Almost a millennium ago, on the banks of the wide flowing River Trent, not far from that hamlet known as Tigguo Cobauc, that became the great city of Nottingham, there stood a nunnery, built of wood and thatch, surrounded by a stockade of wood, with a stout gate, for these were dangerous times even for a religious commmunity protected by tradition and fear of damnation. Inside the stockade was a wooden church, a few rude buildings, a vegetable garden and and hens and goats roaming free.
It was a fine day in spring, when the dew was still damp on the leaves and grasses as the sun began to warm them. A group of men on horseback, by their accoutrements well-born, rode up to the gate. Strangely, it was barred against them , and remained barred, even when Sister Porter had run, holding up her skirts, to fetch Mother Benedicta, the leader of their little community.