FamousLocations.com cites Lavenham in Sussex as the location for the film.
Hi there, can anybody tell me the location of the church and rectory used in the film. I know most of the locations but this one has eluded me for a long time. Thanks, RICK
Dunno about the Church etc...but Lavenham was indeed where they filmed the burning of the witch...they stopped all traffic, removed all TV masts, covered the town square with straw and matting so that you couldn't see the double yellow lines etc..and away they went...
Sorry this aint much help..but if you ever meet anyone from Lavenham...believe me...it's all they EVER go on about...
Witchfinder General, a real classic that I went to see in 1968. Marvellous location photography and a sweeping music score by Paul Ferris. I was so impressed with the music, that when I arrived home after seeing the film, I looked through the immediate back numbers of my copies of New Musical Express to try and find out if it had been released on a record and it had...in July, 1968...on a 45 rpm single, "Love Theme from Witchfinder General", by the Roberto Mann Orchestra and Chorus on Deram DM 200. I went to my local record shop the very next day and ordered it. I still have it, over 36 years later. I was also lucky enough to win a set of eight original British Front-of-House colour stills from the film a few months ago on eBay.
The church was supposed to be in a village called Brandeston in Suffolk...maybe it was filmed there. It was all done on location in East Anglia, anyway.
Hi Dylan, thanks for your reply, I ve had a look at the website though finding it tricky to find much info even though many of the film locations are mentioned. RICK
Hi Threep, thanks, I ve been to Lavenham several times and indeed inside the Guildhall where numerous outside shots were taken. A very fitting location. The finale was filmed in the dungeon of Orford Castle, Suffolk. RICK
Hi David, thanks for your help. Yes that music is a very haunting piece indeed. Interesting too to learn that it was released on record !
You re quite right, the the actual church where events originally took place was Brandeston. I ve visited the place and the general lay out of the church and rectory is very similar to those in the film though not the same. Interstingly, in the church it has a numerical list of the vicars of Brandeston and John Lowes is named as being hanged as a witch ! RICK
Maybe the exteriors were of Brandeston church, but the interior scenes, where Richard Marshall (Ian Ogilvy) returns to find the inside of the church vandalised and desecrated, were shot somewhere else...perhaps in a studio. It wouldn't have been allowed to wreck the real church just for a feature film.
One day, I'd like to go and see that church. I can still see Ian Ogilvy galloping up the path towards it on his trusty steed, with Paul Ferris's spectacular music playing in the background.
Hi david, point taken about the desecration , etc... I was convinced at first they had used the original place but after my my visit and seeing the film YET AGAIN !! The rectory is very different and the building behind the church is in fact a private school so things didn t really tie in. By the way, I ve even resorted to contacting the Bishop of Ipswich & St. Edmundsbury with no luck !! RICK
Further information regarding record releases.
WITCHFINDER GENERAL sung by David Brooks on a President 45 rpm single, PT 196. This song wasn't featured in the film, but was written to promote it in 1968. I bought it at the time, along with the aforementioned Love Theme from...single and still have it. It's a really good song and record, but, like the Roberto Mann single, never got into the record charts and therefore must be pretty rare by now.
You'd be surprised at the number of themes from British films of the 1950's and 1960's that were issued on singles when the films were new and never got anywhere. Some of them must be really collectable by now.
Hi David, it never fails to amaze me just what you can find out about things. I wasn t aware of these accompanying record releases barring 1 or 2 of course. I m thinking of trying to contact Euan Pearson who was the locations manager on " Witchfinder " to see if he can give me the answer to the church and rectory mystery. my deep interest in this stems from the fact that I m a great history lover and I m only about half an hour from the main locations ! Even more frustrating then that I can t find this place. By the way, on viewing this site at present its covered with NO ENTRY signs, have you ever experienced this ? RICHARD
No, Richard, I can't say that I have. But then again, East Anglia is a bit too far for me to go these days. It's not exactly somewhere you could go from where I live just for a day out. By the time I got there, it would be time to set off back home again.
But I did read somewhere that some of the Witchfinder General locations...like the scenes of Ian Ogilvy galloping on his horse across that seemingly boundless countryside...were filmed on Ministry of Defence land. Maybe they could help you with location information, or at any rate, put you in touch with someone who had it.
It seems ok now inexplicably, obviously some sort technical glitch. MOD land ? That sounds as though it could be Rendlesham Forest, the area certainly fits in.
I ve requested a copy of Tony Reeves book "WORLDWIDE MOVIE LOCATIONS" I ve found out that many of Vincent Pices horro films are in it inclucing Witchfinder ! Let s hope it mentions more than just Lavenham. As I said, I ll try and contact Euan Pearson if no luck with the book. I ll let you know the results ! RICK
To DYLAN, THREEP & DAVID RAYNER plus anybody else who was interested, I have located the church and rectory used in filming WITCHFINDER GENERAL. It is; RUSHWOOD CHURCH near Thetford, Norfolk. It s in the heart of Breckland where I suspected some of the horseriding shots were taken. Thanks to all of you who replied.
Good work, Rick. It's something I never knew and I shall enter it into my files.
Thetford? That place rings a bell. Ah, that's where that 12 years old schoolboy Thomas Marshall was murdered by that village shopkeeper, Kevan Roberts about seven years ago. Fancy it happening where Witchfinder General was filmed.
Hi David, yes I d forgotten about that, spooky the young lads name should be MARSHALL too don t you think. By the way I spelt it incorrectly, it s actually RushFORD. RICK
Yes, Rick. It would be even spookier if the boy's first name had been Richard.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?Colin P:
There's a bit about the locations on the following link from the IMDB site, another excelent site I use: www.imdb.com/title/tt0063285/locations
It mentions Rushford church as mentioned here.
It was added to the IMDb after it was mentioned here :)
Hi Colin, Hi Steve,
Thanks I d never noticed that before. Sorry for not replying sooner, I just havn t been on here for ages. I ve just visited Rushford and the rectory is actually called Rushford College and was founded as such in 1342. It s a beautiful building with original ruined walls and doorways at the back. There was some archealogicalwork done there in 2003. I must correct my previous statement though because they did indeed use Brandeton church also. They cut the film about as the view you see from the rectory doorway looking back at the church does not match Rushford church but does Brandeston. I assume they shot that scene from the doorway of what is now a public school behind Brandeston church. The layouts of both locations are quite similar.