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On Blatchington Hill By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $26.73
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The story of a small Sussex Downland village is told for the first time. Using a wide range of sources, including historic maps, house histories, old letters and personal reminiscences, the complex... More > history of East Blatchington emerges, with unexpected results. The book reveals how close the village came to extinction in the Black Death, and how the ambition of the last squire led to many of the village's present-day problems. And some extraordinary personalities reappear from the past. What emerges is an unexpectedly rich and colourful picture of an English village that has come close to being forgotten. 309pp, over 90 black and white illustrations.< Less
Forlorn and Widowed By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $19.00
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The story of Seaford in the French Wars, 1793 to 1815, based on contemporary sources, including historic maps, court books, diaries and newspaper reports of the time. Seaford was a town with two... More > parallel histories. Its status as a member of the Cinque Ports Confederation gave it unusual privileges, such as the right to send two Members to Parliament, and there was no shortage of ambitious politicians who wanted to stand for election here. At the same time, the town stagnated, with a population of just one thousand and only a tenth of those entitled to vote. Most of the inhabitants were poor agricultural workers or fishermen. It is a lively and colourful tale of large-scale corruption in a rotten borough. The book gives character sketches of all the major personalities of the time. 207 pages, 70 black and white illustrations.< Less
The Sussex Coast By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $29.28
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The Sussex coast has attracted people for thousands of years - for foraging, fishing, trade and defence, and more recently for retirement and leisure. Settlements are destroyed as the sea advances or... More > stranded as it retreats; living here is exciting - and risky. Now that nearly one million people live on the Sussex coast, the problem of managing the relationship between people and the sea has become acute. A landscape history approach is used in this book, drawing on history, geography, geology, archaeology and the latest findings on coastal processes, to describe the trialogue between people, land and sea. This is essential reading for all who love the Sussex coast, are curious about its past and concerned about its future. 317pp, with 135 black and white illustrations.< Less
The Wilmington Giant By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $22.78
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This is the first book to have been written about the Long Man of Wilmington. Many different theories about the Long Man's origins are discussed and evaluated. The book is a guide to the history and... More > archaeology of the Giant's Downland setting, and will appeal to everyone who loves the landscape, heritage, history and lore of the South Downs. An expanded version of the 1983 edition, which has been described in a review as 'a modern antiquarian classic'. 258 pages, 96 black and white illustrations.< Less
All is Hush'd By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $19.63
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The story of Bishopstone church and churchyard in Sussex, with a complete record of all the inscriptions. After intensive recent research, more is known about the history of Bishopstone than about... More > most other English villages. It began as a hilltop settlement in the fifth century - a very early Saxon colony. 200 years later, the hilltop dwellers came down into the valley, where they set up a high-status minster, the administrative centre of an estate belonging to the bishops of Selsey. The beautiful Saxon church was part of this early centre, which flourished a thousand years ago. The book is an indispensable resource for family history and local history. It is also of more general interest because of its glimpses of the Saxon colonization process. It is 360 pages long, illustrated with photos and drawings. There are plans of the church and churchyard, as well as an index, to help the reader locate inscriptions - or even a lost relative.< Less
On Blatchington Beach By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $22.70
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(1 Ratings)
The biography of part of the Sussex coast is told for the first time: the central stretch of Seaford Bay. The coastline of East Blatchington parish is less than a thousand yards long, but it has had... More > a surprisingly rich and dramatic history. In 1545 it was the focus of a startling attack by a huge French fleet. In 1809 it was at the centre of the Seven Ships disaster. Exploring the history of Blatchington beach uncovers the stories of many different people: fishermen, smugglers, wreckers, coastguards, soldiers and sailors, drunkards and heroes, murderers and their victims. The biographies of several little-known figures are revealed, some of whom performed remarkable acts of bravery, saving the lives of strangers in the sea.< Less
Go Home, Dear Friends By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $18.92
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The story of Berwick church and churchyard in Sussex, with a complete record of all the monumental inscriptions. A village with an unusual history reaching back to Saxon times, Berwick was for a long... More > time left to its own devices by absent lords. Villagers managed their own affairs communally, and largely free of feudal control. The churchyard is dominated by a large Mound, which may be a Saxon burial mound. The font inside the church is Saxon too. The church was virtually rebuilt by a Victorian rector, whose detailed notes on his activities have recently come to light. The book is a major resource for family history and local history, containing many new insights and raising many new questions. There are plans of church and churchyard, as well as an index, to help the reader find an inscription, or even a lost relative. 242 pages.< Less
The Seaford Axe Hoard By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $12.57
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The fascinating story of the discovery and rediscovery of a unique prehistoric stone axe hoard. The 15 flint axes were found in 1986, but then forgotten and only displayed as a hoard in 2014, when... More > their national importance was recognized. Hoards like this are very rare. Where were the axes made? By a remarkable coincidence, the factory where they were manufactured was also discovered in 2014, very close at hand. Neolithic Seaford is re-created in new maps. From all the evidence it is possible to reconstruct what it was like to live in Sussex five thousand years ago. Royal paperback, 134 pages, 49 b&w illustrations.< Less
Heavens' Keeper By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $12.90
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A 20-minute piece of music for full string orchestra, in four movements. 'Heaven's Keeper' has its origins in 'Winfrith', a music drama to celebrate the Millennium at Brixworth Church in... More > Northamptonshire. In the wake of the first production in November 2000, 'Winfrith' was reshaped into a full-scale opera. Arranging four of the numbers for strings was a way of exploring new ways of developing the score. The result is a free-standing piece that is also a window into an opera, a little like the Sea Interludes from 'Peter Grimes' that Benjamin Britten arranged for concert performance. The piece is for medium to large string orchestra, divided into first and second violins, first and second violas, cellos and double basses.< Less
Winfrith libretto By Rodney Castleden
Paperback: $5.21
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The text for a new opera written in 2017, telling the story of Winfrith (St Boniface), the Christian missionary who was murdered in 754. This stage work was developed from the music drama... More > commissioned for the Millennium celebrations at Brixworth in 2000. The full music score is available separately from Lulu. The action is based on historical fact, and the text is based on contemporary letters that have survived - letters to and from the central characters. The work deals with the central ethical issue of religious extremism, and its destructive impact on individuals, on personal relationships and on whole communities. This is not a work of Christian triumphalism, but an exploration of the perils of religious fundamentalism, whatever the creed.< Less

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