The streets of Lavenham were used as a background for the scenes in Godric’s Hollow in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
The buildings were filmed and then had their appearance altered using CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) so the actors could be shot separately in a studio and then superimposed onto the background.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the film version of the first part of J. K. Rowling’s seventh and final Harry Potter novel, and filming in Lavenham took place in secret in January 2010. Lavenham Guildhall was transformed into Harry Potter’s parents’ derelict house and in the film, Harry visits his parents’ graves and their house in Godric’s Hollow. There was a plan to introduce fake snow but luckily for the filmmakers, they didn’t need to bother faking it, as it snowed anyway! De Vere house in Water Street also appears in the film. As with most films, different edits are released for the cinema, Blu-ray, DVD and television and the house can be seen most prominently in the cinema release.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson who play Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger respectively, did not visit Lavenham during the filming, but Ralph Fiennes, the actor who played Lord Voldemort, was born in Suffolk.
Lavenham and particularly the Guildhall, have appeared in a number of films over the years. The 1968 film “The Witchfinder General” had a gruesome witch burning scene in Lavenham Market Place, directly in front of the Guildhall. This film is set during the English civil war and stars Vincent Price as Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder. Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 version of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel “Barry Lyndon” was filmed using Lavenham Guildhall and of course the popular TV series Lovejoy also had some scenes filmed in Lavenham and the surrounding area.
Lavenham provides a stunning and atmospheric backdrop for films and is a fascinating place to visit. Full of half-timbered houses it is often referred to as ‘England’s finest medieval village’ and is a sparkling jewel in Suffolk’s crown. Do visit the Tourist Information Centre in Lady Street to pick up all the important information to make the most of your visit and you may like to book yourself onto a guided walk too.
Content kindly provided by Heart of Suffolk.