Heart of Albion







Illustration by Ian Brown      Illustration by Ian Brown

Publishing frighteningly good books since 1989

Heart of Albion, 2 Cross Hill Close, Wymeswold, Loughborough, LE12 6UJ
01509 881342

Not just books and e-books but now videos too!

HOAP ident

'HOAP' was once an acronym for 'Heart of Albion Press' – although the 'Press' was dropped around twenty years ago. Now it is an acronym for 'Heart of Albion Productions'.

The first six videos from Heart of Albion Productions, all by Bob Trubshaw, went online in April 2018 – more will follow later in the year. Three of the videos are based on the book Little-known Leicestershire and Rutland:

Three other videos relate to the medieval carvings of Leicestershire and Rutland and Project Gargoyle

All these links can also be found on Bob Trubshaw's YouTube Channel


new and recent

Tales from the Railway: The life and times of the Whittlecreek and
Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway and the Queen Alexandra Arts Centre

something somewhat contrary to usual Heart of Albion fare

Tales from the Railwaycover

Welcome to the tales from imaginary heritage railway in the top left-hand corner of Norfolk with rolling stock inspired by Rowland Emett's cartoons of the 1940s and 50s.

Tales from the Railway can be downloaded for free.

Medieval Carvings in Colour

Medieval Carvings in Colour cover

Although we are accustomed to seeing Romanesque and later medieval carvings as bare stone, this is not how they would have been envisaged by their makers and patrons. Before the nineteenth century Gothic Revival such sculpture would have been painted, often in ways which now might seem rather garish. Medieval Carvings in Colour is a response to requests for information about how Romanesque and later medieval carvings would originally have been painted.

Medieval Carvings in Colour can be downloaded for free.

Thinking About Places

Thinking About Places cover

Thinking About Places pivots around Bob Trubshaw's observation that "… because we spend our lives in a variety of different types of places means we are about as oblivious to the nuances of 'theory of place' as a fish is to the water it swims in."

Thinking About Places can be downloaded for free.

Swithland Slate Headstone   Swithland Slate headstone   Swithland Slate headstone

Although not a Heart of Albion publication, we are most happy to promote David Lea's detailed study of Swithland Slate headstones. The photographs are, frankly, amazing. Nowt wrong with the background information and discussion either!

The PDF can be downloaded for free: Swithland Slate Headstones but please note it's over 80Mbytes so maybe slow on less-than-ideal web connections.

Around Foxton

One of Heart of Albion's earliest booklets – Around Foxton: Memories of an Edwardian childhood by Sarah Dallaston – is now available as a free PDF. Anyone who knows Foxton Locks in south Leicestershire will be intrigued by this account of life there a century ago.

The Twilight Age series

A series of free PDF books shedding new light on the 'Dark Ages'.

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other free PDFs

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other free downloads


books to buy

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Heart of Albion Press was founded in 1989 by Bob Trubshaw to publish Leicestershire and Rutland local history. By the mid-1990s titles had diversified into archaeology and mythology. In September 2002 Heart of Albion launched Explore Books, a series of books providing accessible overviews of the latest academic thinking relating to folklore, mythology and social history. In June 2004 a further imprint, Alternative Albion was launched to promote titles with more overtly counter-culture interest.

Why 'Heart of Albion'?

The term 'Heart of Albion' was apparently first used by Paul Devereux in 1975 in the title of two articles about Leicestershire (a heart-shaped county situated just above the middle of England) written for The Ley Hunter magazine. Back in 1989 when Heart of Albion Press was founded with the intention of publishing titles about Leicestershire local history this metaphor seemed particularly appropriate, especially as Wymeswold (where Heart of Albion was founded) is situated in the 'cleft' of the heart shape.

Why 'Alternative Albion'?

The name 'Alternative Albion' draws upon the use of Albion as an ancient poetic name for pre-Roman Britain. As early as the 1st century AD Pliny wrote: Albion ipsi nomen fuit cum Britanniae vocarentur omnes. This has long been thought to derive from the Latin albus ('white') as a reference to the colour of the chalk cliffs on the south coast. However recent research suggests there was a 'Celtic' (strictly 'British') word stem albio- which meant 'the land, the country'. This survives in the modern Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, 'Alba'.

Albion became personified as a primaeval giant who roamed Britain. G.K. Chesteron recognised this 'elemental and emblematic giant' in the poetry of Chaucer, 'with our native hills for his bones and our native forests for his beard.… a single figure outlined against the sea and a great face staring at the sky.' Albion also features in the poetry of William Blake, suggesting an English utopia. In Jerusalem he wrote 'All things begin and end in Albion's ancient, Druid rocky shore'.

In 1974 a group of London-based activists created the idea of a network of independent collectives and communities under the name Albion Free State, loosely based on the Dutch 'Orange Free State' movement founded in 1970. George McKay in Senseless Acts of Beauty (Verso 1996) considers that Albion is the alternative Britain to that of industrialism, privilege and over-mighty government; ideas that seem to be increasingly relevant in the early 21st century than they were in the 1970s.

For more Albion-related associations see the Wikipedia entry for 'Albion'.

If you would like to receive an email when Heart of Albion publish new titles then please email with the subject line 'Join HOAP update list'. Let us know if you have specific interests e.g. local history; folklore; mythology. Heart of Albion Press does not sell or share any information you send.

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www.hoap.co.uk - albion@indigogroup.co.uk   Heart of Albion Press 2 Cross Hill Close, Wymeswold, Loughborough, LE12 6UJ, UK telephone 01509 881342