The History of Midsomer Villages

(Caution: Contains spoilers for 48 episodes from season 2 until season 23)


Having looked at the historic Midsomer villages of Parva and Worthy, there are many more villages where history happens – but often it’s just one event. For this reason, I have decided to use this map of Midsomer County as a guide and place the events in the four cardinal directions.


A brief introduction

You can see that the northern, western and eastern parts of Midsomer County were settled before the Anglo-Saxons. The south was settled at the time of the Anglo-Saxons, but there is no known source for the period before that. Instead, references to the Civil War are confined to the east, west and south, while none have survived for the north. The south of Midsomer County is particularly unusual: here there is the neighbourhood dispute between Lower Warden and Upper Warden, but also the neighbourly relations between Midsomer Abbas and Midsomer Herne.

A note

The map I’m using contains all known villages up to and including Season 21. Villages mentioned for the first time after that, and places not mentioned in the episodes, are listed under the heading “Location unknown or not on the map”. Exception: Brattlington (22×05), whose location is shown on a map in the episode.

Click here for the chronology of Midsomer Parva & Midsomer Worthy.


The East of Midsomer County

(includes: Aspern Tallow, Calm Cross, Ford Florey, Granville Norton, Great Auburn & Little Auburn, Lower Pampling, Midsomer Lorey, Midsomer Market, Midsomer Morchard, Midsomer Newton, Midsomer Stanton, Midsomer Vertue, Morton Fendle, Morton Shallows, Newton Magna, Quitewell Village).

  • Before 43 BC: The Celts have a shrine at Midsomer Sanctae, where St Frideswide Abbey is later built. (12×04: The Glitch)
  • Around 1300: Start of Frideswide pilgrimages in Midsomer County: Many groups of pilgrims use the Pilgrims’ Ride at Midsomer Sanctae to make a pilgrimage to the Abbey of St Frideswide to ask the saint for blessings and help. (12×04: The Glitch)
  • c. 1500: The Chetwoods have been living in Chetwood Estate for some time, but now the roof is leaking (and still is 500 years later). (05×01: Market for Murder)
  • Sometime between 1536 and 1541: The Abbey of St Frideswide in Midsomer Sanctae is dissolved. It is no longer used and falls into disrepair. (12×04: The Glitch)
  • 1644: On the 1st of August, the Battle of Aspern Tallow took place during the Civil War. It ended at 3.30pm with a Royalist defeat. Among the Royalists fighting was Jonathan Lowrie (1591-1644), a philanthropist, classical scholar and owner of Aspern Hall. After the battle, the Parliamentarians pursued him home and shot him in his house. He was buried on the spot, as he had wished. The family legend is that he is not at peace and lives on as a ghost. (03×04: Beyond the Grave)
  • 1645: Geoffrey DeQuetteville (1605-1645) is a Loyalist in the Civil War and dies at the Battle of Naseby while charging cannons. The battle was lost for the Royalists. (15×01: The Dark Rider)
  • 1795: Just a rumour? Margaret Peat of Midsomer Newton hanged herself from a beam in her kitchen. (09×01: The House in the Woods)
  • 1860: The famous duel between British boxer Sayers and US boxer Heenan takes place in the grounds of Morchard Manor in Midsomer Morchard. It ends in a pandemonium. (13×06: The Noble Art)
  • Before 1930: Foundation of Midsomer Priory in Midsomer Vertue. Mother Jerome’s great-aunt was Prioress in 1930. (14×07: A Sacred Trust)
  • 1936: Tom Stanton, a local landowner and keen amateur astronomer, has the Astrodome built at Midsomer Stanton. (15×03: Written in the Stars)
  • 1944: The village of Little Auburn becomes an army base for World War 2. The villagers find Great Auburn nearby. (19×01: The Village That Rise From the Dead)
  • 1944: Ralph Wood was a bomber pilot at Cooper’s Cross airfield near Morton Fendle and never returns from a mission this year. (10×01: Dance with the Dead)
  • 1962: A group of locals moved into Little Auburn to protest against the army’s continued occupation of the village. They stayed for a few days before being arrested, fined and shackled. Among them were Fred Messenger and Sylvia Lennard. (19×01: The Village That Rise From the Dead)
  • Late 1960s and/or 1970s: Germaine Troughton from Lower Pampling is captain of the England women’s cricket team. (19×03: Last Man Out)
  • 2016: 72 years after Little Auburn was evicted and used as an army base, the village is being returned to the family of former landowner Roderick Craven. (19×01: The Village That Rise From the Dead)


The West of Midsomer County

(includes: Bantling Village, Belville, Bishopwood, Ferne Bassett, Fletcher’s Cross, Great Worthy, Little Worthy, Lower Marshwood, Malham Bridge, March Magna, Midsomer Cicely, Midsomer Deverell, Midsomer Holm, Midsomer Langley, Midsomer Mallow, Midsomer Priors, Midsomer Worthy, Midsomer-in-the-marsh, Milton Cross, Solomon Gorge, Upper Marshwood))

  • About 800 BC (Iron Age): At Midsomer Barrow, a local ruler, the Fisher King, is murdered with a spear in his leg, a model for the Fisher King of later Arthurian legend and the so-called “Dolorous Stroke”/”Dolorous Blow”. Midsomer’s Fisher King is buried on the land that later becomes part of the Heldman estate. (07×03: The Fisher King)
  • Sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries (Anglo-Saxon): There was a Saxon burial ground where the village green of Midsomer Mallow now stands. (03×03 Judgement Day)
  • 1086: Chainey’s Field in Midsomer Mallow is mentioned as common land in the Domesday Book. (07×02: Bad Tidings)
  • 15th century (probably second half): In a village later known as Midsomer Cicely, a pious woman, Cicely Milson, is interrogated and tortured for three weeks by her tormentors. Her family fled to France to escape the torture. The family treasure, however, remains with Cicely. Cicely dies during the torture and is buried with the family treasure. She is later venerated as a martyr. (18×05: Sinners and Saints)
  • c.1500: The Catholic Hartley family come into possession of Bantling Hall. (08×04: Bantling Boy)
  • Sometime between 1509 and 1547: There is a public footpath at Fletcher’s Cross. It passes (later?) through the Cavendish estate. (02×03: Dead Man’s Eleven)
  • Sometime between 1536 and 1541: During the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Inkpens acquire a former ecclesiastical estate in Midsomer Deverell, which becomes “Inkpen Manor”. (04×01: Garden of Death)
  • 1605: Cecil Hartley, 3rd Baron Bantling was a famous Catholic and was involved in the Gunpowder Plot. (08×04: Bantling Boy)
  • 1644: On 2 July, George, 4th Baron Bantling, is part of the King’s army at the Battle of Marston Moor during the Civil War. But he betrays his side and the King at the battle, which is ultimately lost. It is the first major victory for the Parliamentary army and the decisive turning point in the Civil War. (08×04: Bantling Boy)
  • Sometime between 1775 and 1783: Thomas, 4th Baron of Bantling, was born in England and enlisted in the English army. During the War of Independence, however, he either switched sides or was a collaborator – in any case, he fought on the side of the English colonies in America. (08×04: Bantling Boy)
  • Sometime between 1837 and 1901: One of the railways in Midsomer County ran close to the Keys’ cottage at Fletcher’s Cross, just behind some trees. (08×01: Things That Go Bump in the Night)
  • 1875: On 25 June, twenty-year-old Carolina Maria Roberts, suffering from tuberculosis, commits suicide by throwing herself from the staircase of St Fidelis Hospital in Midsomer Magna. Her gravestone reads “NOT DEAD BUT SLEEPTH”. (13×04: The Silent Land)
  • 1893: Reverend Stannington of Bishopwood becomes World Chess Champion 1893/1894 (15×05: The Sicilian Defence)
  • 1894: Reverend Stannington of Bishopwood dies as reigning World Chess Champion. (15×05: The Sicilian Defence)
  • 1967-1970: Stella Harris is a star actress in well-known horror films and from Midsomer Langley. She made her debut in 1967 with “A Thirst for Blood”. She almost made it to Hollywood after “Death and the Divas”, but in the end her sister Diana Davenport got the part because director Cy Davenport fell in love with her (later married) and Stella Harris was written off. It was around this time that Diana became unintentionally pregnant and unmarried. Stella and Diana’s mother was very concerned about the family’s reputation and decided that Stella, who was already married, should register Emma, born in April 1970, as her child. As a result, Stella Harris’ acting career was over, but Diana Davenport’s was just beginning. (15×04: Death and the Divas)
  • 1970: On Roger Heldman’s estate at Midsomer Barrow, local archaeologist Paul Heartley-Reade and archaeologist Dr James Lavery from the Ashmolean Museum find a Celtic tomb – the tomb of Midsomer’s Fisher King. It is here that landowner and multiple rapist Roger Heldman is murdered. The Celtic artefacts are recovered and placed in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, with a Suffolk provenance. Shortly afterwards, Paul Heartley-Reade fakes his own death. (07×03: The Fisher King)
  • 1990: Matthew Draper is killed in an accident in Fletcher’s Cross at a quarry owned by Robert Cavendish (02×03: Dead Man’s Eleven).


The North of Midsomer County

(includes: Angel’s Rise, Bleakridge, Bledlow Village, Broughton, Burwood Mantle, Dunstan, Everton-cum-Latterley, Finchmere, Midsomer Mow, Midsomer Pastures, Midsomer Sonnig, Midsomer St Michael, Midsomer St. Claire, Midsomer Vinae, Midsomer Wellow, Midsomer Wyvern, Swinton Magna, Tamworth Spring, Whitcombe Grange, Whitecombe Mallet, Brattlington

  • Sometime between 43 BC and the 5th century (Romans): In Midsomer Vinae, the Romans grow wine. (17×04: A Vintage Murder)
  • Sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries (Anglo-Saxons): A battle between Norsemen (Vikings) and Saxons takes place on Gorse Meadow in Midsomer Mow – the Battle of Hallows Beck. The Saxons are victorious. (14×05: The Sleeper Under the Hill)
  • Late 12th century or later: 
  • On a wall in the crypt of the church at Midsomer St Claire, an unusual Domesday painting is created, depicting not the usual crossroads between salvation and damnation, but only medieval methods of torture. (16×02: Let Us Prey)
  • 1633: An illustration shows that Midsomer Wellow practises brass rubbing, which is the rubbing of an uneven surface, such as a metal plate. (05×03: Ring Out Your Dead)
  • Sometime between 1642 and 1651: The Fitzroy family, who own Bledlow Village, are a Catholic family who, among other things, have priest holes in the building so they can secretly celebrate Catholic mass. (11×02: Blood Wedding)
  • 1801: Jane Austen travels through Whitcombe Grange. (19×05: Death by Persuasion)
  • 1860: In Midsomer Wellow, the church well is closed after the body of the vicar, Jonathan Ebbrell, is found in it. He had been murdered by local bell ringers for forcing them to attend services and removing their beer keg from their room. The bell-ringers are not convicted because the people of Midsomer Wellow form a wall of silence. (05×03 Ring Out Your Dead)
  • 1916: In Broughton, during the First World War, Montague Marwood, a large local landowner, raises an entire company from the village. Many families lose their heads of household and are left with little to survive on. (No battle is mentioned, but it is not unlikely that they also fought in the Battle of the Somme.) Some women form the Skimmington Society as a self-help group to work together, educate themselves and raise money. (09×05: Four Funerals and a Wedding)
  • 1923: Sir Huntley Empson founded the amateur theatre company Midsomer Mummers and had the mill at Brattlington converted into a stage for his productions. (22×05: Prepare for Death)
  • 1939-1945: Reggie Barton from Midsomer Wellow is a pilot in the Second World War, flying Lancaster aeroplanes. (05×03: Ring Out Your Dead)
  • 1942: Finchmere pilot Ellie Wingate commits suicide over a love affair and flies off despite a storm warning. She never returns. (16×04: The Flying Club)
  • 1960: On the 15th of August, a fire breaks out at Marwood Manor in Broughton. Almost everyone in the house dies: Richard Henry Marwood, Elizabeth Ann Marwood, Montagu Henry Marwood, Catherine Elizabeth Marwood, Henry Edward Marwood, Elizabeth Marwood, Frederick Hastings, Dorothy Sairfield, Harold Sairfield and their two children, George Richard Marwood and Henry Marwood. (09×05: Four Funerals and a Wedding)
  • Late 1960s: Elizabeth “Lizzy”/”Beth” Thornfield of Midsomer Wyvern is a popular British model and glamour girl. (16×03: Wild Harvest)


The South of Midsomer County

(includes: Badger’s Drift, Binwell, Bow Clayton, Carver Valley, Causton, Cooper Hill, Goodman’s Land, Little Crosby, Little Malton, Little Upton, Long Barton, Lower Crosby, Lower Warden, Luxton Deeping, Malham Cross, Martyr Warren, Midsomer Abbas, Midsomer Barton, Midsomer Chettham, Midsomer Devington, Midsomer Herne, Midsomer Magna, Midsomer Malham, Midsomer Mere, Midsomer Oaks, Midsomer Parva, Pandlefoot Bailey, Upper Warden

  • About 1000: The Smythe-Websters are given their estate in Upper Warden. (06×04 A Tale of Two Hamlets)
  • 1370: In Midsomer Abbas, there is a long spring frost which ruins the year’s harvest and brings famine to many of the villagers. They get help from the neighbouring village “across the valley”, Midsomer Herne, who bring some of their apple crop. (14×06: The Night of the Stag)
  • Sometime between 1536 and 1541: Monks Barton Abbey is dissolved – by force, as the monks probably refused to give it up. However, they are forced to flee by royal soldiers and are literally hunted down and slaughtered in the neighbouring Monks Barton Woods near Bow Clayton. (11×07 Talking to the Dead)
  • 1539: Brother Jozef is executed (boiled to death in beer) for poisoning Causton Abbey’s beer. (20×01: The Ghost of Causton Abbey)
  • 1643: From 14 March, the neighbouring villages of Lower Warden up the hill and Upper Warden down the hill begin to hate each other in the Civil War. (06×04: A Tale of Two Hamlets)
  • 1802: Sir Hugo Melmoth is murdered by the people of Midsomer Oaks on 23 June. Just as Sir Hugo had some unpleasant people murdered under the guise of a pagan ceremony. (17×02: Murder by Magic)
  • 1851: Albert Plummer returns from India to Little Upton, not with the fortune he had planned, but with a recipe for an excellent condiment. He had eaten it in India and managed to recreate it. This became, with a few changes, Plummer’s Relish. Why he was in India is not mentioned. I suspect, given the time, that he was probably taking part in the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1848-1849. (08×07: Sauce for the Goose)
  • 1867: Ellis Bell (“The House of Satan”) is born out of wedlock in Lower Warden. His mother worked in the big house in Upper Warden and was seduced by the son of the house. The Smythe-Websters denied paternity but helped young Ellis Bell get a job as a teacher.(06×04: A Tale of Two Hamlets)
  • 1880s: The dangerous horn dance (actually a fight between men wearing antlers) in Midsomer Abbas turns into an amusing, bloodless dance. (14×06: The Night of the Stag)
  • 1897: Ellis Bell’s “The House of Satan” is published for the first time. It is an “old-fashioned socialist novel”. The title, The House of Satan, refers to the Smythe-Webster family. (06×04: A Tale of Two Hamlets)
  • 1905: Just a rumour: The author Baroness Emma Orczy is a guest of Lord Fitzgibbon at Midsomer Magna Manor while writing her play (and later novel) “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. Lord Fitzgibbon is said to have been the model for her main character and hero, Sir Percy Blakeney. (10×07: They Seek Him Here)
  • 1930: Lower Warden Ellis Bell, author of ‘The House of Satan’, dies in poverty in Causton. (06×04: A Tale of Two Hamlets)
  • 1930: The Luxton Deeping Photographic Society’s annual exhibition is held for the first time. It was founded by Casper Madrigal. (10×06: Picture of Innocence)
  • 1950s: Isobel Hewitt from Midsomer Malham is a racing driver and wins a prize at Silverstone (06×01: A Talent for Life)
  • Post-war era / Second half of the 20th century: Midsomer Devington’s public boys’ school, Devington Hall, has for decades been hoarding numerous artefacts of incalculable value from all over the world. Members of the school’s elite Pudding Club often became diplomats and were able to steal the exhibits and bring them back to the school. This happened, for example, during the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and the war in Afghanistan (1979-1989). (05×04 Murder on St Malley’s Day)
  • 1969: Felix Bryce of Badger’s Drift has died while playing with other children: He is standing on a chair with a rope around his neck and tied to a branch. He loses his balance, the chair tips over and Felix hangs himself. His mother, Jennifer, died of depression nine months later. (02×01: Death’s Shadow)
  • 1985: The famous singer Joan Alder (“Midsomer Rhapsody”) from Badger’s Drift dies in a car accident, presumably from an overdose of anti-depressants and too much alcohol. (08×08: Midsomer Rhapsody)
  • 1990: Folk musician Johnny Carver from Lower Crosby is shot dead while recording his song “The Ballad of Midsomer County”. (17×03 The Ballad of Midsomer County)


Location unknown or not on map

  • 1526: A monk working for the Inquisition writes a letter saying that he has a part of the Tyndale Bible (11×05: The Magician’s Nephew) (Note: it is not explicitly stated that this monk lived in Midsomer County, but his letter is found in a library there).
  • 1742: The landscape painter Henry Hogson is born. (12×02: The Black Book)
  • 1792: Henry Hogson may have painted a picture of Bishop John Fletcher fly-fishing at Bishop’s Drift, despite his arthritis. (12×02: The Black Book) (Note: It is not entirely clear whether the original exists and also exists as a forgery, or whether the original was never painted).
  • 1810: Landscape painter Henry Hogson dies. (12×02: The Black Book)
  • One July in the 1950s: Duncan Palmer of Midsomer County wins the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. (14×01: Death in the Slow Lane) (Note: It is also possible that this was an earlier F1 race, but not afterwards. Palmer died in 1962, and the British Grand Prix was not held at Silverstone in either 1961 or 1962. Alternative years would be 1958, 1956 or between 1951 and 1954 as these were the years when both races were held at Silverstone and Stirling Moss was active).
  • 1962: Midsomer County Formula One driver Duncan Palmer is murdered in a barn near Midsomer-in-the-marsh (14×01: Death in the Slow Lane).
  • 1963: Arnold Simms sets up the School of Art. (12×02: The Black Book)


Read more about Midsomer Murders & History

The Chronology of Midsomer County by Year or by EpisodesDeep Dives into Midsomer & History.

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Petra Tabarelli has studied history and has earned an international reputation as an expert on the history and development of football rules. But she is also a big fan of Midsomer Murders - and that's why this website about history and nostalgia in and around Midsomer exists. She was looking for a website like this, couldn't find it, so she madw it. For others who, like her, are looking for the website, and now can find it.

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