Allynbrook – the setting for the Diabolus Legacy
Updated: Aug 14, 2021
The Diabolus Legacy by Saul Kenneth Falconer.
The setting for the Diabolus Legacy is a small town in New South Wales north of Newcastle. The murder is a set there because in this historical novel, my connection to Allynbrook is that my great grandmother, Nell Bird, ran a wine bar there at Reynella for many years, catering to the loggers who were getting timber from the forest.
It seemed an ideal place to set a murder, isolated, a small town with lots of comings and goings, and there was ample history to be gained from not only local sources including the Gresford Historical Society, and local historians, but also from family members who could remember what the inn was like.
While some of the characters in the book are fictional, many of the characters including Nell and Patrick Bird, William Boydell, and the local landowners, are all real historical figures. It was a real joy weaving the action around these figures, as well as trying to make sure that the events, food, clothing, and other historical factors were accurate.
You can made more about Allynbrook below, and about my great grandmother and her wine bar.
Allynbrook: Developed around Boydell’s Caergwrle Estate after 1836. In 1844, St Mary’s- on-Allyn Anglican Church was erected and a school, at first called Caergwrle was established in 1869. A hotel, wine shop and boarding house sprang up, also briefly a soap factory and, later, timber mills, with coach services stopping in the 1890s. As with many settlements it grew and then declined with dairying