Longfield. Second home of John and Ursula Halifax, who earlier live in a modest house in Norton Bury. Located some six miles from Norton Bury, Longfield is a small farmhouse that is periodically enlarged. It is the house to which John and his friend Phineas attach the greatest emotional warmth. John and Ursula’s dream is to retire there–a dream cut short by their relatively early deaths. It is “a nest of love and joy,” a place of blessing, where “liberty, fraternity and equality” are practiced. In fact, it is seen as Arcadia, the ideal pastoral setting in which to bring up a young family.
Enderley. Town in the Cotswold Hills, most of which is owned by the earl of Luxmore, where John Halifax leases a stream-driven mill that he tries to develop into a profitable cloth-weaving business. Lord Luxmore’s refusal to upgrade the mill or workers’ tied cottages leaves John to raise the capital for improvements himself. Luxmore’s denial of adequate water to keep the mill running prompts John to install steam-driven machinery, which ensures his mill’s success. John thus becomes an early industrialist, an ideal one in that he concerns himself with the well-being of his workers.
Beechwood Hall. “Great house” at Enderley that John Halifax buys to become a public figure and mix with people of influence in the county. John also sees that it is a fit setting for his sons to find a similar place of altruistic influence. The domestic desire here is expressed in terms of service and faith. As the center of the growing family, it is also a place of strife among the grown-up children. The loss of John and Ursula’s blind daughter at Longfield is paralleled by their son Guy’s self-imposed exile from Beechwood. The novel makes it clear that Eden is not achievable in any pastoral quest.
Mythe House. Home of Richard Brithwood, the local squire, and his wife, Lady Caroline, in Norton Bury, the first of the novel’s “false” houses. Its great iron gates symbolize the barriers of class and privilege that Brithwood seeks to erect against the democratic likes of John Halifax. However, for Brithwood the outcome is divorce, debauchery, and the loss of his political influence. His failure to establish a family in his house is the sign of the moral bankruptcy of inherited power.
Luxmore Hall. Home of Lord Luxmore at Enderley; the second of the novel’s “false” houses. Historically, the house served as a shelter for Roman Catholics when they, like the Quakers, were persecuted outsiders. However, it has lost its vocation as a place and is burdened by massive debts accrued by Luxmore before he dies, and the renunciation of title and place by his son, Lord Ravenel. The latter’s marriage to John’s surviving daughter signifies the final triumph of democracy and the possibility of a new home based on merit and hard work rather than privilege.