Thetford is well known for its links to Dad's Army, but now another corner of the county wants to highlight its connections to a classic BBC sitcom set during the Second World War.

Locals and businesses in Mundford hope to make the village's association with 'Allo 'Allo! better known, as the show marks its 40th anniversary.

Large parts of the series, which recounted the comic antics of a French village under German occupation, were filmed in the Norfolk village and surrounding area.

Eastern Daily Press: The cast of British sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!The cast of British sitcom 'Allo 'Allo! (Image: BBC)

Villagers believe that celebrating the little-known link could increase visitors to the area and may help local firms in a similar way to those in Thetford, which has become widely known for its association with Dad's Army, which was filmed nearby.

Retired teacher David Allen, 75, has lived in Mundford for 45 years and said it would be a major coup for the village if the 'Allo 'Allo! link generated more interest in the area.

"Anything that puts Mundford on the map would be good - especially for the local pub [the Crown Hotel]," he added.

"We moved here expecting to stay for two years and we ended up staying for good. That's the sort of place the village is."

Eastern Daily Press: David Allen has kept a still from the 'Allo 'Allo! scene filmed at his last home in Mundford, NorfolkDavid Allen has kept a still from the 'Allo 'Allo! scene filmed at his last home in Mundford, Norfolk (Image: David Allen / BBC)

He said the village could even consider creating a 'tank trail', celebrating its connection to the series and highlighting relevant sites.

Mr Allen's own cottage appeared in the series, in a scene featuring Officer Crabtree, the English agent undercover as a French policeman and played by Arthur Bostrom. 

"Where we used to live six years ago, in a cottage opposite East Hall, my wife was out on the lane in front, which is private land.

"She was asked if we'd like to have them film a scene and we agreed.

"They arrived one Sunday, spent four to five hours setting up, filmed for 30 to 60 minutes, and about five minutes of the filming was used in the final take.

"Our cottage, and next door's, featured in the scene where stones are being thrown at the policeman's house and he leans out of the window."

Eastern Daily Press: Lynford Hall HotelLynford Hall Hotel (Image: Mike Page)

The show, which was first broadcast 40 years ago this winter, starred Gorden Kaye, Carmen Silvera and many others.

It recounted the escapades of cafe owner Rene Artois and his dealings with his wife and staff, as well as the Germans, French resistance and English airmen concealed in his home.

The action centred around the Cafe Rene in the village of Nouvion.

While interior scenes were filmed in front of a studio audience at the BBC Television Centre studios in London, many outdoor scenes were shot in Norfolk, especially at Lynford Hall, on the edge of Mundford.

The property, built between 1857 and 1862, was modelled on a French chateau, making it an ideal setting for the programme makers.

Eastern Daily Press: Lynford villageLynford village (Image: Newsquest)

On September 7, 2019, a Blue Plaque was unveiled by the British Comedy Society and now lives in the historic courtyard.

Andrew Rudkin, manager of the Lynford Hall hotel, said the site already attracted visitors drawn by the 'Allo 'Allo! link and hoped that greater interest would encourage more.

"We’ve had some people stay here as a direct result of ‘Allo ‘Allo!, including a couple from Belgium, due to its worldwide appeal," he said.

“Its popularity has been so much that we’ve even named a room after it.” 

Eastern Daily Press: The original 'Allo 'Allo! cast returned to Lynford Hall to see the unveiling of the Blue PlaqueThe original 'Allo 'Allo! cast returned to Lynford Hall to see the unveiling of the Blue Plaque (Image: Newsquest)

Eastern Daily Press: Around 250 people turned out to see the unveiling of the Blue PlaqueAround 250 people turned out to see the unveiling of the Blue Plaque (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Rudkin has worked in his role for more than eight years and said the series was very much the area’s “claim to fame”. 

“It’s a conversation starter,” he added. 

“And there are places here that you may not necessarily know filming took place unless you were looking for it.” 

The pilot of the show, created by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, was broadcast on December 30 1982 and the programme ran until 1992.

Eastern Daily Press: The cast of 'Allo 'Allo!The cast of 'Allo 'Allo! (Image: BBC)


Today Lynford Hall is a 38-bedroom hotel with function rooms and is nestled inside 28 acres of formal gardens with a lake and forest close to the village of Mundford. 

It has a rich history dating back over 160 years and has passed through many owners and uses.  

In 1971 it was purchased by Gerald Rand, who ran it as a motel but also held weddings and other events while also using it as his private residence.

During this time several BBC TV shows were filmed on location at Lynford including 'Allo ‘Allo! but also Love on a Branch Line, You Rang, M'Lord? and Dad’s Army.

Eastern Daily Press: The cast of 'Allo 'Allo!The cast of 'Allo 'Allo! (Image: BBC)

For 'Allo 'Allo!, a cobbled courtyard at the back of the hall was used as the setting for Nouvion town square, with Cafe Rene in one corner.

The front of the hall was used to represent the chateau where the Germans had set up their headquarters.

Among memorable scenes shot there is one where Rene faces a German firing squad.

The hotel has converted one of its rooms into the ‘Allo ‘Allo! suite, which faces out onto the courtyard and is decorated inside with stills from the show. 


Other Norfolk locations are also featured in the series.

St Mary the Virgin church in Beeston, between Dereham and Swaffham, was used as the setting for the wedding of Madame Fanny and Leclerc.

Denver Windmill, a Grade II listed site near Downham Market, is featured in an episode where Rene is captured by the communist resistance.

A disused railway bridge at Briston was also used for an outdoor scene.

Eastern Daily Press: Denver WindmillDenver Windmill (Image: Newsquest)

Eastern Daily Press: Briston railway bridge in north NorfolkBriston railway bridge in north Norfolk (Image: iWitness)

Eastern Daily Press: Beeston church in north NorfolkBeeston church in north Norfolk (Image: Newsquest)