Book launches and reviews, Spring 2003

Wollaton Hall and the Willoughby Family

marshall99.jpg (11514 bytes)Following the publication in 1996 by Nottingham Civic Society of the result of a new archaeological and architectural study of the development of Wollaton Hall by Pamela Marshall (Wollaton Hall: an Archaeological Survey), a further volume has been published by the same author. This includes an abridged version of the architectural study linked to the history of the Willoughby family who owned the Hall. Wollaton Hall and the Willoughby Family, (Nottingham Civic Society, 1999) is obtainable from bookshops or the Castle Gatehouse shop price £11.25.

Wollaton is one of six country houses featured in a booklet by Mike Higginbottom, illustrated by old and new views of the houses involved (the others are Rufford, Newstead, Holme Pierrepont, Thrumpton and Bestwood Lodge). Nottinghamshire Country Houses: Past and Present is published by Nottinghamshire County Council, price £3.95 (£4.50 post free in UK).


Nottingham Castle: A Place Full Royal

drage.jpg (9632 bytes)A detailed archaeological and historical account of Nottingham Castle written by Chris Drage was published by the Thoroton Society as its Transactions for the year 1989. A second edition of this volume has now been printed by Nottingham Civic Society in association with the Thoroton Society. The original text has been reproduced with the addition of a new introduction, details of recent archaeological discoveries and an index, all by Dr Trevor Foulds. This volume is complemented by a shorter and attractively illustrated booklet also from the Civic Society: Nottingham’s Royal Castle and Ducal Palace, by Andrew Hamilton (1999).



Also reprinted in response to popular demand is Sherwood Forest in 1609: a Crown Survey by Richard Bankes, ed S N Mastoris and S M Groves, published as Vol 40 of the Thoroton Society’s Record Series. This includes twenty maps of Nottinghamshire parishes and is available from the Honorary Distribution and Sales Secretary.

A Village Transformed: Keyworth, 1750-1850

An unusual anniversary was celebrated in the village of Keyworth in 1999 with the publication of an handsome history of the parish’s enclosure in 1799, aided by a grant from the Millennium Awards for All scheme. The Parliamentary Enclosure movement was well represented in Nottinghamshire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and had a significant effect on many villages. Not only were the old open-field strips replaced by modem enclosed hedged ‘fields’ but often the process had a profound social and economic effect on village life. The Keyworth Enclosure Act was passed in 1798 and the Award made public in 1799, and the Keyworth and District Local History Society marked their two hundredth anniversary with both a day school and the new publication. A Village Transformed: Keyworth, 1750-1850 has been compiled by John Atkins, Bob Hammond and Peter Roper, and is an excellent study of the effects of the enclosure on a typical Nottinghamshire village. It also serves as a model for enclosure studies elsewhere in the County and further afield. It is published by Keyworth and District Local History Society do Keyworth Library, Nottingham NGI2 5FF price £7.50.


Local Statesmen: the Story of Politics in Nottinghamshire County Council

A local history of a more unusual nature has been published by Nottinghamshire County Council in conjunction with Warwick Business School. Local Statesmen: the Story of Politics in Nottinghamshire County Council (price £9.99 plus £1.50 p&p in UK) is written by the current Chief Executive, Peter Housden, and is a history of County Council politics from 1968 to the present day. Similar in approach to Nick Hayes’ study of Nottingham City politics between 1945 and 1966 published 1996), it is remarkable for being based on oral history interviews with six major local political personalities of the last thirty years, some now retired but others still active, and set into its wider political, economic and social context.

These reviews first appeared in Editors Notes, Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, volume 103, 1999.