Barlings is just down the road from me. En route to Lincoln.

The year after something happened in NY one September, I went to Lincoln to meet, in real life, a friend that I’d “met” online. She was a fellow writer and also (with her husband) the new owner of a publishing company in the US.

She’d travelled to Lincoln from America to research her novel about Nicola de la Haie.

Without ever seeing a picture of the other one, we both recognised each other immediately. OMG. She has the most gorgeous and lustrous red hair.

I took her around the city and then drove her…miles away…to Bolingbroke Castle where Katherine Swynford once lived. During which time I learned that she’s also visited Midhurst in Sussex (very close to where I used to live) to research Celia de Bohun from Anya Seton’s book Green Darkness. I’d done the same too!

Anyhoo and by the by Barlings Abbey was founded by either Nicola’s father or grandfather. Sources and dates differ depending on whatever they depend on!

AND – Nicola became the Sheriff of Lincoln and Constable of Lincoln Castle which she defended TWICE against the BARONS rage during the reign of King John.

P.S. Lincoln Castle holds an original of the Magna Carta.

Work it out ?

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