Whilst writing Blackfeather I used several real life locations as settings within the book including the place where I live – Liverpool. This is where Kate lived in her past life as Evelyn Markham.
If you’ve read the book you’ll know this is a tragic tale which ends in a double suicide in the year 1873. This was the Victorian period and part of Liverpool was undergoing a wonderful transformation.
A beautiful park was being built a short distance from the city centre and brand new villas for the well to do families of the era were springing up around the edges of the park.
The park began life in 1867 when the Liverpool Corporation bought the land from the Earl of Sefton. They decided to hold a competition to see who could come up with the best design and it was a French architect, Edouard Andre and a local architect, Lewis Hornblower, who won with their French style design.
They included a cricket ground, sheep and deer parks and a boating lake in their plan and the park was opened, in all its Victorian splendour, in 1872.
When Ash first meets Evelyn, in the Fairy Glen under the Iron Bridge in 1873, this had only just been added and it was a popular meeting place for the Victorians who promenaded in the park at that time. Some of the houses were still under construction and wouldn’t be finished until 1890, but others, like Evelyn and Sebastian’s house were already being snapped up to be lived in.
Their house is the very last one on the row after the cricket ground. and just below the semi-circle next to that row is where the iron bridge and fairy glen are situated. This is where Ash would stand to watch over Evelyn, close to her, but shielded from view by the trees that surround the grounds of the house.
Today, many of the houses have been turned into flats or hotels, but you can still get a feel for the Victorian period as you walk around the area and the Palm House, which was added to the park in 1896 has been renovated and restored in recent years. I think Evelyn would have loved to spend time here looking at the exotic plants from all over the world, but of course she never saw it in her lifetime.
Below is a map of the park, the little red x marks the spot where Ash and Evelyn met and the arrow points to the house.
In a future post I’ll show you what Sebastian and Evelyn looked like and some modern day photos of their house.