I do love finding film locations especially when those films are adapted from books. So, it was with great anticipation that we set out for the Suffolk village of Hoo this week.
This rural village near Woodbridge was made famous through the 1974 film adaptation of Akenfield from the book by Ronald Blythe. Directed by Peter Hall, it starred a cast of locals and was a deeply moving account of life in an English village, focussing on the fortunes of three generations of men.
The church of St Andrew and St Eustachius was used in the film and it has a wonderful setting. During shooting, the churchyard was full of cow parsley and, whilst this was growing in abundance in the hedgerows when we visited, the churchyard itself was neatly mown.
The interior of the church is plain and simple, with a very moving roll of honour on the wall which features in the film, reminding us of the sacrifice made by even the smallest communities during the Great War.
This is a beautifully remote corner of Suffolk, dotted with farms and thatched cottages and it looked glorious in the May sunshine.
If you’d like to read my 2012 interview with Ronald Blythe where he talks about his books and the film adaptation of Akenfield, click here.