Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Exmoor. Moorland in southern England overlapping the counties of Somerset and Devon. The flat sweep of moorland south of Plover’s Barrows farm has bogs here and there with brushy areas around them. Deep ravines run inland from the sea. The fertile valleys are either wooded or farmed.

Exmoor has changed little since the time in which Lorna Doone is set. From his childhood home in nearby Newton, Glamorganshire, R. D. Blackmore could see the heights of Exmoor. The roads across the moors are often deep in mud and prone to being covered with dense fog. Dulverton, the home town of John Ridd’s great-uncle Reuben Huckaback lies at the southern edge of the moor.

Plover’s Barrows

Plover’s Barrows. Farm of the protagonist and narrator, John Ridd. Located in the East Lynn River valley, it is the largest of three farms in the valley and is the closest to the coast. The farmyard is surrounded by outbuildings—a barn, a corn-chamber, a cider press, a cow house, and stables—and orchards lie beyond. The farm’s rooms are underground so that both people and animals are warmer in winter and cooler in summer. The farmhouse has a kitchen and parlor downstairs and several rooms upstairs. John Ridd’s room, under the rafters, faces east and from the latticed window he can see the yard, the wood-rick, and the church in the village of Oare in the distance.

Doone Valley

Doone Valley. Home of the outlaw Doone clan; an oval-shaped green valley surrounded by eighty-to one-hundred-foot cliffs of sheer black rock. The valley is traversed by a winding stream, on the banks of which are fourteen one-story square houses built of stone and wood. Sir Ensor Doone’s house is closest to the Doone-gate. Carver Doone’s house is lowest in the valley.


(The entire section is 759 words.)