Our Cotswold Town Transformed for the Filming of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

Last week the market square of our Cotswold town was transformed into the fictional town of Pagford for the filming of a television version of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. We weren’t there, but friends and family were staying in our cottage and took some pictures. Thanks to Julie Henderson for all the images in this post.

The plot of The Casual Vacancy centers on the death of a beloved parish councillor and the resulting election that occurs. The set included a notice board for the Pagford Parish Council (above) complete with fictional notices for a village fête, a wine tasting evening, and a scintillating-sounding illustrated talk on “A Passion for Piers.” I can only assume by the authenticity of the notices that the production staff took inspiration from our real notice board.

The local beauty salon became a sweet shop, the Black Cat café morphed into a posh deli, and the chippie turned into Evertree Antiques (no reflection on the age of the chips usually served there).

Actor Michael Gambon was spotted around the square sporting a pair of blue pajamas and velvet slippers. A more common sight around the square, the bike that’s usually parked outside the wine bar, was given a facelift and used as a prop for Michael Gambon’s character’s shop.

I look forward to seeing the full effects of the transformation when the series airs later this year on both BBC One and HBO. And while I hope the show is a big hit, I hope it’s not big enough that it turns our town into something other than the best kept secret in the Cotswolds that it is.

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