Abbaye de Flaran


Denny Abbey


Broughton Manor


Shalford Inn

Arras - Maison de les Fleurs

Chilham, Kent

Arras – A Medieval Kitchen


Arras – The 'Sprite Forest'


Calais - Calais Castle


Church of St Martin- Leubringhen


Corbie Abbey - Corbie


The Villeneuve du Temple - Paris


Arras 2 - A Medieval Church



French SheildLocations in France




Abbaye de Flaran

Abbey de Flaren Cloisters at St Flaran Staircase at the Abbey St Flaran Bedroom at Abby de Flaren

Abbaye de Flaran

The cloister

Staircase leading to private rooms

Bed chamber

'We met at the Abbaye de Flaran by Larressingle in the dark of night. I can still see Mary standing there clutching her cloak against the wind, her lips pressed in a tight smile as plainsong echoed from the chapel. She beckoned me to follow her through the cloister, up a stairwell to a private room. With her finger raised in a gesture for silence, she stepped to an alcove and swept aside the curtain. There lay a tiny girl, shrouded in a mantle of golden hair, fast asleep on the palliasse.'
(Jean d'Armagnac talking with Cécile - The Lily and the Lion)



Larressingle - Home of Comte Jean d'Armagnac

Larressingle Main Entrance Larressingle inner courtyard Larressingle - Ceciles Chambers Larressingle - stables

The main entrance

The inner courtyard

Cécile's chamber
(top floor)

The stables where
Jean d'Armagnac dealt out
his punishment!

Larressingle arial view

'I was raised not far from Condom, the seat of power of the Armagnacs, at Larressingle, a grand fortress perched high upon a hill that commands a spectacular view across lush fields of green and gold.'
(Extract from Cécile's letter - The Lily and the Lion)



Saint-Germain-des-Prés - outside Paris

Monks Saint Germain Abbey

'Following a single width bridle path from the rear of the monastery, we were led into a nearby copse that would shield our escape. Armand’s soldiers were to meet us in a village halfway to Compiègne, where we would stay the night. The lay brothers were working in an adjoining field, robes tucked into belts, their backs as bent as their scythes, and I sent a prayer of thanks for the admonishing they had delivered to Edward’s horrified soldiers only days before. How many new pots of dye, by way of payment, had recently appeared in the illuminator’s cavern on my behalf? The sunlight glinted on Bellegarde’s shield. No doubt he had supplied the means but the coin for such protection would have been my father’s, surely?'
(Extract from Cécile's letter - The Lily and the Lion)



Arras - Maison de les Fleurs - Home of the Mesdames Duvall
(Our Impression Only)

Maison de les Fleurs
Maison de les Fleurs
Maison de les Fleurs
Maison de les Fleurs
Maison de les Fleurs

'The manor house is respectable in size and draped in dense ivy. Sadly its condition is deteriorating, the peeling paint competing with the cracked daub. If not for this, it would be a most pretty sight. Shuttered casements are scattered over three floors and though fireplaces are numerous, smoke drifts from only one chimney. There are gardens aplenty, and plenty overgrown! Large sprawling bushes, rambling vines and a veritable carpet of weeds cover the rolling patches of lawn. But even with its unkempt appearance, or mayhap because of it, I loved it immediately. It is wild and untamed.'
(Extract from Cécile - The Lily and the Lion)


Arras - Maison de les Fleurs - A Mediæval Kitchen

medieval kitchen medieval Oven medieval kitchen

Bench with arches - (far left) a cooking top with small fires lit on bench under trivets and wood stored in the arches below

Firebox type oven - food placed inside with long paddle


Medieval Kitchen


14th century Kitchen Sink
14th Century kitchen sink!

‘Whilst the Mesdames secured supplies in the village, I attacked their domain with the ruthlessness of a warrior on a raid. Cleaning floors and scrubbing tables, scouring pots and pans until they shone; the kitchen began to gleam like a newly-minted coin. By mid afternoon the aroma of oatcakes permeated the air and the kettle hissed cheerfully from its hook by the fire. An army of vegetables, stripped of their coats, lay patiently awaiting execution in a pot. Returning the oven paddle to its corner and poking the freshly baked cakes with satisfaction, I turned with a sigh of simple contentment, wondering if such domestic serenity could be more than just a paragraph in the pages of my life. That was when I saw Gillet standing in the doorway.

He was clean shaven and neatly groomed, his blue velvet shoulders stiff with resolve, but he had the appearance of a wrung out sheet rather than freshly aired linen. He stepped tentatively into the room, his expression taut and drawn. ‘Cécile, we must talk.’

‘Pusillanimous pig!’ He quickly ducked as a jug, half-filled with barley water, smashed into the wall above him.

Resentment for the nights of endless lamentation flared anew and anger uncoiled, as dangerous as any striking serpent. 'Knave! Hypocrite! Licentious scoundrel!' He sidestepped a flying missile that was Madame Duvall's pottery bowl. 'Whoremonger!'

                        (Extract from The Lily and the Lion)


Arras - Maison de les Fleurs - The 'Sprite Forest'

the ‘sprite’ forest the ‘sprite’ forest the ‘sprite’ forest
the ‘sprite’ forest
the ‘sprite’ forest

‘I need some air. Drink up. Armand told me there was a woodland nearby that you would enjoy.’

With some balance restored to our senses, I found myself being guided from the back of the rose garden, down a winding path no wider than a bridle track. Bordered by tall hedgerows of hawthorn, it led to a clearing of immense beauty. Soaring pines tickled the sky, the thickly interwoven branches overhead dangling the sun’s rays in ribbons of pink and gold. A pebbled bank, clustered with meadowsweet, dipped into a stream, tiny waterfalls bubbling along the meandering curves and cascading into a deep pool. A large, flat rock hid beneath the trees; a proud pagan altar, shrouded in clinging bryony. On both sides moss and lichen-embossed logs sprawled like carelessly placed church pews on a thick carpet of leaves dusted by wild strawberry flowers.

‘Armand discovered it and thought it would please you. He made me promise to bring you here.’ Gillet smirked indulgently as I gaped, my hands clasped childlike beneath my chin.

‘C’est magnifique!’

‘Oui, a perfect home for a sprite.’

(Gillet talking to Cécile – Extract from The Lily and the Lion)




Calais Castle


     Map of Calais with castle                  Remains of Calais Castle                Medieval French Castle                                                                      

Simon tossed his cloak onto the stool, then pushed open the shutter that overlooked the dock. Calais Castle dominated the skyline, as impenetrable as a virgin in a chastity belt.


The Church of St Martin - Leubringhen


The pain in Simon’s chest was unbearable and he gasped in despair. He tugged down on the chain that hung around his neck, snapping the links, releasing his wedding band that had been concealed beneath his shirt. He looked back over his shoulder at the Church of Saint Martin – his past and his future. There seemed little room for both. He raised the ring to his lips, drawing the warmth that remained there to be stored in his heart. ‘I am sorry, truly sorry,’ he whispered. ‘I have to let you go.’ His grief was consuming and threatened to deepen his unhealed wounds. ‘She needs whatever protection I can offer.’


Corbie Abbey


    Corbie Abbey                      Medieval Scriptorium                    Corbie Abbey - interior

It had taken most of the day for Simon and his companions to reach Corbie and the Abbey dedicated to Saint Peter, the impressive cathedral situated in the centre of the town. The golden stones reflected the last rays of the day, highlighting the beautifully shaped arches and intricate circular work of the gifted stonemasons.


The Villeneuve du Temple - Paris


      Paris map showing the location of Le Temple         Painting depicting the central tower of Le Temple

Simon pulled down on a woven cord and waited. His gaze, though, darted to the moving throng in the street. A small hatch slid back from a spyhole, the man on the opposite side conversing with Lord Wexford in a language Catherine did not recognise. A loud thud ensued as the heavy wooden doors opened and they were quickly ushered inside.

Though it was dark, she could distinguish the outlines of numerous buildings around them. There appeared to be a large church to the left and a most impressive tower in the centre, with various covered pathways leading to the main entrance.

Arras - The Medieval Church



Inside the church was stifling. Parishioners squeezed shoulder to shoulder, the suffocating odours and cloying perfumes aggravating the baby. Cécile attracted many frowns as she struggled to settle her fractious son during the sermon. At the appropriate time the priest nodded and she made her way to the baptismal font. Prayers were said and then Jean Petit was held over the blessed waters. He screamed loudly, his broken wail echoing down the aisle as the sign of the cross was pressed to his forehead.





English SheildLocations in England




Denny Abbey

Denny Abbey Denny Abbey Denny Abbey

'I was, in God's good grace, a novice at Denny Abbey, awaiting my time to take Holy Orders, having not yet been able to prove my worthiness. Left at the mercy of my benefactress, Lady Mary St Pol, Countess of Pembroke, and the Poor Sisters of Clare when I was only a babe, I had been led to believe that I was a waif with no family; poverty and piety my hand fast friends.'

(Extract from Catherine's letter - The Lily and the Lion)



Broughton Manor
(Our impression only)

Broughton Manor

'As I peer from my window over the green meadows, I imagine you looking back at me, my dearest, and this brings me great joy.'
(Extract from Catherine's letter- The Lily and the Lion)

Broughton Manor

'We were making our way onto the downs, and I could see the manor house in the distance, spreading out like a pretty gown in a well formed curtsey. The large hall of Broughton manor sat between two wings, the timbered peaks of these later additions, jutting high into the sky. The sombre grey stone wall of the middle section was slowly disappearing under a blanket of thick, clinging ivy, and the whole structure sat majestically in magnificent gardens.'
(Extract from Cécile's letter- The Order of the Lily)

Lake at Broughton

‘My room, the likes of which takes my breath away, faces west towards the lake and each morning I watch as the groundsmen row to the shore, having collected the many fowl fallen prey to their well laid traps.’
(Extract from Catherine –The Lily and the Lion)

‘I looked out over the great blue lake, shimmering in the last of the evening light.  A flock of plovers flew over, dipping into the water and I envied their freedom; their carefree, light manner.’ 
(Extract from Cécile –The Order of the Lily)


Shalford Inn

Shalford Inn Shalford Inn Shalford Inn

14th Century inn at Shalford
still in existence
(Photos courtesy of Stuart Alderson )

Today it is known as ‘The George Inn’ and provided the inspiration for Roderick’s ‘Shalford Inn.’

Fireplace at the
‘The George Inn’

'I sit now, my dearest, within this quaint little inn, in the highest room overlooking the meadows. The neat squares of green intersected by fields of wheat remind me of the many tapestries adorning the walls of Lady Pembroke’s private chamber. I can see the whole of the village and its accompanying manor house, the home of Lord Roderick of Shalford, half brother to Simon.'

(Extract from Catherine - The Lily and the Lion)






Chilham, Kent - 'The Albret Estate'

(Impression only)


By early afternoon, a tired group rode over the drawbridge leading to the manor’s gatehouse. The long hours of the previous day and the tension of escaping France were beginning to take their toll.  Round- shouldered and drooping in her saddle, Cécile forcibly straightened as admittance by the gatehouse porter was granted.



They rode up to the main house, a grey stone construction in the shape of a letter H, the east and west wings poised at either end of the hall like huge bookends. A set of massive oak doors opened and, like bees disturbed from a hive, a swarm of servants flew out.



They were led to the main hall and Cécile’s eyes widened at the opulence. The walls were sumptuously decorated with rich, colourful hangings and polished shields. Panelled coffers stood against one wall but her eyes were drawn to the magnificent carved rose marble fireplace. It befitted royalty. Two high-backed chairs were strategically positioned before the generous hearth and, at Symond’s announcement, a body occupying one unfolded and stood. Cécile gasped.



Cécile was to discover the truth of this at the chapel. Where there was usually shuffling, coughing and general restlessness, the chaplain found, to his delight, a very attentive congregation.



   ‘Since love is no basis for marriage, and the church forbids adultery, why, then, does God give us hearts at all?’ Cécile bent her head against the timber grille separating her from the priest. The stone floor of Chilham’s chapel was icy cold but so was the fear her father had instilled.




The thundering burst into an explosive clattering of hooves that spilled into the courtyard. Cécile’s mouth fell agape and she crossed herself.  ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God!’ Next she was waddling as fast as she could towards the herd of horses, her pattens clacking against the stonework as she squealed excitedly, ‘Armand!’

Gillet emerged from the new, partly-built stable, beaming as his grinning cousin leaped from Panache. The two men exchanged hearty greetings. Guiraud, Gabriel, Mouse and

their squires dismounted and spilled over in wondrous disarray. Two accompanying mules, fully laden with chests and cloth bundles, brayed excitedly.




French SheildLocations in Scotland