Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

The Origins of Morland Place

Of course the Morland family is fictional and their homes are made-up places, but the original Morland home in book one (THE FOUNDING) - Micklelith House - was based on Tretower Court in Wales. Tretower Court is on the A479 just north of the junction with the A40 from Abergavenny to Brecon. For more on Tretower Court, click here.


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The Morlands’ new home, built later in THE FOUNDING and named Morland Place, was an amalgam of many places and of none, but perhaps drew most on Beningbrough Hall, just north of York and to the west of the A19. Both places can be visited.


As to the position of this fictional family seat, it is just to the south west of York, between the B1224 Wetherby Road, Askham Lane and Holgate Beck. People who know the area will know that many of the places I mention – Ten Thorn Gap, for instance, Harewood Whin, Hob Moor, Low Field and Bachelor Hill, – are real places, as are most of the streets and buildings I mention in York itself. The “village” which is referred to from time to time can be supposed to be somewhere between Acomb and Holgate, and the Morland estate at its largest stretched all the way to the river Ouse just below Redhouse Wood one way and to Askham Richard the other.


When writing this particular blend of fiction and history, it is always difficult to be specific about where one ends and the other begins. I can only say that anything that is clearly history rather than make-believe is as accurate as I can make it; and that when I use people in my stories who really existed – kings and queens, prime ministers, generals and so on – I use their own words wherever possible, and their own descriptions, or those of people close to them, of their actions and characters.


But please remember that, while I hope the series may help you get a grip on our fascinating history, it is meant to be entertainment. Please don’t get worked up if you catch me out in a mistake of omission or commission. I’m only human after all.


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