In the Ruth Rendell novels, Reg Wexford lives and works in the Mid-Sussex market town of Kingsmarkham.
When Hampshire-based TVS (Television South) won the rights to film the Wexford series, they moved this location over the county border to the Test Valley, where Romsey - with its imposing Norman Abbey - became the setting for the fictional town. Romsey proved to be the perfect choice: the town’s layout is very similar to Rendell’s blueprint and landmarks like the Abbey, Corn Exchange and Palmerston’s statue have all became well known to a worldwide TV audience.
The town’s magistrate court was used as the Kingsmarkham police station. However, because it was a working court, filming could only take place at the weekends and TVS eventually decided to build an exact replica of the station inside a warehouse in Totton near Southampton.