Other Lark Rise Characters

Meet the other residents of Lark Rise and Candleford, from Lady Adelaide to Zillah.

Liz Smith as Zillah

Liz Smith as Zillah



Dorcas's servant, Zillah has known her since she was a child, and worked for her father, and her grandfather before her. Nobody could love Dorcas more than Zillah, and she also considers Matthew and Thomas as part of the family, not that this stops her grumbling about all three of them and the work they create for her. Zillah is naturally suspicious, she doesn't warm to strangers, and anyone new has a tough time earning her trust. But once she accepts you, you're a friend for life. Zillah is also a terrible gossip.

Thomas Brown

Dorcas's head postman, Thomas is a devout Christian, a teetotaller and non-smoker. He has worked for Dorcas since he was a young man and is devoted to her, if occasionally frustrated by her decadence and lack of piety. Thomas has a reputation for lecturing and sermonising – people have been known to run in the opposite direction when they see him coming in case he starts asking impertinent questions about their souls. He is convinced that eventually he will succeed in converting all his friends, even Dorcas. And until that day he will not rest. Thomas can take his obsessions to extremes, but he's no hypocrite, he practices what he preaches, has a true heart and an unswerving loyalty to Dorcas.

Matthew Welby

Matthew is a silent but powerful presence running the forge for Dorcas. Like Thomas and Zillah, there's nothing he wouldn't do for Dorcas but he's perhaps a little more aloof from the goings on in the Post Office than the other two. Matthew has an amazing gift for working with the horses that are brought to the forge - even the most nervous animals quieten immediately when approached by Matthew. He says it's just a matter of speaking to them in their own language. Matthew says little, but when he speaks others know to listen.

Lady Adelaide Midwinter

Lady Adelaide's family made their money in trade, so marrying Sir Timothy was a step up for her into society. But life in Candleford hasn't proved to be entirely what she'd anticipated. It's a world away from the balls and parties where she first met Timothy. So, until they start a family, she has few distractions. For the residents of Candleford and Lark Rise, Adelaide's a less approachable, more remote figure than Sir Tim. But they respect her and warm to her as his wife. She brings a touch of glamour to the town, she's graceful, beautiful and stylish, and to outsiders her life is to be envied.

Philip White

Philip's father is head gamekeeper on an estate near Oxford. He worked for his father before taking up the position of assistant gamekeeper with Sir Tim on the understanding that when Tim's head gamekeeper retires, Philip will take his place. He's still close to his mother, father and sister and is proud of the fact that his father's estate is owned by a nobleman with an historic title – he makes it very clear that it is larger and better preserved than Sir Tim's. Philip is a couple of years older than Laura.

Lark Rise:

Robert and Emma Timmins

Robert is Laura's father and a stonemason by trade. He is married to Emma. They live with their family in the End House on the edge of Lark Rise. Their marriage, though tempestuous, is strong, they are still very much in love. But Emma can be frustrated by Robert's wilfulness and what she sees as his lack of practicality. He in turn sometimes feels hemmed in by his responsibilities as father and husband. He misses having Laura around to share his thoughts with.

Edmund Timmins

Edmund is younger than Laura by three years, but the two are very close. He's a gentle, thoughtful brother, but no wimp - popular at school, and well able to fight his own corner. He often clashes with his mother, particularly over his future, perhaps because they are equally stubborn. She wants to see him apprenticed to a trade, but Edmund dreams of joining the army and seeing the world.

Queenie Turrill

Queenie is one of Lark Rise's older residents and in many ways is the matriarch of the village. As well as looking after her bees, she gives support and advice to the mothers and children of Lark Rise. Queenie's age means she is more in touch with the old country ways of doing things. She cares about the values and the superstitions of the old days and would like to see them passed on to the next generation.

Twister Turrill

Twister is Queenie's husband, and he is not the brains of the marriage. He can usually be found in the Wagon and Horses pub telling jokes and stories with the men of the village though, more often than not, he finds that the jokes are on him, as he is sometimes forgetful and a little slow-witted. Despite this he is well-liked figure in the community and the other residents know that his heart is in the right place.

Mr Paxton

Mr Paxton runs the pub the Wagon and Horses in Lark Rise and enjoys the position this gives him at the centre of the community. He is never short of an opinion on any subject being discussed by the men in the pub. His favourite topic of conversation is criticising the Candleford folk, who he thinks are always looking down on Lark Rise.

Alf Arless

Caroline eldest son, he left school early to help provide for the family. Unlike his mother he is extremely honest and hard working. He is only a boy himself but is responsible for earning the majority of the family's money by working in the fields. It pains him to see his mother fritter his hard-earned pennies away.