Granary Book Blog: History

Possible holiday reading relating to the surrounding area. A jumble, in no particular order, of books and electronic publications – Further suggestions welcome!

The Best of the Golden Valley and Herefordshire’s Welsh Borderland by Karen Wren (Kindle £1.99)
A short guide giving an insight into the villages, sites and walks of interest in the Golden Valley and Welshborderland, offering an overview of the history and heritage of this peaceful area of outstanding natural beauty. (Not intended as an exhaustive or definitive catalogue of the area’s history!) An excellent new publication.

Dorstone 1890 to 1990 – a centenary celebration
Fascinating history of the village with many period photographs. 70 x A4 pages downloadable as a pdf. You can purchase for £4 and all proceeds go to St Faith’s Church, Dorstone. Have a look at the contents and read some extracts before you buy!

The Folklore and Witchcraft of Herefordshire by Ella Leather (Kindle £4.49)
This is the most detailed account ever published relating to the folk beliefs and superstitions of the people of Herefordshire. Covering subjects as diverse as witchcraft, charms and seasonal customs. First published in 1912, it remains a classic of English folklore.

Champagne and Shambles – The Arkwrights and the Country House in Crisis by Catherine Beale
Land has ceased to be either a profit or a pleasure.  It gives one position, and prevents one from keeping it up.‘ – Oscar Wilde (1895).  ‘I am in an awful state of depression which nothing but champagne can remove.‘ – Johnny Arkwright (1870)  the largest landowner in Herefordshire at the time.  Of interest to those who have visited country houses in Britain and wondered why they ceased to be homes, this title uses the real-life period drama of Johnny Arkwright (1833 – 1905) to illustrate how landowners saw their world disintegrate and disappear.

Ancient Crosses of the Three Choirs Counties by Marion Freeman
Having been fascinated by all things that epitomise the British countryside and its many facets since childhood, Marion Freeman has long been interested in bee boles and bridges, cairns and canals, maypoles and markets – the list is endless and a never ending source of research and investigation.  Chief amongst these are the many countryside and churchyard crosses that can be discovered throughout the land. Built in a variety of styles and consisting of a selection of materials, they stand (in spite of order from Oliver Cromwell during the Commonwealth period to destroy them) in different stages of preservation, an historical and nostalgic throwback to the past.

Bloody British History: Hereford by David Phelps
Hereford has a darker side to its history, filled with strange – and sometimes unlikely – true tales.  Was King Arthur a Hereford man?  Why was its patron saint murdered by his would-be father-in-law?  Why did another of its saints become the only saint to die excommunicated?  Was a Bishop of Hereford involved in the murder of a king by the most frightful method imaginable? Did bones from the Cathedral graveyard really cure every disease know to man?  Was a ghost really responsible for the destruction of the cathedral’s west front? Was the Hay Poisoner really guilty?  Was a Hereford clerk the rightful Kind of England?  These, and many other strange stories, will be revealed in this book.

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