An attempt to systematically investigate the effects of microstructural parameters in influencing the resistance to fatigue crack growth (FCG) in the near-threshold region under three different temper levels has been made for a high strength low alloy steel to observe in general, widely different trends in the dependence of both the total threshold stress intensity range, DELTA-K(th) and the intrinsic or effective threshold stress intensity range, DELTA-K(eff-th) on the prior austenitic grain size (PAGS). While a low strain hardening microstructure obtained by tempering at high temperatures exhibited strong dependence of DELTA-K(th) on the PAGS by virtue of strong interactions of crack tip slip with the grain boundary, a high strength, high strain hardening microstructure as a result of tempering at low temperature exhibited a weak dependence. The lack of a systematic variation of the near-threshold parameters with respect to grain size in temper embrittled structures appears to be related to the wide variations in the amount of intergranular fracture near threshold. Crack closure, to some extent provides a basis on which the increases in DELTA-K(th) at larger grain sizes can be rationalised. This study, in addition, provides a wide perspective on the relative roles of slip behaviour embrittlement and environment that result in the different trends observed in the grain size dependence of near-threshold fatigue parameters, based on which the inconsistency in the results reported in the literature can be clearly understood. Assessment of fracture modes through extensive fractography revealed that prior austenitic grain boundaries are effective barriers to cyclic crack growth compared to martensitic packet boundaries, especially at low stress intensities. Fracture morphologies comprising of low energy flat transgranular fracture can occur close to threshold depending on the combinations of strain hardening behaviour, yield strength and embrittlement effects. A detailed consideration is given to the discussion of cyclic stress strain behaviour, embrittlement and environmental effects and the implications of these phenomena on the crack growth behaviour near threshold.