Homes Used In Poirot Episodes
Although Poirot has been played by various actors in both film and TV adaptations, this entry focuses mainly on the TV locations used in the ITV drama Poirot, starring David Suchet and Hugh Fraser, which ran for 70 episodes over 13 series. This featured a large number of contemporary houses and blocks of flats as TV locations and backdrops. For the most part, these were real buildings, not sets and the 'Who's Who' of building names used reads like an audit of the most important domestic buildings of the 1920s and 1930s.
While Poirot was set in the 1930s, the designers for the long-running ITV series tried to avoid delivering a kitsche Art-Deco celebration. The producers, led by Brian Eastman were true to spirit of the more important International Moderne. In a recent Guardian article, Eastman said "..the TV set was 30s 'moderne', not actually Art Deco, because Agatha Christie had explained in a profile of Poirot that Art Deco was too flamboyant for him".<ref>The Guardian, Nov 2013 | www.Guardian.co.uk/Poirot </ref>. That is not to say that the Poirot TV episodes weren't a feast of beautiful houses, flats, hotels and offices used as TV locations, many of them in International Moderne style with sumptuous Art Deco interiors. However, Poirot and Hasting's travels took them to a wide range of houses for their TV locations from the austere Georgian classicism of Castern Hall to the exquisite Tudor detailing of Chenies Manor House and Dorney Court. The Chimni Wiki, while providing detailed information on house history and construction, wants to be able to provide the answer to the perennial question that arises while watching Poirot: 'God that house is lovely! Where is it'?
Houses Used as TV Locations in Poirot
Poirot episodes seem to be one long beautiful 'moderne' house after another. From Joldwynds, a modernist house in Surrey, which was a location for more than one show, to the exquisite 'High & Over' House in Amersham, Bucks which was used as the location in the episode 'King of Clubs' the producers have been spoilt for choice of location. While focussing on 1930s houses, they have had the pair travel to a wide variety of homes, including austere Geogian country piles like Castern Hall and perfectly preserved Tudor manor houses like Dorney Court. The following list is not exhaustive, and does not include the other amazing (non-domestic) buildings they visit, some of which are listed out at the end of the page:
'High & Over' in Amersham, Bucks used in the episode 'King of Clubs'.
Joldwynds, Holmbury St Mary Surrey used as Kings Lacey in 'The Theft of the Royal Ruby' and as Davenheim's house in 'The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim'
Shrub's Wood appears as Mr Hardman's House in 'The Double Clue' and as Alastair Blunt's country house in'One Two Buckle My Shoe'
Kit's Close, Fawley, Buckinghamshire used as Ackroyd's House in 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd'
St Ann's Court a Grade II listed house in Surrey, designed by Raymond McGrath used in 'The Kidnapped Prime Minister', 'The Plymouth Express', 'Three Act Tragedy' and 'Mrs McGinty's Dead'.
The Peacock House, Holland Park used as Lord Edgware's house in 'Lord Edgware Dies' and as Shaitana's home in 'Cards On The Table'.
Dorney Court, Nr. Windsor, Berks was used as The Hunterbury Arms Hotel in 'Sad Cypress' and as Yardley Chase in The Adventures of the Western Star'.
Marylands, Surrey used in S5 Ep7 'Dead Man's Mirror' 1993
Castern Hall, Derbyshire used in 'Mystery of The Hunters Lodge' 1991
Englefield House used as a TV location in the 2006 episode 'Taken at the Flood'. It also appears in 'The Double Clue', as a place where Poirot and Countess Vera Rossakoff have a stroll together.
Little Thakeham near Horsham, West Sussex. Used in 'The Case of the Missing Will' S5 Ep4.
Greenway Agatha Christie's own house, used in the final ever episode 'Dead Man's Folly' [note: the house on this picture is High Canons, Hertfordshire]
To see more examples of Moderne style houses click here
Apartments Used As TV Locations In Poirot
The main focus of many episodes of Poirot is his own magnificent 1930's apartment in a Streamline Moderne block. In the programme its name is given as "Whitehaven Mansions". However, the location used was actually Florin Court in Charterhouse Square, Clerkenwell, Central London. A more famous block, used in a number of episodes, Highpoint I in Highgate was built in the 1930s by Russian-born architect Berthold Lubetkin. The 64 flat block was originally built for the entrepreneur Sigmund Gestetner to house his staff of the Gestetner company.
Florin Court, Clerkenwell, used as the location for Whitehaven Mansions - Poirot's home.
Highpoint 1, Highgate London used as Lady Edgware’s penthouse flat in 'Lord Edgware Dies' and in ‘The Affair at the Victory Ball’ and ‘The Billion Dollar Bond Robbery’
Lichfield Court, Richmond, Surrey used in 'One, Two, Buckle My Shoe'
To see more blocks of flats in Moderne style click here
Other Buildings Used As TV Locations In Poirot
While Chimni rules state we are only interested in 'homes' - houses and flats - its hard to talk about something like Poirot without flagging up a few of the other lovely buildings they use as TV locations. This include Eltham Palace, the interiors of which were used in the episodes Three Act Tragedy and Death on the Nile, the wonderful Midland Hotel, the Hoover Building and The Senate House. For more information on the wider collection of buildings used in Poirot, Chimni would recommend the wonderful www.tvlocations.net.
Quilter Street, East London Featured In 'The Kidnapped Prime Minister'
See Also In Chimni
Chimni Wiki Page: Is My House 'Art Deco'
Chimni Wiki Page: 'Moderne' Houses
Chimni Wiki Page: 'Moderne' Blocks Of Flats
Chimni Wiki Page: Homes Used As TV & Movie Locations
ChimniWiki Homes On C4’s Grand Designs
Other Interesting Web Sites
At Chimni, our interest is mainly in the houses and flats used in Poirot, particularly as they illustrate the International Moderne style and its impact in the UK. However, there are some wonderful blogs and websites covering Poirot locations in general, and the styles and designs of set and clothes. We would particularly recommend the following:
TV Locations http://www.tvlocations.net/poirotlocationindex.htm
Poirot Episode Guide http://www.tv.com/shows/agatha-christies-poirot/episodes/
Poirot US http://www.poirot.us/mansions.php
Poirot Chronology http://poirotchronology.blogspot.co.uk/2011_01_01_archive.html
London Footprints- Art Deco http://www.london-footprints.co.uk/artdecobldgs.htm
WikiPedia - Hercule Poirot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercule_Poirot
Books We Liked