Richard I (also known as Richard the Lionheart) came to the throne in 1189. His kingdom included England and parts of France. Whilst he ruled for over nine years he spent less than nine months in England during his time as king. The rest of the time was spent on crusades or fighting in France. One month after his coronation in 1199 he left England to fight in the Holy Land. In his absence William Longchamp Lord Chancellor governed England. However Richard's brother John; a high rank Baron who owned land wanted to rule in Richard's absence. There were two castle which were very important because of their status and position. These were Nottingham and Tickhill; John sized both castles in 1191
Richard was returning back to England in 1192 when he was ship wrecked, then whilst travelling across Europe in disguise he was captured near Vienna by Leopold V, Duke of Austria and put into prison. Richard stayed there until a ransom was paid.
The priory of St. Leonard, Stamford, was indeed built upon the site of the monastery founded by St. Wilfrid in 658 and part of the priory can still be seen today and is looked after by the civic society of Stamford.
The route taken in the story goes from St Leonards Stamford to The priory of Wilsford, which was a very small priory for Benedictine monks. It was founded by Hugh Wake during the reign of King Stephen.
At Lincoln where the most of story takes place there are two prominent buildings Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle which would have had commanding views over the countryside. Today there is still a steephill leading up to the castle and Cathedral which are very close to each other.