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Pamela J. Fisher
20 September 2022

This publication, the fourth VCH Short from Leicestershire, tells the history of Lutterworth, a small market town in the south-west of the county. John Wyclif was the town’s rector from 1374 until his death in 1384, and the ongoing impact of his controversial writings so concerned the Church that his bones were disinterred and desecrated in 1428 on the instructions of the Pope. Lutterworth was also the birthplace of the jet engine, which was developed by Sir Frank Whittle between 1937 and 1942 in a disused foundry building in the town.  

The evolution and development of Lutterworth from small beginnings before the Norman Conquest to the challenges posed today by its position as a key location for the modern...

Pamela J. Fisher
23 October 2020

Ibstock is a large village 15 miles north-west of Leicester and the subject of the third VCH Short from Leicestershire. Neighbouring place-names indicate that the parish was once fringed by heathland to its north and west, while Ibstock’s own place-name references an early dairy farm on this land. Garendon Abbey, near Loughborough, received gifts in the 12th century totalling over 500 a. in Ibstock, and created a large sheep farm on their enclosed estate.

Framework-knitting had become important by 1811, when trade and manufacture employed almost as many families in the parish as agriculture. Ibstock’s character changed more dramatically in the later 19th century, when the coal deposits which lay beneath Ibstock’s soils began to...

James P. Bowen and Alex Craven and with Jonathan Comber
17 July 2020

Colwall lies on the western slopes of the Malvern Hills, near the market town of Ledbury. The large village comprises Colwall Stone, Upper Colwall and Colwall Green. On the Herefordshire Beacon, in the south-eastern corner of the parish, is the Iron Age ‘British Camp’. At the time of Domesday Book the bishop of Hereford’s manor covered the whole parish, but shortly afterwards Barton Colwall manor was created to endow a prebend in the cathedral. Between the 15th and 17th centuries resident gentry established themselves on other estates, which came to characterise the pattern of landownership.

Until the 19th century Colwall’s economy was predominantly agricultural, including cultivation of orchards and hops. From the mid 19th...

Judith Everard et. al
1 November 2019

Wem lies on the North Shropshire Plain, about nine miles north of Shrewsbury. The centre of a much larger medieval manor and parish, the township consists of the small medieval market town and its immediate rural hinterland. Anglo-Saxon in origin, the town developed after the Norman Conquest, with a castle, parish church, market and water mill. The urban area of the township, ‘within the bars’, was distinguished from the rural, ‘without the bars’. Burgages were laid out, with a customary borough-hold tenure, but the borough never attained corporate status. Isolated from the main regional transport routes, Wem developed as a centre of local government and trade in agricultural produce, especially cheese. It was thrust onto the national...

Andrew Senter
30 June 2019

Exploring the changing character of Harwich, Dovercourt and Parkeston through the course of the 19th century, included in this book is the economic, social and political history of the borough. The book provides an overview of the development of areas such as education, religion, public health with a strong focus on Harwich’s maritime history.

The borough of Harwich, including the parish of Dovercourt, lies in the far north east corner of Essex. Its coastal location as a natural harbour at the mouth of the Orwell river dictated that Harwich had a prominent role as a port and naval base from the 14th century onwards. In the 19th century Harwich retained its military function, particularly during the Napoleonic and Crimean wars....

Richard Brockington and with Sarah Rose
15 March 2019

Kirkoswald and Renwick is the first parish history to be produced by the Cumbria County History Trust in collaboration with Lancaster University for the Victoria County History of Cumbria. Covering 30 square miles of agricultural land and moorland, the modern civil parish of Kirkoswald lies between the river Eden and the Pennine heights, on the western edge of the North Pennine Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Kirkoswald township, anciently a market and small industrial centre, lies nine miles north east of Penrith. Until 1566 Kirkoswald Castle was the principal seat of the powerful Barons Dacre of the North whose massive landholdings extended over six counties. In 1523 Lord Thomas Dacre translated St Oswald’s church, a pre-conquest...

Alison Deveson and Sue Lane
15 December 2018

Tracing the history of two small, closely-linked parishes which lie to the south of Basingstoke on the edge of the chalk downlands, and a third parish, Hatch (abandoned towards the end of the 14th century and has formed part of both of the others), Cliddesden, Hatch and Farleigh Wallop is the latest publication from the Victoria County History of Hampshire project. Each settlement has a common manorial descent from the 15th century onwards and they were managed as components of a single estate under the lordship of the Wallop family from their seat at Farleigh House. This volume discusses the manorial owners and the development of the estate, and also includes much more about the lives and activities of ordinary people living and...

Edited by Francis Boorman
20 November 2018
St Clement Danes, now the central RAF church in the Strand, is at the heart of the capital, sandwiched between ‘theatreland’ and legal London, and connecting the dual historic centres of Westminster and the City. This book reveals the vibrant cultural, economic, political and religious life of the parish from the Restoration to its abolition in 1900.
This period was one of rapid urban transformation in the parish, as the large aristocratic riverside houses of the 17th century gave way to a bustling centre of commerce and culture in the 18th. The slums that developed in the 19th century were then swept away by the grand constructions of the Royal Courts of Justice and the Victoria Embankment, followed by the new thoroughfares...
Edited by Alex Craven and with Beth Hartland
1 June 2018

The familiar image of Cheltenham, a large and prosperous former spa town, world-famous on account of its Georgian and Regency architecture, its festivals and educational establishments, masks an earlier history. While numerous descriptions of the town have been published over the years, most say little about the many centuries of its existence before the 1740s, when it began to develop as a fashionable resort. This is the fullest account ever attempted to chronicle those centuries, from the late Saxon period until the 18th century. In this period, Cheltenham developed into a successful small town, ranged along a single main street, with the market and trades serving not only its own needs but also those of the surrounding countryside....

John Hare
22 December 2017

Basingstoke is frequently seen as a very modern town, the product of the last decades of the 20th century. In reality it has a long, rich and prosperous history. From its beginnings c.1000 it became a significant market centre for the area around, and a place on the route to London from the west. By 1500 it was among the top 60 towns in England by wealth and taxpayers, and the centre of a major industrial area, whose manufactured cloths formed part of international patterns of trade. Moreover, it is well documented particularly for the 15th and 16th century, when it was at its peak, and should provide a useful addition to the limited number of studies of small medieval towns.

Much of the old town has been swept away by...

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