The making of a murder

Themed nights out go in and out of fashion, but there’s one surefire winner that will keep everyone entertained. You don’t have to be a detective to figure it out – of course, it is murder mystery evenings.

Nearly two centuries ago the British public developed a passion for fictional murders and with one in three books sold in the UK a work of crime fiction and Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, now celebrating its 64th year on the London stage,  there is no sign of this abating.

In the 19th century as people migrated into towns to find work, the fear of being murdered by a stranger grew.  Public hangings attracted huge crowds and onlookers could buy on the spot printed confessions, often made up, and there were songs about the murder, the more gruesome the better.

One famous female murderess Maria Manning was immortalised by Charles Dickens in Bleak House, opening the floodgates for the fashion for stories about killers and detectives.  After Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes entered the scene, there was no turning back.

Nowadays you can even mix some comedy with your crime.  A murder mystery evening is a recipe for success for all guests, combining good food with an entertaining piece of theatre, put together to keep the little grey cells on their toes.

Ashes to Ashes, a Moneypenny Murder Mystery production,  comes to Wivenhoe House on Friday 7 July and fits the bill perfectly.  A fast-paced whodunit giving you plenty to chew over as you enjoy a delicious meal.

The template for an excellent murder mystery has hardly changed over the years. There’s often an eccentric hero or heroine, plenty of clues to follow – which lead you up the garden path due to a cunning twist near the end – and of course the ever present threat of danger that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

How to book




find us, however you travel
By car:

Whether approaching Wivenhoe House from London and the South or Ipswich and the North via the A12, take the exit marked Colchester (A133). Follow the A133 towards Clacton, ignore the entrance to the Knowledge Gateway, continue along the A133 then take the B1028 for Wivenhoe before turning right into Boundary Road, then right again into Park Road. The entrance for Wivenhoe House is shared with the University of Essex but Park Road leads you through Wivenhoe Park and you will be able to see the glorious house from the road.

For Sat Nav please use CO4 3FA.

Download our PDF Map

By train:

Colchester station, Colchester Town station, Wivenhoe station and Hythe stations are all between 10-15 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Trains run between London (Liverpool Street) and Colchester station every 10-20 minutes. The journey takes around an hour. Also connect with Colchester from Norwich, Ipswich, Felixstowe & Harwich. Some trains from London (Liverpool Street) also stop at Wivenhoe Station. When travelling from the Clacton/Walton direction, alight at Wivenhoe or Hythe Stations.

By plane:

Stansted airport is approximately 45 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Helicopter pad coordinates are 603200/223900.