The World of Hurst

The events of the novel are set following the outbreak of the Millennium virus, a global pandemic that has affected huge swathes of the local population and beyond. Little is known about the wider world since all broadcasts ceased and power failures plunged all towns and cities into darkness. Those that escaped populous areas survived and have grouped together in hotels, castles and hospitals, hiding between fences, defended at all costs.

The motley band of survivors who have made Hurst their home come from all walks of life, washed up at the castle, each with their own terrible tales filled with tragedy, barely escaping with their lives. At Hurst, they find sanctuary from a brutal world, a fresh start based on a strict code.

The castle is a fortress. High walls, three hundred and sixty degree views and cache of weapons collected over generations make this a prime site. A generator, plentiful stores, good fishing and farmland also make Hurst sustainable, complete with a few basic creature comforts. It’s a combination that make the castle the envy of many. There are those that covet Hurst for themselves, but supplanting an occupying force is no small matter. And they have no intention of giving up their prized home, no to mention everything they’ve worked so hard for, without a fight.

Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle and a brief history

Hurst Castle is near Milford-on-sea in Hampshire on the south coast of England. Completed in 1544, the castle is one of a chain of device forts built to protect the Solent, including others at No Man’s Land, Spitbank, and Horse Sand. They were designed to defend the naval base at Portsmouth and the port of Southampton, from invasion and attack by the French and Spanish navies. Situated at the end of a 1.5 mile shingle spit that joins the castle to the mainland, the castle is a natural strongpoint, guarding the western entrance to the Solent. Extended and modernised in subsequent generations, the castle today retains much of its grandeur. At its height, more than one hundred and fifty soldiers and support staff lived at Hurst.

The castle has a rich and varied history. King Charles I was imprisoned here in 1648 before being taken to London to face trial and execution. In the latter half of the 18th century, the castle fell into disrepair and was used by smugglers. Heavily refortified in the 19th century to counter the threat posed by Napoleon with new wing batteries housing modern cannon.

The battery was closed in 1928 but recommissioned for World War II when soldiers were again stationed there throughout the war.

The original lighthouse at Hurst was named The Hurst Tower and lit for the first time in 1786. The lighthouse that remains today was completed in 1867.

To find out more information, visit the Hurst Castle website. Ferries leave daily from Milford-on-sea from Easter to October.

About the author

Robin Crumby is an author and writer living in London with his wife and two children. Since reading John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids as a child, he became fascinated by end of the world dystopian literature. More recently, re-reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven inspired him to start writing. Why? Because post-apocalyptic fiction fires the imagination like nothing else. Pondering what comes next, who would survive, what would life look like? Much of the best fiction in this popular genre focuses on brain-eating zombies or events unfolding in the USA so Robin determined to write a story set in the UK. His Eureka moment came wandering the shingle beach at Milford-on-sea, inspired by the beauty and rich history of the Solent. Where better to survive the end of the world than a medieval castle surrounded by water? Robin spent much of his childhood messing about in boats, exploring the many waterways, ports and military forts of the Isle of Wight, where The Hurst Chronicles are set.

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Last Edited on 2017-03-09