Remember the TV series ‘Lovejoy’ which was filmed in these parts nearly 30 years ago? Well a couple of items that featured in the show have recently come up for auction. A shop sign for Lovejoy Antiques fetched £1200, which is five times its estimated value and last weekend a leather jacket, worn by the old rogue himself, went on sale at Mander Auctioneers in Newton near Sudbury and sold for £1000.
There’s still a keen interest in the Lovejoy series and people travel from all over the world to visit the places used as the backdrop for filming. Some of those in the Heart of Suffolk and nearby north Essex include:
- The Suffolk countryside featured heavily and Lovejoy’s car could be seen zipping around the country lanes, surrounded by quintessential English landscapes.
- Quite a lot of filming took place in medieval Lavenham, with scenes outside The Angel Hotel in the market place, among others.
- The Priory in Clare was used with Richard Briers playing the role of a monk. The main street in Clare can also be spotted in the programmes.
- Cavendish, a perfect film location with thatched cottages gathered around the Green.
- Some filming took place in Hadleigh in the first two series.
- The Half Moon pub in Belchamp St Paul featured in a few episodes.
- Hedingham castle on the Suffolk/Essex border was featured in the 1992 Christmas special when it was turned into a castle in Prague.
- Townsford Mill in nearby Halstead is an antiques centre and featured in series four.
- Long Melford featured many times in the series with the interior of the Bull Hotel and some of the village’s many antiques shops.
- Belchamp Walter church, just a few miles from Sudbury was featured in the last episode called “Last Tango in Lavenham”.
- Belchamp Hall, just across the border into Essex was Lady Jane’s house.
The Heart of Suffolk is well known to be excellent hunting ground for lovers of antiques. Long Melford, Clare, Sudbury, Hadleigh, Needham Market and Debenham are all worth a visit and there are several auction houses too. Please contact the tourist information centres for further information and to purchase their leaflet on Lovejoy, priced at £1.
Would you like to stay in the grounds of Lady Jane’s mansion (Belchamp Hall) in the converted stables which was used as Lovejoy’s workshop?
It’s now a cosy self-catering cottage and even has the Lovejoy Antiques sign hanging from its beams!