Page 27. " But as they were walking from the house towards the Orangery "
An Orangery
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAn Orangery - Credit: Lincolnian (Brian)

An orangery is a building designed for keeping and growing plants – particularly fruit trees such as oranges.  Orangeries were typically attached to large homes built by the wealthy, and reached their peak of popularity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

This suggests that Hailsham may be a former stately home given a new lease of life. A number of English stately homes have at various times been converted for use as schools, hospitals, rest homes and psychiatic institutions.

Page 38. " And of course, we had our 'collections' to think of. "

 

A cabinet of curiosities
Public DomainA cabinet of curiosities

Collecting is a pastime with a lengthy history, but it became particularly popular during the Renaissance period in the seventeenth century.  At that time, it was fashionable to have a Cabinet of Curiosities, in which various wondrous items, often amassed from all over the world, were kept and displayed.  The jumbled collections assembled by the Hailsham students are reminiscent of these cabinets.

Page 45. " or maybe drinking coffee in front of a huge window in a motorway service station "
A motorway service station near Durham
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA motorway service station near Durham - Credit: Steve Fareham

Motorway services stations are often used to represent empty, undefined spaces, so they are an appropriate location for Kathy’s reflections as she travels around the mysterious landscape of Never Let Me Go.

Motorway service stations in popular culture