The novel takes place in Slaughterford, a village in Wiltshire. Slaughterford is a small village and former civil parish about 8 km west of Chippenham, Wiltshire, in the South West of England. The village is at a crossing point of the Bybrook River, in a wooded valley between Castle Combe and Box.
Irene and Alistair Hadley live in the manor house. The Manor Farmhouse is from 1753.
The mill, belonging to the Hadleys, is where Alistair and Clemmie are killed. Rag Mill in Slaughterford, also known as Overshot Mill. A mill leat, now filled in, ran for over three quarters of a kilometre from the sluices just downstream of the Doncombe Brook confluence to an overshot wheel in a fulling mill on this site. In the 1890s, rag processing machinery was installed at the mill, and the undershot wheel, which can still be seen on the derelict site dates from that time, being served by a much shorter leat from the next sluice upstream from the mill. Also clearly identifiable on the site is the remains of a rag boiler.
Alistair and Clemmie were buried in St Nicholas’ churchyard. The church of St Nicholas was built in the 15th century, it was partly destroyed circa 1649 by Cromwell’s troops on their way to Ireland, and lay in ruins until it was rebuilt in 1823.
Biddestone is where Dr Cartwright has his consulting rooms. Biddestone is a village and civil parish in northwest Wiltshire, England, about 5 km west of Chippenham and 3.2 km north of Corsham. The parish includes the smaller settlement of Slaughterford.
Chippenham is the closest town. Chippenham is a large historic market town in northwest Wiltshire.
Swindon is where Clemmie and Eli move for a while. Swindon is a large town in the ceremonial county of Wiltshire, South West England, midway between Bristol, 56 kilometres to the west, and Reading, the same distance to the east. London is 114 km to the east, and Cardiff is 97 km to the west.