Abigail has to flee her home to escape from a forced marriage. This love story wrapped around an adventure takes the heroine away from the comfortable country manor house which has always been her home, onto the wilds of the North Yorkshire moors, to the beauty of the ancient city of York. From here she must seek refuge in the busy seaport of Whitby to discover who she really is.
She embraces her destiny and, accompanied by her maid, makes for The Cruck Inn, a coaching inn, on the moor road where her quest begins. Here, Abigail has her first experience of what the real world is like beyond her sheltered life Beckton Manor. The Cruck Inn was named after the design of the North Yorkshire cruck-built buildings. Spout House is an excellent example of an early inn which still exists in Bilsdale. I visited it when researching the area and was amazed at how well it was preserved. It is literally like taking a step back in time. Abigail Moor: The Darkest Dawn is available at Amazon and Smashwords.
Here are some photos I took of the amazing time capsule that is Spout House.
I am so lucky that in the course of doing my research for my own titles I have been able to visit some fascinating historic places. York is the one that encapsulates time as now other. If you were a Roman, it was known as Eboracum. If you had lived there through the Saxon era, then it would have been called Eoforwick. Perhaps it is better known historically as Jorvik because of the state of the art Jorvik museum which brings Viking York back to life.
Walking through the city’s narrow lanes is like seeing all eras of time side-by-side. Medieval wooden structures stand next to Georgian houses and over them all are the famous towers of a grand cathedral known as The Minster.
There are far too many aspects of this fantastic place to mention in one post so I am sharing some photos of the city with you that I discovered when researching locations for Abigail Moor.
Whilst researching social history for my stories I visit some fascinating places. Here are some of the places that have triggered plots, created characters or inspired a mood or a desire to return to the keyboard and write.
One of my favourite places to explore on the North Yorkshire coast is the unique, atmospheric town of Whitby. This ancient port situated on the northeast coast of England is famous for many reasons.
St Hilda founded a double monastery (for monks and nuns) here in 657 AD, making it a valued seat of learning. The famous Synod of Whitby was held here in 664 AD.
Whitby became a famous whaling port with such famous seafaring names associated to it as the Scoresby‘s.
The James Cook Museum is housed in the C17 house where he lived as an apprentice. It is an atmospheric place overlooking the River Esk. There is a large car park nearby so exploring this side of the harbour is not a problem if arriving by car. If you walk into the East side of the harbour from here you can wander through the old cobblestoned streets and explore the many yards and snickets.
Passing the old inns and market square you will reach the bottom of the famous 99 steps which lead up to the unique church of St Mary and then to the abbey beyond. The views across the harbour from here are magnificent.
To experience staying in one of the original inns, The Whitehorse and Griffin has been lovingly restored and offers excellent food.
Whitby sporadically comes into my stories, either in passing as in Abigail Moor, or as a setting in itself, such as Amelia’s Knight, which is still to be released as an eBook.
Whatever your reason for visiting this fascinating location, being prepared to walk and explore its narrow alleyways, historic places, or the more usual shops and eateries on the west side of the harbour, then there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.
For excellent seafood and a great place to eat it, looking back across the harbour to the abbey is The Magpie.
Other places of interest in the area can be found on these helpful websites:
Many of my historical adventures are set in North Yorkshire, either around the bay town north of Whitby or inland to the moors.
Spout House is a fine example of a thatched, cruck-framed inn, which is open to the public and can be found in the grounds of The Sun Inn, Bilsdale in North Yorkshire. I stumbled across it after a trip to visit the beautiful Rievaulx Abbey.
“Look, Martha, look! Do you see it? A long building, a barn perhaps and it has a light within it.” Abigail felt a surge of excitement stir inside her. She could not allow her mind to dwell on her father’s predicament. Abigail had to be clear and decisive in her thinking. The best she could do for him was to deliver his message to his friend, the solicitor in York, and stay safe until she could return to her beloved home once more. “Perhaps the farmer who lives here would take us to the inn if I paid him for his trouble, Martha,” Abigail said enthusiastically, thinking about a warm fire, food and a softly upholstered chair.
“That’s it, lass.” Martha coughed and laughed. “That ‘barn’s’ The Cruck Inn.”
Abigail sensed a tone of sarcasm in Martha’s voice.
“We’ve made it before the coach. Hurry now, before…” Martha looked around her anxiously, “we catch our death of cold or somethin’ carries us off across that moor…” Martha shivered and looked even more nervously around her.
Abigail stared at the building again. She was determined not to let her ignorance or naivety show again; she would learn. “I thought you were the worldly one, Martha? Come on before we catch a chill, there’s nothing more than that out here to catch, woman!”