Starting with the evidence for prehistoric man in the parish, the book covers the recent archaeological excavations and evidence for settlement in the Roman period, the building of the Saxon dyke, and the arrival of the Normans.
It is the latter who built the castle, the lords of which were to sometimes play an important role in national events, at times supporting the Crown, at times in rebellion against it. One, Sir Simon Burley, was tutor to Richard II. From the 1600s more can be discovered about the wider population of the parish from their wills and inventories, which give a feel for their homes, occupations and farming methods. The management of the open fields has been gleaned from the records of the manor court, and the process of the gradual enclosure of these fields explored through estate maps. The work of the overseers in supporting the poor, often with sensitivity, is recorded. Stories of crimes, notably theft but also of slander and drunken misbehaviour abound.
The appearance and disappearance of local pubs, the shifting of the village centre, the local woollen trade, the various mills, and the coming of the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the tramway are all covered in a book which is informative not just about Lyonshall, but about rural conditions in north-western Herefordshire over the course of several centuries.
Paperback | 208 pages | 242 x 171 mm | 2017
70 colour and 60 b&w illustrations