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New books autumn 2017

Poems and Paintings of Herefordshire and the neighbouring Marches

selected by Jonathan Lumby    

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Paperback, 160 pages, over 80 paintings

ISBN 978-1-910839-22-5         Price £12.95

Driving south from Hereford one day in March
memorable for trickling piles of snow, with sideshows,
drift upon drift of snowdrops lapping the hedgerows,
we sighted the signpost, and on impulse, turned up
the winding, vertical road to Orcop.
                                                          Anne Stevenson, ‘Orcop’

Since William of Wycombe carolled “sing cuckoo” eight hundred years ago, poets and painters have told their love of Herefordshire and its neighbouring Marches in the beauty of words and of paintings. This new anthology (selected by Jonathan Lumby) introduces thirty poets. William Wordsworth is here, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Siegfried Sassoon and Frances Horovitz, Thomas Traherne and Henry Vaughan. Thirty artists include Hereford’s own Brian Hatton, Presteigne’s Joseph Murray Ince, Joshua Cristall, who settled in Goodrich, and David Cox, David Jones, Samuel Palmer and Thomas Gainsborough.

This is the boundary: different burrs
Stick, stones make darker scars
On the road down: nightingales
Struggle with thorn-trees for the gate of Wales.
                                                                         Roland Mathias, ‘Craswall’

Voices and visions, poems and paintings, mingle in praise of a much-loved land. Some poems are centuries old, some paintings are hardly dry. Side by side they evoke light and shade, soil and air, mystical reflection and advice to a cider-maker or to a shepherd. We blink at the brightness of angels or of the shining Wye; we hear too of older, darker forces. The history of the Shires merges with locality and both with beauty. A map shows places mentioned, for Jonathan Lumby encourages us to discover for ourselves the ‘loveliness of the Borderland’.

A History of Lyonshall from Prehistory to 1850

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by Sarah & John Zaluckyj

Paperback, 320 pages, 120 mainly colour illustrations

ISBN 978-1-910839-19-5    £15

Starting with the evidence for prehistoric man in the parish, the book covers the recent archaeological excavations and evidence for settlement in the Roman period, the building of the Saxon dyke, and the arrival of the Normans. It is the latter who built the castle, the lords of which were to sometimes play an important role in national events, at times supporting the Crown, at times in rebellion against it. One, Sir Simon Burley, was tutor to Richard II. From the 1600s more can be discovered about the wider population of the parish from their wills and inventories, which give a feel for their homes, occupations and farming methods. The management of the open fields has been gleaned from the records of the manor court, and the process of the gradual enclosure of these fields explored through estate maps. The work of the overseers in supporting the poor, often with sensitivity, is recorded. Stories of crimes, notably theft but also of slander and drunken misbehaviour abound. The appearance and disappearance of local pubs, the shifting of the village centre, the local woollen trade, the various mills, and the coming of the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the tramway are all covered in a book which is informative not just about Lyonshall, but about rural conditions in north-western Herefordshire over the course of several centuries.


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The Story of Dilwyn    
by Tony Hobbs & Andrew Stirling-Brown

Paperback, 208 pages, 70 colour & 60 b/w illustrations

ISBN 978-1-910839-20-1      £12.95

This book gives an outline history of some of the post Domesday landowners and their families, along with what is known of the castle site and development of the churches at both Dilwyn and Stretford, and the brief appearance Dilwyn made in the Civil War. Much of the book then focuses on the past 150 or so years, giving the history of the Great House, Perrymead and the conversion of barns to form Karen Court and the associated creation of the village green. It tells the story of the school, and those of the local shops, pubs, businesses and some of the farms. It details the arrival of nonconformity, relates anecdotes of the Home Guard during the Second World War, and recounts the writing of The Tangled Garden by Elizabeth Coleman, elements of local folklore, the successes of village cricket and football teams, the construction of the bypass, and the story of the local WI.

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Eardisley’s Early History and the story of The Baskervilles

edited by Malcolm Mason

Paperback, 240 pages, over 130 colour and 50 black and white illustrations 

ISBN 978-1-910839-21-8        £10

Following their book Eardisley: its Houses and their Residents, Eardisley History Group instigated a number of research projects into the history of the wider parish. These included a geophysical survey and archaeological excavation of the castle; a building survey of some of the outlying farms and their barns; an evaluation of the varied earthwork remains at Bollingham and in an area known as The Pitts between The Field and Eardisley Wootton; and an account of the changes in the road pattern in recent centuries, and the various projected routes of the tramway.
    This book sets out the results of these projects and includes analysis of the finds from the excavation at the castle site, including evidence of metal working – a discovery described as being of national importance. The castle was the seat of the Baskerville family, and new research by Bruce Coplestone-Crow reconsiders the various generations of Baskervilles in the 300 years following the Norman Conquest, clearly establishing the role they played in the history of the Marches and occasionally on the larger national stage.This high-quality research and analysis is coupled with a wealth of photographs, maps and plans to provide a range of new and easily accessible information about the Parish of Eardisley and the Baskerville family.