I don’t mean to categorise these books in any derogatory way. It is just that they are older, or appeal to a more limited readership, or are almost out of print.
Wiltshire Village Reading Rooms, by Ivor Slocombe.
Until the 1920s a reading room was to be found in most rural communities. This pioneering study explores a little-known Victorian social movement through its surviving buildings in villages throughout Wiltshire. Published for the Wiltshire Buildings Record. March 2012, 104 pages + 32 pages of colour illustrations, paperback, £8.00, ISBN 978-0-946418-91-6.
The Reflection in the Pond: a Moonraking Approach to History, by John Chandler. Sequel to The Day Returns (Ex Libris Press, 1998) this collection of essays and anecdotes, many published here for the first time, is designed as an entertainment for ‘Moonrakers’ (Wiltshire natives) and their friends, but also as a demonstration of the wide-ranging and sometimes surprising links between local history, in Wiltshire and beyond, and literature, music, biography, government, landscape and society. A must for anyone interested in Wiltshire or local history generally, and for all who have enjoyed John’s books, articles, and quirky contributions to magazines and local radio. Foreword by Joseph Bettey. July 2009, 210 x 148mm, x, 288pp, ills and maps, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-08-2
The Church in Wiltshire, text by John Chandler, photography and gazetteer by Derek Parker. Wherever we turn we encounter churches and other Christian buildings. We tend to take them for granted, and miss the great tapestry of social history, geography, folklore, archaeology, art and popular culture which is woven into their fabric. With its lively and stimulating text and superb photographs this book is intended as an introduction to the fascinating story behind Wiltshire’s rich legacy of churches, and as a showpiece for the remarkable architectural and artistic heritage that they embrace. When first published (under a slightly different title) in 1993 this book was warmly received, and it has now been completely redesigned, with revised text and many new images. From Salisbury Cathedral to the humblest wayside chapel, Wiltshire’s places of worship bear witness to a long and often surprising history. This book provides the ideal companion. April 2006, 216-page square format paperback, superbly illustrated, price £9.95, ISBN 0-946418-46-2
The Definitive History of Wilts & Dorset Motor Services Ltd, 1915-1972, by Colin Morris and Andrew Waller. Salisbury based Wilts & Dorset was the principal bus operator in south Wiltshire, parts of Dorset, and much of north Hampshire around Andover and Basingstoke. This definitive company and social history, by leading authorities, describes its rise and fall, and includes its subsidiaries and acquisitions, such as Venture of Basingstoke and Silver Star of Porton. The book is profusely illustrated, drawing on the collections of David Pennels and others, and includes detailed appendices describing routes, vehicles and other aspects of the company’s operations. November 2006, 160-page (approx) hardback, illustrated, price £19.95, ISBN 0-946418-56-5
Pewsey Avon Trail, by Chris Cole. Pewsey Avon Trail takes the walker down the sublime Avon valley in Wiltshire from Pewsey to Salisbury by means of a series of ten linked waymarked walks. It has been devised in memory of Pat Beresford, a much-loved countryside campaigner and walker, by Natural England’s Living River Project on behalf of Pewsey Parish Council. Its author, Chris Cole, is the doyen of writers on walking in Wiltshire, and he describes with clear instructions and a wealth of information the memorable places and sights encountered on the way. Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund. May 2010, 104 pages, full colour throughout, illustrated, maps, paperback, £8.95. ISBN 978-0-946418-83-1.
The Primrose Wood, by June Badeni. Countess Badeni is well-known in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire for two books of local and social history, which describe the villages around her home at Norton near Malmesbury. She is also a very accomplished novelist, biographer and essayist, as this delightful collection of 36 short pieces about rural life, its people and creatures, demonstrates. Most were published inter-mittently over many years in Country Life; all are beautifully crafted observations of the countryside, in Wiltshire and much further afield. The text is complemented by woodcuts by Bewick and his school. November 2006, 150-page small-format hardback, 36 illustrations, price £9.95, ISBN 0-946418-52-7
Wiltshire Water Meadows: understanding and conserving the remains of a farming and engineering revolution, by Michael Cowan. The result of many years study and observation, this important book describes the process whereby chalkland valleys were modified during the 17th century and later by ‘floating’ water meadows to increase yields. Cowan presents detailed studies of the remains of individual systems, including the famous Harnham meadows beside Salisbury and the Town Path which crosses them, as well as a more general countywide survey, explanations and historical context. 2005, 180 pages, profusely illustrated (some colour), paperback, £9.95, ISBN 0-946418-38-1.
Figures in a Wiltshire Scene, by Ken Watts, reveals the author’s encyclopaedic knowledge of Wiltshire’s associations with literary figures and other famous men and women, as well as his profound love of his native county. A massive work, the culmination of many years’ meticulous research, it covers every part of Wiltshire, and every period of history, from the Roman emperor Vespasian, to the 20th-century etcher Robin Tanner and his wife Heather. Ken’s perceptive and appreciative portraits of his subjects in their local setting will make you explore Wiltshire in a completely new light. A handsome 288-page hardback, copiously illustrated and fully indexed, 2002, price £20.00, ISBN 0-946418-11-X; or in paperback, 2005, £9.95, ISBN 0-946418-34-9.
Grandmother’s Recipes: the receipt-book of Mary Jane Stratton, by Katy Jordan. Katy, a well-known folklorist, comes from an old Wiltshire family, and inherited her grandmother’s recipe book, compiled when a cook in service 100 years ago. In this cookery book like no other, Katy presents all the original instructions, together with their adaptation for the modern kitchen and a wealth of family detail. An elegant hardback of 176 pages, 2003, £12.50, ISBN 0-946418-17-9. Also now available in paperback – ISBN 978-0-946418-36-7, £9.95, July 2007
Inspired by Stonehenge, a celebration of the weird and wonderful, by Julian Richards. The well-known archaeologist and television presenter has for many years collected ‘Stonehengiana’, such as souvenir china, postcards and guidebooks, clothing, stamps, comics, horse brasses, music and film, relating to the iconic monument. This full-colour booklet accompanies a National Lottery funded touring exhibition, ‘Inspired by Stonehenge’, and has been produced by Hobnob Press on behalf of Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum. From toasting fork to snow globe, via Druids, dominoes and heavy rock music, this is an amazing compilation of the tasteful, hideous and bizarre. May 2009, 210 x 210mm, 32pp full colour illustrations throughout, paperback, £4.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-55-8.Footsteps 2: the Cream of Walks in North-East Wiltshire, by Chris Cole.Well known for his monthly contribution to Wiltshire Life magazine, Chris Cole is the doyen of writers on walking in the county. In Footsteps 2, the sequel to Hobnob Press’s acclaimed Footsteps: the Cream of South Wiltshire Walks, Chris explores the spectacular countryside of the Marlborough Downs and Upper Thames Valley, around Swindon, Cricklade, Marlborough, Devizes and Pewsey. His twenty chosen walks are described with clear instructions and a wealth of information about the places and sights encountered on the way. They offer a memorable variety of walking in landscapes remarkable for their ancient sites, wildlife and literary associations. November 2008, 130 pages, maps and illustrations, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-80-0.
The Dovecotes and Pigeon Lofts of Wiltshire, by John and Pamela McCann. This
in-depth study of historic dovecotes in Wiltshire describes and
illustrates all the surviving examples, and traces all the former
dovecotes of which we have any evidence. Their features are related to
contemporary descriptions of working practice. Introductory chapters
describe how dovecotes were designed and used, and cover the origin and
history of pigeon-keeping for food in Britain. Wiltshire is exceptional
in retaining many pigeon lofts and nest-holes in other buildings;
typical examples are described. The book is lavishly illustrated with
photographs in colour and black-and-white, and some measured drawings.
Published by Hobnob Press on behalf of the Wiltshire Buildings Record.
February 2011, 240 x 170mm, xvi, 235 pages, + 20 pages of colour ills.,
illustrated paperback, £14.00, ISBN 978-0-946418-84-8.
Forests of the Dinosaurs: Wiltshire’s Jurassic Finale, by John E Needham. Around 146 million years ago, the warm shallow seas receded, a new landscape emerged and a diversity of wildlife flourished in a probably Mediterranean-type climate. Across what is now Wiltshire and Dorset dinosaurs roamed, along with crocodiles, lizards and an array of small amphibians and mammals. This ground-breaking book examines the history of previous research and looks at recent finds, particularly remarkable plant discoveries made over the past thirty years or so in the Vale of Wardour, which are compared with fossil material from other parts of the world, particularly the Americas. It is hoped that this broad introduction will stimulate a wider appreciation of Wiltshire’s remarkable fossil heritage from the final epoch of the Jurassic Period. October 2011, 221 pages, illustrations, £12.95. ISBN 978-1-906978-01-3.
Biography and Autobiography
Swimming without Mangoes, by David R. Bradshaw.
Second volume of memoirs by Montserrat-born author who grew up in Swindon during the 1960s and 1970s, and went on to become a successful lawyer and law lecturer. This volume describes his arrival a the age of 8 in the Wiltshire railways town, how he survived ('swam for his life') in unfamiliar surroundings, and how he flourished in his studies, sports and friendships at St Joseph's School. April 2013, 292 pages, illustrations, paperback, £12.95. ISBN 978-1-906978-29-7.
The Life and Letters of William Lisle Bowles, Poet and Parson, 1762-1850, by Robert Moody.This
is the first full-length biography of William Lisle Bowles, considered
by many to be the father of the Romantic poets who flourished at the end
of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. His
Fourteen Sonnets, Elegiac and Descriptive, written during a Tour was
published in1789 and the subsequent editions were read with delight by
Coleridge, Wordsworth, Lamb and Southey who acknowledged Bowles’s
influence on their own poetry. As the incumbent of Bremhill in
Wiltshire, his friendship with the Marquis of Lansdowne at nearby Bowood
brought him into contact with many of the celebrities of the day,
including the Irish poet Thomas Moore, whose affectionate and frank
references to Bowles in his letters and journals enable the reader to
obtain a rare insight into his friend’s character. Bowles’s edition of
the works of Alexander Pope resulted in a war of words with Byron and
others in the literary world, and his many other publications reveal the
depth of his knowledge and talents. Further, the account of his
day-to-day activities as a country clergyman and magistrate, and later
as a canon residentiary of Salisbury Cathedral, tells much of the
character of this kindly, and often eccentric, Wiltshire parson. August
2009, 235 x 155mm, x, 407 pages, illustrated paperback, £17.50, ISBN
Mr Benett of Wiltshire: the life of a county Member of Parliament, 1773-1852, by Robert Moody. The first full-length biography of John Benett, a statesman who steered a fiercely independent course through all the great issues of his day, before and after reform. More than a match for his political opponents Cobbett and Hunt, he entered Parliament after two violently fought campaigns, and was injured during the machine-breaking riots in 1830. At home in Wiltshire he pioneered agricultural reform, busying himself on his own estate, Pythouse near Tisbury, and with local organizations of every kind. This painstaking and sympathetic biography offers a long-needed reassessment of an extraordinary man – architect, writer, practical farmer and politician. 2005, 356 pages, illustrations, paperback, £14.95, ISBN 0-946418-40-3.
Traumas and Tanks: a Child's War, written and illustrated by Tony Garnett. As the bombs start to fall over southern England the Mason family try on their gas-masks and take to the air-raid shelter. Wartime life in Salisbury becomes one of shortages, 'make do and mend', and tedious restrictions. When their father leaves for service overseas Tim embarks on a series of adventures, mishaps and near escapes with his brother and friends. The dangers and tragedies of war, followed by the celebration of peace, are vividly portrayed through the eyes of an impressionable young teenager in this beautifully illustrated account of momentous times, based on the author's own experience. November 2009. 244 x 170mm, 132pp, ills, paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-09-9.
An Exceptional Woman: the writings of Heather Tanner, selected and introduced by Rosemary Devonald.
Heather Tanner (1903 – 1993) is best known as the author of four
exquisite books about Wiltshire and its countryside, products of the
lifelong collaboration with her husband, the etcher and artist Robin
Tanner. Throughout her life she wrote poems, letters, essays and
dialogues, which reveal the depth of her understanding of rural life,
her benign humour and her mastery of language. This selection, made and
introduced by her friend Rosemary Devonald, draws on largely unpublished
material which she collected after Heather’s death. To her many
friends, and those to whom her published work is known and appreciated,
this collection will be an irresistible memento. To those unfamiliar
with the name of Heather Tanner her writing will come as a delightful
discovery – the work and life of an exceptional woman. September 2006,
154-page hardback, with about 25 illustrations (mostly by Robin Tanner),
price £14.50, ISBN 0-946418-47-0
Foot Loose in South Wiltshire, by Jane Holmes, is a diary kept by a young woman growing to maturity through the Second World War and after – a young woman fascinated by nature and the countryside, and embarking with enthusiasm on a farming career. Her explorations, initially from her home at Bemerton, take Jane Holmes all over the Salisbury area, south Wiltshire and beyond. In his Foreword, Patrick Holden describes Foot Loose as: ‘a poignant and heartfelt reminder of what once was, a countryside teeming with beautiful birds and animals in a natural and healthy habitat. Where many country-folk, particularly those whose work brought them into contact with the soil, had an innocence and gentleness of spirit about them that has been lost to our detriment in the intervening years. It is an important and valuable document to remind us of what we have lost through our mistreatment of the Earth and our failure to understand the interconnectedness of all life forms.’ 240 x 170mm, 132pp, ills, paperback, 978-0-946418-71-8, £7.95, December 2007.
Joseph Priestley in Calne, by Norman Beale.Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen, one of the most significant advances in the history of Chemistry. The breakthrough came during the seven most productive years of his life, while he was living in Wiltshire, at Calne and Bowood. Priestley’s personality and family life have remained something of a mystery. Now, Dr. Norman Beale, retired Calne GP, tells the full story of Priestley in Calne,how it was that he came to Wiltshire, what he then did (not just the science): the effects on his family life; why he had to leave under a cloud and the surprising extent of the legacy he left. At last it is possible to fully appreciate an important eighteenth-century figure in science, religion and politics who turns out to be as fickle and fallible as the rest of us. November 2008, 96 pages, illustrated, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-81-7.
From Ceylon to Corsham, by Commander Pat Hoare, RN. The son of a tea planter, Pat Hoare was born in 1917 and determined on a naval career from the very early age of eight. After Dartmouth College and a training ship he became a Midshipman in the Royal Navy in 1935 and a Lieutenant after war broke out in 1939. A skilled navigator, his naval career took him all over the world, to the South Atlantic, Norway, the Sicily and Normandy invasions and Korea, as well as shorebound postings at H.M.S. Dryad near Portsmouth and H.M.S. Royal Arthur in Corsham. He rose to the rank of Commander in 1950, had command of his own ship in the Falkland Islands and retired from the Navy in 1960. Commander Hoare’s witty and entertaining memoir, of naval and social adventures on board ship and in port, continues through his subsequent civilian career, when living near Corsham, and ends with the death in 1974 of his beloved wife, Peggy, whom he had married in 1941. December 2008, 206pp, illustrations, paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-82-4.
Beyond a Cottage Window, by Mary Roberts. The author has lived in Rockley, a small hamlet on the Marlborough Downs, for over 40 years and amassed a huge store of rural wisdom and observation about wildlife, cottage gardening and the Wiltshire countryside. This beautifully produced 96-page paperback, illustrated by Michael Charlton, is her perceptive celebration, through the year, of ‘all things wise and wonderful’. 2003, £5.95, ISBN 0-946418-18-7.
The Basingstoke Admiral: a life of James Lancaster, by Michael Franks.
Historical biography of Sir James Lancaster, a ‘forgotten’ Elizabethan
international merchant and naval commander who was celebrated in his own
day but has been neglected by historians. Best remembered as the
commander of the first fleet of the East India Company (1601-3)
Lancaster had a varied career, touching many aspects of Elizabethan
life, in rural north Hampshire, in London and overseas. Using new
material based on archive research and re-working of the published
sources, Franks argues the case for recognising Lancaster as one of the
earliest ‘global traders’. Foreword by Andrew Lambert, Laughton
Professor of Naval History at King’s College, London. November 2006,
230-page paperback, 55 illustrations, price £14.95, ISBN 0-946418-59-5
Bath Buns and Chocolate Olivers: A Bath childhood, by Rosamund Willoughby. Born in Bath in 1912, the author spent her childhood and adolescence there, in the comfortable homes of her grandparents. Her absorbing memories wartime and the 1920s depict a city and society vastly different from today, yet played out within street scenes and buildings which are still instantly familiar. 2004, 80 pages, £7.95, ISBN 0-946418-26-8.
Coming of Age in Anna Valley, by Mary Pierce. As a small child (7 in 1938) in a small Hampshire village (near Andover) Mary Pierce grew up in a big world through a big war. Sensitive-ly told and delicately illustrated, this is her account of coming of age in wartime and coming to terms with a grown-up world. 2004, 157-page paperback, £6.95, ISBN 0-946418-23-3.
Walking on Wheels, by Jill Brown. Daughter of a bishop, the author’s promising career as a physiotherapist was cut short by a rare form of muscular dystrophy; but, accompanied by her assistance dog, she has become a familiar figure around Salisbury supporting numerous cultural and welfare organisations. This is her story. December 2011, 192 pages, illustrated paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-25-9.
Wiltshire Towns and Villages
Alvediston: a history, by Biddy Trahair. Alvediston is a remote and thinly populated parish set in dramatically beautiful south Wiltshire countryside between Salisbury and Shaftesbury, and this is the first book devoted to its history. In her celebration of the village where she has lived for over thirty years, Biddy Trahair has skilfully woven the everyday with the unusual, and the ancient landscapes with the families and characters who have lived there, to produce a model local history. Of interest to everyone whose lives have been touched by Alvediston, of course, her book will also appeal to all who love to read about and explore the English countryside at its best. September 2011, 373 pages, illustrations, £14.95. ISBN 978-1-906978-06-8.
Beckhampton: time present and time past, by Pat Parslew, illustrated by Jane Brunning. Largely hidden from passers-by, but within the Avebury World Heritage Site, Beckhampton’s unusual history includes not only timeless prehistoric landscapes and famous monuments, but also distinguished racehorse training stables and a long career as a junction and coaching stop on the Bath road. 2004, 96-page paperpack, £8.95, ISBN 0-946418-28-4.
A Tale of Two Chilmarks: England to New England, by Iona Sinclair, illustrations by John C Atkinson. First published in 1994, this light-hearted history of the Massachusetts village and its English namesake has long been out of print. Describing it in the Vineyard Gazette, Anthony K van Riper, poet and author, wrote: ‘. . . a charming history of the two Chilmarks. Written with the smooth craft that distinguishes such English prose, this small volume is a light-hearted look at both the village we know and the village which gave our Chilmark its name. The book is much enhanced by the amusing line drawings of John Atkinson, whose work reminds us that history is not always for those who take themselves too seriously! If you want your history on the light side, this is the book for you.’ Revised and redesigned edition of this hugely enjoyable account. June 2009, 235 x 170mm, 86 pages, many illustrations, paperback, £8.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-11-2.
A History of Chippenham, from Alfred to Brunel, by Richard Baines, edited by Tony Pratt, Mike Stone and Kay Taylor. Chippenham in Wiltshire grew from a royal foundation into a bustling medieval market town, and received its borough charter in 1544. Its economy has always been strongly linked to agriculture, with ties to landed gentry and the church. In this authoritative new history Richard Baines charts its history and development from Saxon origins up to the coming of the railway. Topics described include the beginnings of the textile trade, the effect of the dissolution of nearby monasteries, the evolving civic government and the town’s MPs. The approach and consequences of the Civil War, the growth of nonconformity, early transport history, a rich architectural heritage, and Chippenham’s links with the authors John Aubrey and John Britton are also explored in this fascinating account of an important country town, which is set to become the standard text book for many years. February 2009, 240 x 170mm, x, 160pp, illustrated paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-76-3.
Birds’ Marsh, Chippenham: an Unfinished Story, by Stephen E Hunt (Chippenham Studies 1). Situated to the north of Chippenham, Birds’ Marsh lies between the old parishes of Hardenhuish to the south, Langley Burrell to the east and Kington Langley to the north. The Victorian diarist Francis Kilvert, picnicked and danced the Roger de Coverley there with his friends. The artist Robin Tanner, and writer Heather Tanner, celebrated it in art and letters as their favourite wood, a part of the quintessential English countryside that they loved. And who lived in the lost Keeper’s Cottage at the heart of Birds’ Marsh? This work explores the history, lore and natural history of the woods, meadows and hedgerows that make up this unique place, familiar to, and loved by, many generations of local people. June 2010, 240 x 170mm, 78 pages, illustrations, paperback, £6.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-58-9.
Chitterne: a Wiltshire village, by Sue Robinson. Chitterne is a remote village on Salisbury Plain, surrounded by a military wilderness, which could have died like Imber, but has survived and thrives. This thoroughly researched, affectionate local history has grown out of a community website, and is the first modern treatment of this ancient and idiosyncratic chalkland village. Fully illustrated. 240 x 168mm, 164pp, many ills, paperback; 978-0-946418-68-8, £9.95, November 2007
Warriors for the Working Day: Codford during two world wars, by Romy Wyeth.
Twice in the 20th century Codford in the Wylye valley was transformed
by war. Not only did its own young people serve and in some cases die,
but from all over the world men arrived at army camps to train for
combat or recover from wounds. Drawing on a wide variety of sources and
many years of research, Romy tells the wartime experiences of Codford
itself, and of those who passed through. 2002, illustrated 224-page
hardback, £15.00, ISBN 0-946418-12-8.
Devizes and Central Wiltshire, by John Chandler, illustrated by Michael Charlton. The second volume of John Chandler’s long-term project (see Marlborough and Eastern Wiltshire, below) covers Devizes and 41 parishes from Seend along Pewsey Vale to Wootton Rivers and south to Netheravon, thus completing the series’ coverage of Kennet District. Like its predecessor this is a beautifully produced 288-page hardback, published 2003, £20.00, ISBN 0-946418-16-0. Also now available in paperback – ISBN 978-0-946418-29-9, £12.95, July 2007.
Edington: the Bishop’s Legacy, by Graham Laslett.
The church at Edington, in its sublime position beneath the Wiltshire
downs, is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in England. Alongside
other great building projects sponsored by William of Edington, Bishop
of Winchester, 1345-66 – which include Winchester Cathedral and Windsor
Castle – Edington is of great architectural interest for marking the
change of style to the Perpendicular of the late middle ages. Graham
Laslett’s new study of this remarkable building, couched as a factual
historical tale over 650 years, is one of the most detailed,
well-informed and readable guides to a church ever written. August 2010,
232 x 158mm, 224 pages, illustrations, paperback, £14.95, ISBN
Pages from our History by the people of Fovant. An attractive and lively village in rural south Wiltshire, Fovant has a long and varied history. Interested residents in 2000 formed a local history society to compile and maintain a website about the village. From their work has grown this collaborative book to celebrate their special community. 2005, 180 pages, copiously illustrated, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 0-946418-39-X.
Crosstracks to Hindon, by Richard Dewhurst. Hindon, now one of south-west Wiltshire’s most attractive villages, began life as a small town established by a 13th-century bishop of Winchester. Its urban career, with market, fair, traders and inns, continued to the 19th century, despite a disastrous fire in 1754. Until 1832 it returned two MPs, and it was a noted stopping point for the westcountry stagecoaches. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, here is the history that this distinctive community deserves. 2005, 152 pages, many illustrations, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 0-946418-33-0.
Marlborough and Eastern Wiltshire, by John Chandler, illustrated by Michael Charlton. The first volume of John Chandler’s long-term project (Wiltshire: landscape and people) to write the history of every town and village in the county. Each of the seven parts will offer succinct but informative histories of a group of parishes, complemented by exquisite, specially commissioned illustrations, and facsimiles of historic maps. Volume 1 covers 34 parishes, from Aldbourne in the north to Tidworth in the south and Avebury in the west, including Marlborough, Ramsbury and Ludgershall. An elegant 288-page hardback with striking cover, published 2001, £20.00, ISBN 0-946418-07-1
If I Did it, I Don’t Remember: Salisbury’s Edwardian Murder Mystery, by Jeremy B Moody and Bruce S Purvis. Salisbury, October 31st 1908. This date heralded Salisbury’s most infamous murder case, unsolved to this day. A young boy lay dead, his mother was arrested for the murder, and Scotland Yard was brought in to help investigate. Enter Chief Inspector Dew, who had hunted Jack the Ripper, and two years later would arrest the notorious Dr Crippen to gain worldwide fame – Scotland Yard’s first international superstar! The authors have spent three years researching this case, which attracted international media attention for many months a century ago. Their meticulously documented account includes previously unidentified scene of crime photographs, the personal thoughts of Chief Inspector Dew and fascinating new evidence. October 2008, 264 pages, maps and contemporary illustrations, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-78-7.
Milford, by Richard Durman. This is the first in a planned series of small books, Sarum Studies, which will describe suburbs and areas of Salisbury, produced under the aegis of the Sarum Chronicle editorial panel. Milford lies on the eastern side of Salisbury, and now consists largely of Victorian and later suburbs. But it has an interesting if somewhat enigmatic history, stretching back to the period before the city of Salisbury was established. Richard Durman, an expert on architectural history who lives in Milford, has provided a readable and informative history which is sure to fascinate residents and everyone who knows and loves Salisbury. 240 x 170mm, 72pp, ills, paperback. 978-0-946418-60-2, £5.95, October 2007
Harnham Mill, by Michael Cowan (Sarum Studies 2). Harnham Mill is one of Salisbury’s best-known landmarks. Built some five centuries ago as a paper mill, it occupies the site of a medieval fulling mill, and it has in turn been used for making cloth, bone fertilizer and candles. Since the 1930s it has been a hotel and restaurant. This comprehensive account describes not only the building and its evolution, but also the industrial processes and their context within the history of the Salisbury area. March 2008, 52 pages, fully illustrated with photographs and diagrams, paperback, £4.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-67-1.
The Harnham Water Meadows, by Hadrian Cook, Michael Cowan and Tim Tatton-Brown (Sarum Studies 3).Watermeadows are a fascinating part of England’s landscape heritage. Located at the heart of Salisbury, the Harnham Water Meadows today provide a range of natural habitats. Like watermeadows elsewhere, they are a complicated system for sustainable grassland production that played a major role in the economic development of Wessex. This work presents an account of the history and archaeology of the world famous Harnham system that affords the famous view of Salisbury Cathedral. Hadrian Cook is a hydrologist and soil scientist and an expert on watermeadows. Michael Cowan and Tim Tatton-Brown contribute their knowledge about Harnham and Fisherton Mills respectively. September 2008, 44 pages, illustrated (some colour), paperback, £5.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-67-1.The Chronicles of a Courtier: a History of Stanton Court, Wiltshire, by Fiona Gilroy Baskett. What do P G Wodehouse, a descendant of Horatio Nelson, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and certain members of the Royal family all have in common? The answer is that, along with many others, all have historical links with Stanton Court, the former Georgian rectory in the little Wiltshire village of Stanton St. Quintin. As a present day Courtier, Fiona Gilroy Baskett chronicles the history of this substantial house and grounds, built as a rectory in 1780. Perhaps more importantly, she also interweaves vignettes of local history with the vitality of the characters who have lived there throughout the ages. This book provides an engaging account of life, past and present, in the little Wiltshire village which was settled first by the Romans almost two thousand years ago. April 2006, 104-page illustrated hardback, price £12.50, ISBN 0-946418-44-5
A History of Stanton St Bernard, by Val Knowles. Stanton St Bernard is a small village in the centre of Pewsey Vale, at the heart of Wiltshire. Its horizons north and south are the chalk hills of the Marlborough Downs and Salisbury Plain, but the village sits in the broad greensand valley formed by the headwaters of the Salisbury Avon. Val Knowles lives in Stanton and has spent many years unravelling, from books, documents, maps, memories and the rich archaeological landscape, the long and sometimes eventful history of her village and its ancient parish. The result is a readable and authoritative account of a typical Wiltshire village. It will prove of absorbing interest to anyone familiar with Stanton and Pewsey Vale, or who has fallen under the spell of this peaceful and beautiful countryside. 240 x 170mm, 160pp, many ills, paperback. 978-0-946418-63-3, £9.95, June 2007
Swindon Decoded: the Curious History around us, by John Chandler.
Often maligned, or dismissed as merely a product of Victorian industry
and post-war overspill, Swindon in fact has a remarkably long and
diverse history, much of which remains to be recognized. An extensive
revision of a popular history first published in 1992, it offers a
fascinating and sympathetic interpretation of a vibrant and rapidly
expanding town poised to become a city. 2005, 108 pages, profusely
illustrated, paperback, £7.95, ISBN 0-946418-37-3.
Wiltshire Reformatory for Boys, Warminster, 1856-1924, by Ivor Slocombe. Victorian reformatories tackled a growing problem of juvenile crime by bringing offenders into the education system. Wiltshire’s, established in 1856, became a model for such provision nationally. This important study chronicles its life and history, of great significance for Wiltshire and for Warminster (on whose outskirts it was built), and more generally on Victorian penal reform. 2005, 42 pages, illustrated booklet, £3.95, ISBN 0-946418-45-4.
Westbury and Westbury Leigh, edited by Kenneth Wood. Reissue of copiously illustrated (some in colour) and ingeniously arranged history and description of this busy west Wiltshire town, first produced in 2000 to celebrate the millennium. 2004, 210-page large-format hardback, £12.50, ISBN 0-946418-31-4.
Winsley: from Cecilia to Victoria, by Robin and Barbara Harvey. The parish of Winsley, including Turleigh, adjoins Bradford on Avon and extends to the Somerset border. This very detailed history of the parish describes its evolution from Saxon and medieval times, when it belonged to Shaftesbury Abbey, through to the Victorian era, when it was first mapped in detail. Winsley is particularly rich in good stone-built houses, and the authors’ expertise in researching building history makes their parish history a model for others to emulate. 240 x 170mm, 168pp, ills, paperback, 978-0-946418-62-6, £9.95, December 2007.
A Round Dorset Walk: long distance footpath, the illustrated guide, by Steven Crockford, is a long-distance route of 181 miles, on ancient paths and trackways, around Dorset’s perimeter. From the stunning Poole Harbour beneath the Purbeck Hills, the walker sets out towards the peaceful downs of Cranborne Chase, across the rolling hills of Blackmore Vale and Marshwood Vale, finally to return to the dramatic coastal path from which the walk began, completing a journey through 250 million years of history. Whether achieved in one challenging effort, or in a series of stages, this very special journey around a beautiful and often unexplored part of Britain will live long in the memory of anyone who completes it. July 2006, 112pp paperback with detailed maps and exquisite line drawings by the author, price £8.95, ISBN 0-946418-49-7
The Floss on the Mill: the re-awakening of a watermill, by Desna Greenhow. Otterton Mill, in rural East Devon, was derelict and neglected when the author moved into the Mill House next door. This book celebrates a 25-year plus adventure of restoring it to working order and creating in its buildings an extraordinary centre for arts and crafts, natural foods, education and entertainment. 2004, 144-page illustrated (by Jed Falby) paperback, £8.95, ISBN 0-946418-20-9.
A Higher Reality: The history of Shaftesbury’s royal nunnery, by John Chandler, tells the story of England’s largest and (arguably) most important nunnery, and of the town that grew up alongside it. Shaftesbury in Dorset enjoys a striking and beautiful setting, and the site of its abbey church – its foundations exposed within a peaceful garden – has become a popular attraction for visitors and residents. This absorbing and wide-ranging history of the abbey has much too about the origins and development of the town, including a guided walk in search of its history. Although intended for a popular readership and profusely illustrated, the text is fully referenced with an extensive bibliography and a comprehensive index. 2003, 176-page hardback, price £9.95, ISBN 0-946418-14-4; or in paperback, 2005, £7.95, ISBN 0-946418-35-7.
A Motcombe Miscellany, by Laurence Clark.
The author, who has written for many years about his village, near Shaftesbury on the Dorset–Wiltshire border, has collected the best of his essays about its people, places and events. September 2012, 199 pages, profusely illustrated, paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-07-5.