Tales of the Vale: The ‘A Forgotten Landscape’ History Research Project – Introduction

"A Forgotten Landscape is an exciting project designed to reconnect local people with their heritage in the Lower Severn Vale Levels. One strand of this Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnership Project is a community history project called Tales of the Vale". Bainbridge introduces the project, and how it interprets the landscape of the South West.

A Purpose for Purposefulness? Seeking a role for perceptual drawing in historical research

"I am a figurative painter whose work is rooted in drawing (both literally and metaphorically) from the world around me. After many years spent coming to terms with the purposelessness of my art practice, I have found that other people are beginning to find a purpose in what I do. This article will explore whether my artist's perception of place, expressed through the indeterminate medium of drawing, can find some purpose by making a contribution to historical research".

In search of an ‘England’s past for everyone’ in Ilfracombe, Devon: a digital history and heritage project

By Andrew Jackson Issue 17, Summer, 2007 pp.32-34. Andrew Jackson looks at some of the work of the Victoria County History (VCH), and their project in Ifracombe in north Devon. The group launched the ‘Devon’s History and Heritage’ project 100 years after the Devon volume of the VCH was first published. The new project explored different ways to approach Devon’s history by utilising image analysis and oral history.   17… Continue reading In search of an ‘England’s past for everyone’ in Ilfracombe, Devon: a digital history and heritage project

She might have, which is all that matters: History, drama and the case of Mary Hamilton, 1746

Mary Hamilton was perhaps the most notorious cross-dresser or ‘female-husband’ of her day. She lived in Somerset, among other places, and was the subject of scandal across the country for her habitual crime of marrying other women. Her story was preserved in the pages of an anonymous pamphlet by a famous contemporary novelist and dramatist. Through the story of Mary Hamilton, Sheila Hannon considers the rights and responsibilities of modern-day novelists and dramatists in their use of historical evidence. To what extent can writers take liberties with historical record in the name of ‘dramatic license’, when much of the ‘historical evidence’ that remains is itself fiction?

‘Reconciled to modern Taste?’: the mysterious disappearance of William Blathwayt’s grand cascade at Dyrham Park’

Outside of their contemporary depictions, few of the Baroque gardens that were typical of the seventeenth century survive today. The Georgians preferred a more naturalistic style, and so the anachronistic gardens of the Stuart era faded away into the past. Such is the case with William Blathwayt’s spectacular gardens at Durham Park; but these gardens were home to an impressive piece of engineering which has long been puzzling historians. The jewel of the gardens was an ostentatious water feature which, from an engineering perspective, was ahead of its time. The mechanics that powered the feature remain a mystery. Based on a report by Hyla Holden, Steve Poole addresses the question of how the cascade was powered, and whether changing fashion was the sole cause for such a spectacle to fall into disuse.