view, so it looks quite different.


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Like everywhere these days the place is blighted by vehicles. Then again, Miss Marple is a stylised version of country life that probably never existed. I won't say 'sanitised' because there are an extraordinary number of murders!

Silvio Narizzano, who directed this episode, was the director of the classic 1960s British film 'Georgy Girl'.

Will there ever be a better Miss Marple than Joan Hickson? I doubt it.

 

14 Comments

  • Dave Lloyd says:

    I have done some research into this as well and came to the same conclusions.Also the covered feature with seats that appears on the programmes,is not just up the road from Miss Marples house as it appears in Body in the library,when Constable Palk is talking to Malcolm on the bridge.
    Does anybody know the location of the hall that was used to portray Gossington hall in the 1984 adaptation ?

  • Elly says:

    Gossington Hall from the 1984 adoptation is Wherwell Priory near Winchester.

  • FERNANDES says:

    GOSTARIA DE RECEBER INFORMAÇÕES SOBRE AS LOCALIZAÇÕES DE TODAS AS CASAS QUE APARECEM NA SÉRIE MISS MARPLE COM JOAN HICKSON. PARABÉNS PELA INICIATIVA DO SITE, DANDO-NOS A POSSIBILIDADE DE VIAJARMOS PELO TEMPO NAS RUAS DA MARY MEAD!

    AGUARDO NOTÍCIAS!

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE INFORMATION ON THE LOCATION OF ALL THE HOUSES THAT APPEAR IN SERIES WITH Joan Hickson Miss Marple. CONGRATULATIONS BY THE INITIATIVE OF THE SITE, THE GIVING OF THE POSSIBILITY traveling IN THE STREETS OF TIME BY MARY MEAD!

    WAIT NEWS!

  • Christopher says:

    The same locations were used in Miss Marple’s “A Body in the Library” (1984). In that film, “Gossington Hall” (the home of Colonel Arthur Bantry and his wife, Dolly) was actually Wherwell Priory, southeast of Andover in Hampshire.

  • Elaine Payne says:

    Does anybody know the location of the beautiful house featured in ‘Sleeping Murder’ – A Miss Marple mystery. The house has a lovely garden and overlooks the sea. Would love to know where this house is. Looks like it could be the West Country.

    Elaine Payne

  • Mark says:

    Would anyone know the location used for the Majestic Hotel in Bournemouth during the filming of ‘The Body in the Library’ please? The inside reminded me of the De Vere Royal Bath hotel, but the outside shot looks more like the Marriott Hich Cliffs hotel.

  • Dave Lloyd says:

    It is the Highcliff hotel at Bournemouth,prior to the Marriot chain taking it over and giving it a full refurb.

  • Zarely says:

    La casa que se ve en Sleeping Murder es “Watch Hill” Budleigh Salterton, Devon, UK

  • Marilyn says:

    Does anyone know if the back and backyard of Miss Marple’s House shown in Nemesis and other of the Series was a different Building as the front. The front is brick and the back looks to be wood…a dark wood?

  • Judith says:

    Hi there, thanks for this info. Check out my website for my collection of filming locations of Miss Marple. See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Film_locations_of_Miss_Marple

  • Andy says:

    The shop now a house was definitely a shop at the time of filming

  • GS says:

    g7uk.com

    I’ve found a photo of the shop in 1955 here

  • William Chavez says:

    Does anybody know the actual hotel location that was used for Joan Hickson’s Miss Marple: At Bertram’s Hotel. I know it was inspired by Browns Hotel and/or Flemings Hotel but it does not appear to have been filmed there. The entrance of these 2 hotels on the internet does not match the entrance of the hotel in the movie.

    Thank you in advance for any information.

 

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