December 2018

This month saw the launch of a fascinating new book about Sherborne Abbey’s bells.  The Bells of Sherborne Abbey: the Heaviest Ring of Eight in the World, written by Katherine Barker, President of the Sherborne Museum,  and Peter Soole, one of the ringers at Sherborne Abbey, describes several key events in the Abbey’s story from the 8th century to the present day and the part played in those events by the bells and the townsfolk who rang them.

October 2018

The 400th anniversary of the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh has been marked by two new publications: Sir Walter Raleigh by Maria Wingfield Digby (Pitkin Books) and Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh by Anna Beer (Oneworld Publications).

In October 2018, The Dovecote Press published two new titles: David Burnett’s Lost Dorset: The Villages and Countryside which features 350 photographs from the Barry Cuff Collection of Dorset Postcards 1880-1920, and Tony Gould’s Lady Susan’s Unsuitable Marriage which tells the story of Lady Susan Fox-Strangways elopement with a penniless Irish actor.

September 2018

In September 2018, Impress Books published Nicholas Orme’s Medieval Pilgrimage: with a Survey of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Bristol.  Blackwell’s review states that: Pilgrimage was popular throughout medieval England until it was supressed at the Reformation. This book explains how it originated, what it involved, and what it meant to those who practiced it. Normally, it is imagined in terms of long journeys to famous places in England or Christendom. In fact, most pilgrimages were short ones, made to hundreds of nearby shrines and images. This study breaks new ground by exploring the subject through these local journeys and reveals the places that most people visited for most of the time. It shows who went, where and why they went, and what they experienced when they got there.

May 2018

In May 2018, Yale University Press published Michael Hill’s revised, updated and expanded edition for the county of Dorset in their Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of England series.

Yale University Press state that: The volume offers a fresh and comprehensive account of the buildings of Dorset, one of England’s best-loved and most beautiful counties. With its wonderful variety of building stones, Dorset offers visual pleasures which few English counties can match. Its country houses are exceptionally rich and varied, from medieval Woodsford and Athelhampton to the late Victorian splendors of Norman Shaw’s Bryanston. Highlights among the churches include the former abbeys of Sherborne, Wimborne, and Milton. Towns include the mid-Georgian showpiece of Blandford Forum, the seaside resort of Weymouth, and ports large and small, from busy Poole to charming Lyme Regis. Featuring all new colour photography, this volume is the ideal guide to one of the most architecturally rewarding regions in England.

April 2018

In April 2018, the Boydell Press published the latest in their Music in Britain, 1600-2000 series, Stephen Banfield’s Music in the West Country: Social and Cultural History Across an English Region.  This is the first regional history of music in England.

November 2017

Dorset Record Society has just published a new volume, Treswell’s Survey of Purbeck 1585-86.  

When Elizabeth I’s courtier Sir Christopher Hatton acquired lands in Purbeck he commissioned Ralph Treswell to produce a survey of his estate. Treswell used the most advanced and revolutionary mapping techniques to create a document that still conveys the character of the late Tudor landscape. The detailed plan of Corfe Castle gives an insight into the building’s features and construction only sixty years before its destruction in the Civil War.

This facsimile edition reproduces all of his maps, together with maps by Saxton and Hawsted with which they were bound, the accompanying written survey and a transcription in modern English.

Martin Papworth, National Trust regional archaeologist, Rose Mitchell, map curator at the National Archives, together with Jenny Halling Barnard, conservator, and Mark Forrest, archivist, of the Dorset History Centre, introduce the text in four essays that provide a national cartographic, archaeological and historic context by exploring the themes of early map making, land use, manuscript conservation and estate management.

October 2016

Please note that the postal address for Dorset Record Society is now: c/o Dorset History Centre, Bridport Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1RP

July 2016

In July 2016, Halsgrove Books published Emma Down and Adrian Webb’s Somerset Mapped: Cartography in the County and throughout the Centuries (Halsgrove Books).  Somerset Mapped explores the different depictions of the ancient county of Somerset and its districts as it has been shown by mapmakers and cartographers across the centuries. Arranged chronologically, this volume includes examples of maps, plans and charts showing aspects of Somerset’s past from the Bronze Age to the present. Maps have been selected from archives, libraries and private collections from across the country.

February 2015

Searchable facsimile copies of SDNQ, 1890 – 1980 are now available at

November 3 2014

Ann Smith has sent the following notice:

Michael Hill’s latest book, West Dorset Country Houses, is described by Amazon as: A splendidly comprehensive account of the country houses in the western half of Dorset, which accompanies the author s previous acclaimed volume on the houses of the eastern part of the county. West Dorset presents a contrast with its intimate valleys and hidden houses. Major houses include Milton Abbey, built alongside a vast medieval monastic church and a rare example of Sir William Chambers Gothick style. Its chief rival is the startlingly original Sherborne Castle, left incomplete by Sir Walter Raleigh at his execution. More than 40 further equally entrancing major houses are explained and more than 80 others follow in a comprehensive gazetteer. It is richly illustrated with both historic illustrations and sumptuous colour photographs taken especially for the book. This is for anyone who loves the beautiful county of Dorset or admires the riches of English country houses. Michael Hill is a widely-recognised expert on country-house architecture and is the reviser of the Buildings of England volume for Dorset.

May 30 2013

The University of Adelaide has sent the following notice:

This week the University of Adelaide Press is launching the book The Sound of William Barnes’s Dialect Poems.  Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, first collection (1844) by T.L. Burton (available in two editions, paperback and a free downloadable PDF version).

It is the first volume of a series, developed from Tom Burton’s groundbreaking study William Barnes’s Dialect Poems: A Pronunciation Guide (The Chaucer Studio Press, 2010), which sets out to demonstrate for the first time what all of Barnes’s dialect poems would have sounded like in the pronunciation of his own time and place.  Every poem is accompanied by a facing-page phonemic transcription and by an audio recording freely available from our website.

Emeritus Professor Tom Burton has worked for the University of Adelaide since 1974.  His current research focus is the poetry of William Barnes.  He regularly organises performances of Barnes’ poetry in the poet’s original Dorset dialect for the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

For more details visit the University of Adelaide Press

In 2017, Tom Burton published two further volumes with the University of Adelaide Press:

The Sound of William Barnes’s Dialect Poems: 2. Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, second collection (1859).

The Sound of William Barnes’s Dialect Poems: 3. Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect, third collection (1862).