The Bookshelf

Books and articles about Bottesford and local history in general

By Neil Fortey

Insomniac's Corner
Insomniac's Corner

There is a wealth of books and other printed material that deal with aspects of local history. It is a wide field, and project members could easily spend all their time reading what has already by done! One of the pleasures has been to find out how much excellent work has been published by groups working in the surrounding area. Quiet communities like Radcliffe, Bingham, Long Bennington and Barkstone are proud of their past and their sense of identity.

For Bottesford readers, the Michael Honeybone’s Book of Bottesford is of greatest interest, giving a scholarly coverage of the history of the village in the broadest sense. Diana Pearson Smith’s account of her father’s life includes a description of Bottesford during the First World War. Stanley Blackmore’s book describes life in the Rectory during the Second World War, while Vincent Holyoak’s has given us a rare and moving account of the history of Bottesford airfield over the same period. Ted Shipman, a distinguished wartime fighter pilot, native of Bottesford and a strong churchman, wrote a short but informative history of the village’s parish church and its aristocratic patrons.

This list includes books about Bottesford and nearby places, as well as more general reading on local history. It is growing as time passes, and makes no claim to being authoritative or definitive. It may, however, help people wishing to pursue local history of Bottesford and Muston in greater depth. The list is divided into three parts, covering respectively:

1. Bottesford Local History

2. Local History in the East Midlands

3. ‘Further Reading’

Most are available from local libraries. Bottesfordians can join libraries in three counties, gaining access to the variety of local history material such as that mentioned here. By using their on-line catalogue search facilities, we have access to a vast range of publications, though some patience may be required if a book has to be obtained from a branch library at the other end of one of the counties, where it is perhaps already on loan to someone who keeps on renewing their loan. Joining local library services is simple and free – we use Bottesford for Leicestershire County Libraries, Bingham for Nottinghamshire and Grantham for Lincolnshire. All have on-line catalogues and reservation services, so it really is pretty easy. Together they give us access to an enormous amount of information.

Where appropriate, information about availability and recommendations are provided along with the references.

Part 1.

Bottesford Local History

Stanley Blackmore, 2004. Gone, but not forgotten : a Leicestershire schoolboy’s recollections of life during World War Two.  Woodfield, Bognor Regis.

Jon Elbourne, 2008. The True Story of the Witches of Belvoir Castle. 8 Ferndale Street, Colo Vale, New South Wales 2575, Australia (email to

Neil Fortey (editor), 2009. Not Forgetting: Aspects of Village Life in Bottesford, Easthorpe, Muston and Normanton. Bottesford Community Heritage Project.

Neil Fortey and Robert Sparham, 2014. Angels and Dragons: Faces at St Mary the Virgin, Bottesford. Botteford Community Heritage Project.

Vincent Holyoak, 1995. On the Wings of the Morning. RAF Bottesford 1941-1945. Published by Vincent Holyoak, 38 Wilberforce Road, Leicester LE3 0GT, ISBN 0 9526739 0 8

Michael Honeybone, 2002 second edition (1st edition 1989). The Book of Bottesford. Baron Books, Buckingham. ISBN 0 86023 670 6 [Available at local libraries and the 2nd edition is still on sale, this is an essential starting point and benchmark for local history studies in Bottesford and Muston. NJF] 2001 second edition (1st edition 1987)

Diana Pearson Vale, 2000. Never Throw Anything Away. The Story of Sydney Pearson Smith. Published privately by the author, 4 Kapala Avenue , Bradbury, NSW 2560, Australia.

Edward A. Shipman, 1995. Gleanings about the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Bottesford. Published privately.

Part 2.

Local History in the East Midlands

John Atkins, Bob Hammond & Peter Roper, 1999. A Village Transformed, Keyworth 1750-1850. Keyworth and District Local History Society. ISBN 0 9524602 1 1

Terence C. Cartwright, Birds Eye Wartime Leicestershire 1939-1945 – aerial photos. T.C.C. Publications. ISBN 0 9534497 1 8

Beryl Cobbing & Pamela Priestland, 2003. Sir Thomas Stanhope of Shelford, local life in Elizabethan times. Ashbracken, 14 Cropwell Road , Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham NG12 2FS, 381p (paperback). ISBN 1 8723 5610 9

Robert F. Hartley, 1987. The Medieval Earthworks of North-East Lincolnshire. Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service, Archaeological Reports Series.

Valerie Henstock (editor), 1986. Victorian Bingham. Bingham & District Local History Society. ISBN 0 9511 826 1 7

H.B. Hewlett, 1935. The Quarries: Ironstone, Limestone and Sand. Reprinted in 1979 from The Stantonian, he Magazine of the Stanton Ironworks Company Limited, by the Market Overton Industrial Railway Association, Cottesmore Ironstone Sidings, Cottesmore, Oakham, Rutland. ISBN 0 9506723 0 0

Michael Honeybone, 1980. The Book of Grantham. Barracuda Books Limited, Buckingham. ISBN 0 86023 095 3

Michael Honeybone, 2001 second edition (1st edition 2001). The Vale of Belvoir. Baron Books, Buckingham. ISBN  0 86023 668 8

Michael Honeybone, 2008 Wicked Practice and Sorcerye The Belvoir Witchcraft Case of 1619.Baron Books, Buckingham. ISBN 978 0 86023 690 0

W. G. Hoskins, 1957. The Midland Peasant-The Economic and Social History of a Leicestershire Village, Macmillan, London.

Eleanor Russell & Rex C. Russell, 1983. Making New Landscapes in Lincolnshire , the Enclosures of Thirty Four Parishes in Mid Lindsey. Lincolnshire Recreational Services, County Library Department. ISBN 0 86111 105 2

Pamela Priestland, 1989 (editor) 1989. Radcliffe-on-Trent 1837 to 1920. A study of a village during an era of change. Ashbracken Publishing, Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham . ISBN 1 872356 00 1

John Samuels (editor) 1995. Aspects of local history in Long Bennington. Workers Education Association East Midlands District.

John Shipman , One of ‘The Few’.

Eric Tonks, 1992. The Ironstone Quarries of the Midlands, Part IX Leicestershire. Runpast Publishing, Cheltenham. ISBN 1 870754 08 5

Part 3.

Further Reading

N.W.Alcock, 1986. Old Title Deeds, a Guide for Local and Family Historians. Phillimore & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0 85033 593 0 [available from Lincolnshire County Libaries]

Maurice Beresford, 1967. New Towns of the Middle Ages, Town Plantation in England, Wales and Gascony. Lutterworth Press, London. [Available via Lincolnshire Libraries, this documents the spread of planned market towns in the 13th and 14th Centuries. Does it have anything to tell us about Bottesfrd and the origin of its grid-plan pattern of streets? NJF]

Ronald Blythe, 1969. Akenfield, Portait of an English Village . The Literary Guild, London , 287p. (hardback) ISBN 7139 0100 4 [This is still an inspiring book for anyone starting out to record living memories of a village community. NJF]

Bill Breckon, Jeffrey Parker and Martin Andrew, 2003. Tracing the History of Houses. Countryside Books. ISBN 1 85306 644 3

Joy Bristow, 2001. The Local Historian’s Glossary of Words and Terms. Countryside Books, Newbury. ISBN 1 85306 7075

R.W. Brunskill, 1990. Brick Building in Britain. Victor Gollancz Ltd. ISBN 0 575 04457 8 [available from Leicestershire Libraries]

George Ewart Evans, 1966. The Pattern under the Plough. Faber & Faber, London , 269p. (paperback). ISBN 0 571 08977 1 / ISBN 0 571 06886 3b, 2001. Starting out in Local History. Countryside Books, Newbury. ISBN 1 85306 6869

P.H.J.H. Gosden, 1960. The Friendly Societies in England, 1815-1875. Manchester University Press. [Available via Leicestershire County Libraries, this is a very good book, greatly recommended. NJF]

J.L. Hammond and Barbara Hammond, 1978. (Ist edition 1911) The Village Labourer, Longman, London. ISBN o 582 48518 5

Martin Hammond, 1981. Bricks and Brickmaking. Shire Album 75, Shire Publications. ISBN 0 85263 573 7 [available from Leicestershire Libraries]

Ken Haworth, 1998. Oral History, a Handbook. Sutton Publishing, Stroud. ISBN 0 7509 1756 3

Edward Higgs, 1996. A Clearer Sense of the Census. Public Record Office Handbooks No.28, London, HMSO. ISBN 0 11 440257 4

Pamela Horn,1980. The Rural World 1780 – 1850 Social Change in the English Countryside, Hutchinson, London. ISBN 0 09 141881

David Iredale and John Barrett, 2003. Discovering Local History. Shire Publications. ISBN 0 7478 0562 8

Roger Logan, 2000. An Introduction to Friendly Society Records. FFHS (Publications) Ltd, Units 15-16 Chesham Industrial Estate, Oram St., Bury, Lancashire BL9 6EN. ISBN 1 86006 115 X    [Available from Nottinghamshire Libraries, this booklet adds a little useful information, but is no substitute for Gosden’s excellent book. NJF]

Norman Longmate, 1974. The Workhouse. Temple Smith, London. ISBN 0 8511 70382

J.R. Ravensdale, 1982. History on your Doorstep. British Broadcasting Corporation, London.  ISBN 0 563 16495 6.

Philip Riden, 2000 (2nd edition). Local History, A Handbook for Beginners. Merton Priory Press. ISBN 1 898937 27 3

Alan Rogers, 1977. Approaches to Local History. Longman, London. ISBN 0 582 48509 6. (second edition: first edition published 1972 under the title This was their World)

Bob Trubshaw, 2005.  How to Write & Publish Local & Family History. Heart of Albion Press, 2 Cross Hill Close, Wymeswold, Loughborough LE12 6UJ. ISBN 1 872883 59 1

Colin Waters, 2002. A Dictionary of Old Trades, Titles and Occupations. Countryside Books. ISBN 1 85306 7946

Trevor Yorke, Tracing the History of Villages. Countryside Books. ISBN 185306 7121.

This page was added on 08/01/2007.

Comments about this page

  • Thanks for the kind comments about my book, which seems a very long time ago now! On that vein, so as not to disturb the current residents of the address given for me, please note that I am now at 1 The Leys, Countesthorpe, Leicester. LE8 5PJ.

    By Vince Holyoak (09/07/2007)
  • My email has changed and my book is now available on Kindle. (The new email address is: – ed)

    By jon elbourne (03/09/2015)

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