To Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire. A pre-lunch (Falkland Arms, Great Tew) walk in the park, alone except for two Aussies who kept saying 'awesome' every ten seconds. And awesome it is, an early fourteenth century fortified manor house (with a Tudor frontispiece) on a spectacular moated site. A very heady experience, particularly after I'd poked my nose into the church porch and found it awash with lilies. I'd always wanted to see Broughton after Tony Richardson shot scenes for his 1977 Joseph Andrews here. This became the home of the Wicked Squire (Kenneth Cranham) who lures the heroes and heroine to unwittingly take part in his satanic pleasures. Richardson marked the decisive moment between good and evil by having the entourage race through the tower gatehouse (seen here to the right of the church), David Watkin's camera whip-panning into the dark interior of the gateway as the door swings shut against the sunlit church spire. But Henry Fielding's eighteenth century seemed, oh, nearly three hundred years ago on this bright, fresh October morning, with the only sound the gentle drone of a tractor behind the trees. Awesome.
Derek Birdsall: Birdseye view
2 days ago