THE UNMUTUAL PRISONER LOCATIONS GUIDE
THE THATCHED BARN
Photos: David Healey & Rick Davy. Location Report: David Healey. Location/Series Info: Rick Davy.
IN THE PRISONER: In "The Girl Who Was Death", Number Six pulls up ouside his "local" pub, before entering to drink an array of alcoholic drinks.
IN REALITY: The pub was The Thatched Barn, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and was near to the MGM studios in Borehamwood where much of the series was filmed. The building was demolished in 1989 and the Elstree Moat House now stands on the site.
REPORT: The Thatched Barn was commissioned in 1927 by a lady called
Mrs Merrick and it was opened as a 'roadhouse' in 1934 where film stars of the
day could meet a certain class of lady! In World War II it was requisitioned
by the Special Operations Executive who not only trained parachutists to jump
off the balcony but also tested small submarines in the outdoor swimming pool!
By the end of the war the building had fallen into a state of disrepair and
after its owners went bankrupt it was owned firstly by Irwin Allen of Lost In
Space fame, who ran it briefly as a casino, and subsequently by the Tolaini
Brothers who refurbished it and again attracted the stars from the nearby film
studios of Elstree and Borehamwood.
During the making of The Prisoner the bar was frequented regularly by Patrick McGoohan who was obviously impressed enough to feature it when a a location was needed for "The Girl Who Was Death". During the filming of this episode a Lotus Elan was driven up to the restaurant entrance and McGoohan's stand-in entered the building for the bar room scene. The interior scenes were of course shot on the sound stage at MGM Studios.
In its heyday the Thatched Barn was host to such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and also Clint Eastwood who stayed there while filming "Where Eagles Dare". The Thatched Barn can also be seen in the "Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased)" Episode "Could you Recognise the Man again?" when a murder is committed in the car park, and in an episode of "The Saint" when a character played by Prisoner actor Peter Wyngarde stages an orgy scene by the outdoor swimming pool. It was also used in an episode of "The Professionals".
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