Image by/from Chris Talbot
St Mary Mead was the imaginary village produced by popular crime fiction author Dame Agatha Christie.
The quaint, sleepy village was the place to find the famous detective spinster Miss Marple. However, Christie first described a village of this name just before Marple’s introduction, within the 1928 Hercule Poirot novel The Mystery from the Blue Train. For the reason that novel, St Mary Mead hosts the book’s protagonist Katherine Gray. The village was initially pointed out inside a Miss Marple book in 1930, if this was the setting for that first Marple novel, The Murder in the Vicarage.
Miss Marple’s St Mary Mead is described within the Murder in the Vicarage to be within the imaginary county of Downshire, however in the later novel Your Body within the Library Downshire is becoming Radfordshire. Within the BBC Miss Marple TV adaptation of Enemy, instructions from Mr Rafiel’s solicitors indicate that St Mary Mead is situated in the (also) imaginary county of Middleshire. The St Mary Mead of Katherine Gray is within Kent.
Miss Marple resides in Danemead Cottage, the final cottage in Old Pasture Lane. Her phone number is “three five” on the manual exchange.
Once it’s been fully established as Miss Marple’s home village, St Mary Mead should be in East England, 25 mi (40 km) from London. It is only outdoors the city of great importance and Benham and it is near to Market Basing (which seems like a name of the town in lots of of Agatha Christie’s novels and short tales), 12 mi (19 km) in the fashionable seaside resort of Danemouth, as well as 12 mi (19 km) in the seaside capital of scotland- Loomouth. Other towns stated to become near by include Brackhampton, Medenham Wells, and Milchester. The neighbourhood of St Mary Mead is offered by trains coming at Paddington railway station, indicating an area west or the west based in london. It’s been recommended that Market Basing is Basingstoke and Danemouth is Bournemouth. Within the BBC Miss Marple television adaptations the Hampshire village of Nether Wallop was utilized because the setting for St Mary Mead. Brackhampton might be Bracknell, just north of Basingstoke.
Before The Second World War, the village itself wasn’t particularly large. The only real road of significance passing with the village was High-street. Here were the well-established purveyances of Mr Petherick, the solicitors Mrs Jamieson, the hairdressers Mr Thomas’s basket-weavers Nowhere Boar Pub Mr Footit’s butchers, Mr Jim Armstrong’s dairies, Mr Berks’s bakers and Mr Baker’s grocery shop. The small-trafficked railway station, featured within the book The Murder in the Vicarage, can also be found at the finish of High-street although the station might have closed when from the novel 4.50 from Paddington as Mrs McGillicuddy includes a taxi arranged for that 9 mi (14 km) from Milchester station to overlook Marple’s house.
Then, slightly further up Lansham Road, was the fine Victorian structure of Gossington Hall. Before the 1950s, it was the place to find the exaggerated upon the market military man, Colonel Arthur Bantry and the wife Mrs Dolly Bantry (Miss Marple’s best buddies within the village). However, after Colonel Bantry died, Mrs Bantry offered the estate, but ongoing to reside on within the grounds within the East Lodge. The Hall was later after a couple of changes of possession purchased through the film star Marina Gregg. One mile lower Lansham Road would be a very modern cottage known as Chatsworth. It had been also referred to as the “Period Piece” and “Mr Booker’s home”. You purchased it , in early 1930s by Tulsi Blake, part of the skill department at Lemville film studios. It had been also lived on by Basil’s wife, Dinah Lee an actress.
In the other finish of Lansham Road, a little lane known as Old Pasture Lane broke from the primary street. Nestled within this lane were three Queen Anne or Georgian houses, which belonged to 3 spinsters. The very first house belonged towards the lengthy-nosed, gush and excitable Miss Caroline Wetherby. The 2nd was Miss Amanda Hartnell, a proud, decent lady having a deep voice. The final cottage was known as Danemead Cottage also it belonged to overlook Jane Marple, the famous spinster who solved numerous cases between 1930 and 1976. The Publish Office, and also the dressmakers owned by Mrs Politt, can be found while watching lane .
The center from the village was the Vicarage, the grand Victorian structure in the finish from the Lane. The Vicarage was the place to find The Vicar Leonard Clement and the pretty youthful wife, Griselda using their nephew: Dennis, and then their two sons, Leonard and David.
Close to the gardens from the Vicarage would be a back lane which brought to some small cottage known as Little Gates. Until 1930, it had been lived on by an Anglo-Indian colonel who moved away and briefly rented it to Mrs Lestrange.
Past the Vicarage were two more houses. The very first was the residence from the village GP, Physician Gerard Haydock. He ongoing to reside on within the village beyond 1960. Another cottage was much bigger than Dr Haydock’s. It belonged to Mrs Martha Cost-Ridley, a wealthy and dictatorial widow, and also the most vicious gossip of all of the old ladies within the village. There is additionally a large estate, Old Hall, of the despised local justice of the peace, Colonel Lucius Protheroe. He was murdered in 1930 in Mr Clement’s study within the Vicarage. After his dying, the mansion was switched right into a block of flats, towards the great disapproval from the villagers. The flats housed Mrs Carmichael, a wealthy and eccentric old lady who had been bullied by her maid, the Larkins, two siblings named Skinner, certainly one of whom would be a supposed hypochondriac, along with a youthful husband and wife, along with a robbery was later committed through the Skinner siblings.
Finally, just beyond the house of the dreaded Cost-Ridley (as she’s known by other villagers) would be a small stream, resulting in the fields of Player Giles. However, world war ii required its toll around the village, and shortly following the war Player Giles’s fields were bought and tarmacked over along with a new housing estate was built on there. It was known as ‘The Development’ through the villagers who survived world war 2. A really large hospital seemed to be built near, manned by many people nurses and doctors. In addition to this there have been some large hotels and three film studios: Lemville, Elstree and Hellingforth.