New Titles, Spring 2021
The Archaeology of the Borough of Swindon, by Bernard Phillips
The Borough of Swindon embraces not only one of the largest towns in central southern England; it includes also large tracts of chalk downland and much of the upper Thames valley. The rapid pace of development across this area has resulted in a wealth of important archaeological discoveries, from earliest prehistory to the recent past. Bernard Phillips, author of this profusely illustrated survey, has played a leading part in excavating and understanding Swindon’s archaeology over more than fifty years, and so is able to bring to his subject a unique authority, making this the indispensable handbook to the evolution of a region now home to almost a quarter of a million people.
March 2021, 225pp, colour illustrated paperback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-74-7
The Jurassic Coast, A Poet’s Journey, by Amanda K Hampson, illustrated by Sheila Haley
The author’s second book of poetry and, as the title suggests, is a voyage in verse around the Dorset and south Devon coast. Extending from Exmouth to Poole, in 2001 this became England’s first natural World Heritage Site, to be protected, conserved and passed intact to future generations. Its breathtaking beauty and wildness have been an inspiring source of riches for the varied poetry in this volume, accompanied by Sheila Haley’s colourful and vibrant illustrations.
March 2021, 98pp, full colour illustrations, £9.95 (paperback), £14.95 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-914407-00-0 (paperback), 978-1-914407-01-7 (hardback)
Johannes Kip, the Gloucestershire Engravings, edited by Anthea Jones
Three hundred years ago, in 1721, the ‘Dutch engraver’ Johannes Kip died suddenly after more than thirty years spent in England as a renowned printmaker. Gloucestershire owes him a special commemoration in 2021 as the draughtsman and also engraver of more than 60 prints, executed between 1707 and 1710, of the houses, gardens and landscape settings of gentry houses and mansions. The short commentary which accompanies a large-sized reproduction of each print in this book has pointers to the details and to the history of the house and the family. There are examples of old and relatively new houses, large houses and relatively modest ones, elaborate gardens and extensive estates, splendid views reaching to the shipping on the rivers bounding the county on the west, or more limited ones of local hills. Two engravings of Gloucester are presented first (one of the cathedral was published before Atkyns’ book in 1712), and then the sequence of parishes starts with Wick Court, appropriately the least altered of all the houses portrayed.
March 2021, 174pp, colour illustrated large format hardback, £20.00, ISBN 978-1-906978-99-0. Published in association with Gloucestershire Gardens and Landscape Trust
The Ladies of Lydiard, by Frances Bevan
Lydiard House and Park, near Swindon, have been in public ownership since 1943. Today around 700,000 visitors every year jog and cycle or just walk and meander around the 260 acres of beautiful parkland. In a history spanning a thousand years, the Lydiard estate has belonged to just five families. The men were adept at acquiring wealthy brides and spending their fortunes, while their wives were consigned to a private, passive life. Throughout the long history of the Lydiard estate the men have been in charge - or have they? From Margaret Beauchamp, the medieval matriarch who inherited the Lydiard estate as an 11-year-old, to Bessie Howard, the gamekeeper's granddaughter, who staked her claim with a surprise revelation at the funeral of Henry St. John, 5th Viscount Bolingbroke, the Lydiard ladies have been a force to be reckoned with. Now, for the first time the story of the Ladies of Lydiard is told. The book is illustrated with stunning colour portraits, displayed at Lydiard, of many of the women described, alongside illustrations of the house and park.
March 2021, 166pp, colour illustrated paperback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-02-4
Unity and Loyalty: the Story of Chippenham’s Red Cross Hospital, by Ray Alder
In November 1915 the Chippenham Red Cross Convalescent Hospital opened in response to rapidly increasing numbers of wounded men returning from the battlefields of the Great War. This book follows events in Chippenham, a relatively small north Wiltshire town, that led to the opening of the Hospital. It describes in detail the people of the district who gave so many hours to care for the patients and make them feel welcome in the town. Inevitably there is sadness but also joy, the recurring theme is of a 'Happy Home Hospital'. The Hospital changed the lives of both staff and patients and this book follows some of those changes after the Armistice. Profusely illustrated in colour, the book derives from a highly successful exhibition mounted by staff and volunteers of Chippenham Museum and, although concerned principally with the hospital, it chronicles many other apects of the town and its people through a devastating war. Chippenham Studies 5.
April 2021, 304pp, colour illustrated paperback, £19.95, ISBN 978-1-914407-04-8