Midsomer Murders in Oxfordshire
Discover the various filming locations of the famous TV and book series Midsomer Murders; many of which were filmed in Oxfordshire.
Oxfordshire is an ideal place to follow in the footsteps of Inspector Barnaby of Causton CID, and fellow characters of the popular series, to explore Midsomer county; the home of traditional pubs, village greens, fetes and Sunday afternoon cricket. However, Midsomer is not as idyllic as it appears, as murder, kidnap and blackmail are all common crimes committed by the inhabitants of this fictional English county.
While many villages in Oxfordshire were featured in Midsomer Murders, five towns are particular favourites for the filming of the TV show. Henley-on-Thames, Wallingford, Dorchester-on-Thames, Thame and Watlington, are all home to a variety of different Midsomer Murder film locations, which can be explored with their very own Midsomer walking trails.
Henley-on-Thames: In the episode, Last Year’s Model, the Grade II listed Town Hall of Henley was used as the ‘Court House of Causton’. The Town Hall was also used as the ‘auction room’ in Black Book. Additionally, the Gabriel Machin butcher shop, which has existed in Henley since 1861, was featured in The Magician’s Nephew episode as a double for ‘Anton Thorneycroft’s butcher’. And the popular Royal Regatta, which takes place in Henley every year, became the Midsomer Regatta in Dead in the Water, which Barnaby and his wife visited for a picnic. Café Vinters, where Barnaby bought drinks in the Dawn Amongst the Dead Men is also located in Henley and was transformed into La Bodega, a restaurant and tapas bar.
Wallingford:Wallingford is the original location of Causton, home to main character Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby and a real-life location with trails designed to take in the filming locations around the town and neighbouring areas. Wallingford’s most recent appearance was in ‘Breaking the Chain’ which featured the town’s Festival of Cycling and aired in January 2016.
Dorchester-on-Thames: Dorchester-on-Thames, is known as one of the prettiest Midsomer county villages and a great place to stay for an authentic Midsomer stay. Choose between three historic Inns, which were all featured in past episodes. Dorchester is also home to ‘The house in the woods’, known today as Abbey’s Museum, which was the place where Barnaby’s wife met with the conservation group.
Watlington: To find the ‘Causton library’, you have to visit Watlington and its very own library. In addition, Watlington is home to Calnans, which represented Dorset’s Family Butchers in Judgement. In the same episode, the Grade II listed Town Hall at the top of the High Street was used for the scene in which Joyce Barnaby is a judge in the Perfect Village Competition.
Thame: Thame has featured in many episodes and there are over 20 filming locations in the town centre. Notable among these are Thame Town Hall, used as Causton Town Hall in Shot at Dawn, Not in My Backyard, and Days of Misrule, and as Causton Arts Centre in The Maid in Splendour. Buttermarket was used in Vixen’s Run, Picture of Innocence, Midsomer Life and Dead in the Water. Market House was used in Vixen’s Run and Midsomer Life. Rumsey’s Chocolaterie (8 Upper High Street) was used extensively in Picture of Innocence as Madrigal’s Camera Shop. The Black Horse (11 Cornmarket) featured in Neil Dudgeon’s first episode, Death in the Slow Lane. The Spread Eagle and The Swan Hotels (Cornmarket) were used in Vixen’s Run and The Spread Eagle was also used as The Morecroft Hotel in Midsomer Life. Thame Museum was used in Secrets and Spies.
Pubs visited by Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby
- The Argyll, a 17th-century pub, was visited by Barnaby & Jones to meet clinical psychiatrist Pru Plunkett.
- The Six Bells, a 16th-century pub was frequently featured as the ‘Black Swan’.
- The Black Horse, a 17th-century pub, was used in ‘Death in the Slow Lane’, the first episode featuring Neil Dudgeon as DCI Barnaby
Midsomer Walking Tours
Wallingford has a walking tour where you can explore locations from the series. For further information and to view the trail visit here.