In England we are so surrounded by brick, much of our cities and towns being built out if it, that we are in danger of taking it entirely for granted. Carolyne Haynes’ delightful paperback book sets out to change this. She introduces the reader to the joys and intricacies of English brickwork, and most particularly to some of the stories behind those who made it.
The tidal reach of the River Thames is the longest archaeological site in Britain, its rhythmically rising and falling waters exposing a wealth of material spanning millennia of human activity along its banks. For the last decade, thousands of features and objects have been recorded by the Thames Discovery Programme and its volunteers – but people have also been exploring the foreshore and its finds on a more informal basis for centuries.
This book increases understanding of the travel networks of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex. Using a range of sources, it discusses the evidence for early medieval roads and pathways which shaped the movement and communication of people in the area.
Your reviewer has to admit that he may lack entire objectivity when it comes to this book as he is thanked in the acknowledgements and he also commented on the draft in typescript. The author has prepared a concise, informed, well-researched and very readable introduction to a subject that has never previously been written up, the slate industry of Britain as a whole. The illustrations are well-chosen, and the text is clear and enjoyable, though a map might have helped.
In this book, the history of Yorkshire from prehistory to present day is told through the lens of the conflicts that occurred in each period. Beginning with prehistoric occupation and following the story of the region up to the 20th century, the bulk of the work focuses on the medieval conquests and battles, and the effects that they had on the area and its population.
This slim book offers an interesting introduction to Roman gardens, the mythology and history behind them, and the details of their design. Author Anthony Beeson (an expert in Roman iconography – see p.18 of this issue) states that gardens were part of ‘Romanitas’, the set of cultural and political beliefs and practices by which Romans defined themselves, and this point is made clearly and convincingly throughout the book.
The rather modest avowed aim of this book is to ‘present a series of snapshots of drinking establishments through the ages’, and author David Johnson has succeeded in this. As the title indicates, his book covers premises that have either been demolished or converted to other uses, rather than those, far fewer in number, which continue to trade. The book focuses, as Johnson makes clear, particularly on the Craven district, and is nicely illustrated with many old and contemporary photographs, together with clear maps showing the inns of Settle and Skipton.
Review – Hadrian’s Wall 2009-2019: A summary of recent excavation and research prepared for the Fourteenth Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall, 2019
This extremely important volume was produced to accompany the 14th Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall, an event that was explored in CA 353. It stands in line with earlier volumes produced for previous Pilgrimages in 2009 and 1999. Rob Collins and Matthew Symonds were selected by the Committee that managed the 14th Pilgrimage to compile and edit this impressive volume, which forms a handy summary of the research that has been undertaken on Hadrian’s Wall during the past decade.
The latest publication in the 50 Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme series uses a wide range of artefacts, carefully selected from the 10,000 objects recorded through the PAS in Berkshire, to tell the story of life in this landscape. The book’s chronological structure and effective use of illustrations brings to life the history of the area from the Lower Palaeolithic to the late 1700s.
This book offers a unique interpretation of the Lullingstone Roman Villa in the Darent Valley of Kent, exploring how its inhabitants used space to assert their position in society, as well as their cultural identity.