Woolstone is a village in the county of Oxfordshire, south of Faringdon in the Vale of White Horse. In the book, Woolstone is where Chiswell House is located, along with Jimmy and Billy Knight’s childhood home, Steda Cottage (also on the Chiswells’ property). It is here where Billy Knight believes he witnessed a child being strangled back when he was a child himself. Strike first uses Google maps to consult the area, and later (chapters 41-44) Strike and Robin drive down to Woolstone to interview the Chiswell family at Chiswell House, search the grounds near Steda Cottage and have lunch at The White Horse Inn.

“’I’m going to Woolstone on Saturday. Izzy’s invited me over to Chiswell House, so I can meet her sister.  Are you in?’”

‘Yes, of course,’ said Robin immediately. The idea of getting out of London with Strike, even for a day was so appealing that she did not bother to consider whether she and Matthew had plans…” (Lethal White, Chapter 40)

As they reach Woolstone and get closer to Chiswell House “…they turned off the motorway onto a country road that wound down into the valley where the tiny village of Woolstone lay nestled. Robin parked beside a hedgerow full of Traveler’s Joy…” (Lethal White, Chapter 41) Possibly something like this hedgerow in the below picture.

It’s here, when they exit the Land Rover, where they first set eyes on the Uffington White Horse. “A gigantic prehistoric white chalk figure had been cut into the hillside. To Robin, it resembled a stylised leopard, but the realization of what it was supposed to be had already hit her when Strike said, ‘Up by the horse. He strangled the kid, up by the horse.’” (Lethal White, Chapter 41)

The White Horse Inn is where Strike and Robin go for lunch. It’s described in the book as “… the very image of picture-postcard England, a white timbered building with leaded bay windows, moss-covered slates on the roof and climbing red roses around the door.” (Lethal White, Chapter 44)

Strike points out the sign to Robin which contains a depiction of the Uffington White Horse. “Painted on the board atop a wooden pole was the strange chalk figure they had seen earlier.” (Lethal White, Chapter 44)

“A beer garden with parasols completed the picture.” Strike grabs a table in the beer garden while Robin goes inside for their drinks. This is where they sit and discuss the case while having lunch: “a burger with blue cheese on it for Strike, and a bowl of chili for Robin.” (Lethal White, Chapter 44)

“The low-ceilinged pub was busy inside.” (Lethal White, Chapter 44) It was not quite as busy when we were there, but here’s a lovely window view of the beer garden where Strike and Robin sit. According to the bartender, J.K. Rowling sat in this window seat on a busy Saturday.

Robin first heads to the bathroom where she looks in the mirror and thinks she looks “disheveled and grubby” from their search of the grounds. To get back to Strike quickly, “she merely dragged a brush through her hair, wiped a green stain off her neck and returned to queue for drinks.” (Lethal White, Chapter 44)

“’Cheers, Robin,’ said Strike gratefully, when she returned to him with a pint of Arkell’s Wiltshire Gold, shoving the menu across the table to her. ‘Ah, that’s good,’ he sighed, taking a swig.” (Lethal White, Chapter 44)


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