Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Lawless’s den. Den excavated under a giant beech tree in the forest that is partially uprooted during a storm that is the hiding place of Dick Shelton’s accomplice Will Lawless. Although the cave has a hearth that gives it a homey feel, its roof is of roots, its walls of sod, and its floors of dirt.
Tunstall Moat House. Castle of Sir Daniel Brackley, Dick Shelton’s guardian and the story’s chief villain, located within the forest. This moss-covered fortress of the woods is complete with guard towers, a lily-strewn moat, a supposedly haunted room, and secret passageways that are both narrow and dank. It is heavily romanticized, even to the point of helping to reinforce what later become literary clichés about medieval castles.
St. Bride’s Cross. Crossroad point within the forest where two major plot advancements occur. There, Dick Shelton meets Lord Foxham, who helps in his quest to marry Joanna Sedley, and Richard “Crookback,” who will one day be King Richard III of England. Shelton saves Crookback in a battle beneath the cross, then joins the future king to fight for the House of York against the House of Lancaster–Sir Daniel’s side–in the civil war.
Shoreby-on-the-Till. Fictional small town on the river Till near where the river supposedly empties into the North Sea. Shoreby is the site of a battle between the forces of Lancaster and York. Its streets serve as battlefields, its taverns as command centers. After the battle, the town is sacked. The division of the town during the battle serves as a metaphor for the division of England during the Wars of the Roses, although it is unclear if Stevenson intended such a connection. The sack of Shoreby may well represent the devastation of England caused by the wars.
At the edge of Shoreby stands a beach house in which Joanna Sedley is held captive by Sir Daniel during portions of the narrative. This is actually a collection of buildings lying amid sand-hills and patches of grassy upland dotted with brush. A more important building in Shoreby is the abbey church where Dick is trapped after escaping from Sir Daniel’s house in town. The church itself is a holy place, but not all of its human representatives are holy. This contrast between the sacred and the corrupt may be a comment on the politicizing of religion, particularly during the Wars of the Roses.
*Tunstall Hamlet. Small village of scattered houses at the edge of Tunstall Forest. Stevenson describes it as lying within a green valley that rises from a river. There are farms on the outskirts of Tunstall Hamlet, including that of Nick Appleyard, an old soldier who is the first to die by the Black Arrow. Tunstall Hamlet was a real place but is heavily fictionalized by Stevenson; the name is still known to local inhabitants but is not officially recognized by the government.
River Till. Wide and sluggish stream whose many fens and marshy islets provide both atmosphere and a barrier to travel for the characters in the novel. (England has at least three rivers named Till, but none of them appears to be close enough to the real Tunstall Forest to be the river Stevenson uses in his story. However, a tributary of the River Tweed in Northumberland that is named Till matches the physical description of the River Till in The Black Arrow.)