The geographical settings of Dunshane Cross and Duncraven closely correspond to those of the tangible towns of Strangford and Portaferry, respectively; however, the two fictitious villages of the novel are in no manner or form analogous to the two tangible towns aforementioned. I chose this setting for several reasons. First, I am familiar with the climate and landscape of the Ards Peninsula. Second, I desired to use The Narrows as a metaphor. Third, the peninsula was the first orange plantation established in Ulster and is also steeped in the history of the Norman invasion. In regard to demographics, I have grossly exaggerated the population distribution in order to create tension and drama. Historically,(according to A history of Ulster by Jonathan Bardon) the loyalist plantation settlers were intermingled with the native Irish in order to effectively police the latter.
As a side note, the area off to the left on the far side of the lough was the filming location for Winterfell in Game of Thrones.