VCH Shorts

John Hare
March 1, 2018
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 the...
Pamela J. Fisher and J.M. Lee
December 9, 2016
The parish of Castle Donington  in north-west Leicestershire lies on the south bank of the river Trent, 20 miles north-west of Leicester and 8 miles south-east of Derby. A nucleated village developed on the present site more than 1,000 years ago. A castle was built in the 1150s, and several features of a town soon developed, including a market, fair and hospital. Secondary settlements grew up alongside the Trent, by the King’s Mills and at Cavendish Bridge, the site of an important medieval ferry. Donington Park, which originated in the early 13th century as a hunting park, became a separate estate of the earls of Huntingdon in the late 16th century. Later history has been shaped by strong religious nonconformity and the growth and...
Pamela Taylor
August 31, 2017
Today’s Knightsbridge, the wealthy shoppers’ paradise, is a recent cross-border development. This book breaks new ground by uncovering an earlier, larger Knightsbridge and showing why its initial extent and history have been largely forgotten. Knightsbridge was the southern part of the Westminster abbey manor of Knightsbridge and Westbourne, and until 1900 covered the same area as the parish of St Margaret Westminster Detached. Pre-1900 Knightsbridge/Westminster included today’s Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, almost half of ‘South Kensington’, and Hyde Park west of the Serpentine (or river Westbourne). So why was so much of Knightsbridge lost to memory, becoming thought of only in terms of Westminster, Hyde or (until 1900 entirely...
Pamela J. Fisher and J.M. Lee
April 7, 2017
The parish of Castle Donington  in north-west Leicestershire lies on the south bank of the river Trent, 20 miles north-west of Leicester and 8 miles south-east of Derby. A nucleated village developed on the present site more than 1,000 years ago. A castle was built in the 1150s, and several features of a town soon developed, including a market, fair and hospital. Secondary settlements grew up alongside the Trent, by the King’s Mills and at Cavendish Bridge, the site of an important medieval ferry. Donington Park, which originated in the early 13th century as a hunting park, became a separate estate of the earls of Huntingdon in the late 16th century. Later history has been shaped by strong religious nonconformity and the growth and...
Pamela Taylor
August 31, 2017
Today’s Knightsbridge, the wealthy shoppers’ paradise, is a recent cross-border development. This book breaks new ground by uncovering an earlier, larger Knightsbridge and showing why its initial extent and history have been largely forgotten. Knightsbridge was the southern part of the Westminster abbey manor of Knightsbridge and Westbourne, and until 1900 covered the same area as the parish of St Margaret Westminster Detached. Pre-1900 Knightsbridge/Westminster included today’s Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, almost half of ‘South Kensington’, and Hyde Park west of the Serpentine (or river Westbourne). So why was so much of Knightsbridge lost to memory, becoming thought of only in terms of Westminster, Hyde or (until 1900 entirely...
Pamela J. Fisher
October 27, 2017
Buckminster and Sewstern, in north-east Leicestershire, are two small villages within a single parish, and although both were established before 1086, they have developed different characters. Buckminster was purely an agricultural village until the 1790s, when Sir William Manners enlarged a small park, built a mansion and began to create an estate village. Many of the houses are of red brick, and were built for estate employees by the 9th earl of Dysart between 1878 and 1935, as part of a programme of village improvements. All the land, residential and commercial properties in Buckminster were held in 2017 by the Tollemache family, descendants of Sir William and Lord Dysart. In contrast, Sewstern’s houses are individual in...
Edited by Anthony Tuck
April 2, 2015
Pamela J. Fisher
October 27, 2017
Buckminster and Sewstern, in north-east Leicestershire, are two small villages within a single parish, and although both were established before 1086, they have developed different characters. Buckminster was purely an agricultural village until the 1790s, when Sir William Manners enlarged a small park, built a mansion and began to create an estate village. Many of the houses are of red brick, and were built for estate employees by the 9th earl of Dysart between 1878 and 1935, as part of a programme of village improvements. All the land, residential and commercial properties in Buckminster were held in 2017 by the Tollemache family, descendants of Sir William and Lord Dysart. In contrast, Sewstern’s houses are individual in...
Janet Cooper
October 24, 2016
Bosbury is the second parish history to be produced by the Trust for the Victoria County History of Herefordshire, following the history of Eastnor published in 2013. Like Eastnor, Bosbury is an agricultural parish, near the market town of Ledbury. It covers a relatively large area below the western slopes of the Malvern Hills. In the Middle Ages Bosbury was the site of one of the favourite residences of the bishops of Hereford; in the western part of the parish, called Upleadon, was an estate belonging first to the Knights Templar and then to the Hospitallers. From the 16th century onwards both estates passed into the hands of tenants, leaving the parish without a major resident landowner until John Stedman and Edward Higgins successively...

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