Heart of Albion






A study in Somerset stone carving

Peter Poyntz Wright

High up on the famous church towers of Somerset, almost lost to the eye except for their silhouettes, are an amazing series of grotesque stone figures. Carved in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to ornament corners and break up straight sections of masonry, these figures are known in some rural areas as hunky punks.

This book combines a fascinating historical and architectural study with a stunning collection of photographs. Peter Poyntz-Wright's research provides the first thorough account of the hunky punks and gives us a direct insight into the medieval mind. He examines the techniques and influences of the medieval masons, and considers methods of attachment and the effects of weathering.

The author has recorded a host of hitherto unknown and inaccessible medieval carvings the first time and possibly for the last. They include such creatures as dragons, griffins, hounds, stags, heraldic creatures, a basilisk, the devil, a woman in childhood, and many others. However many of the hunk punks are suffering seriously from the effects of wearing, and some, without costly restoration, may not survive for many more years.

ISBN 978 1872 883 755. 2004.
A5 (210 x 148 mm), 156 + x pages, 76 black and white photographs; 3 line drawings, paperback.
(new edition with revised photographs)







edited by Bob Trubshaw

There is much to discover about the villages of Burton on the Wolds, Cotes, Hoton, Prestwold, Walton on the Wolds and Wymeswold. This collection of essays and biographies starts with pagan Anglo-Saxon settlers and continues to within living memory. Or least living memory for the contributors, if not everyone living in the Wolds now.

A great many of the contributions are about the people who were born or lived in this part of north Leicestershire. Herein are the 'great and the good' and all types in between. They include a locally- famous schoolmaster-cum-antiquarian; two men who both collected plants and climbed mountains; asoldier involved in the Charge of the Light Brigade; a man transported to Australia; the 'gentry' who built Burton Hall; all the owners and occupiers of one of the manor farms; a Second World War airman who miraculously survived; a once-famous speedway rider; and a girl with a passion for riding horses.

ISBN 978-0-9517343-7-7. Septembr 2020.
245 x 175 mm, 113 + iv pages, 19 colour photos, 84 b&w photos; 2 maps, paperback.


Distributed by Heart of Albion on behalf of Wolds Historical Organisation




edited by Bob Trubshaw

Discovering the Wolds offers new insights into the history in the western half of the Leicestershire Wolds. Starting about 1500 years ago, the twenty-four chapters steadily moved closer to modern times, discussing a wide variety of topics. Although we do not always know the names of the people involved, the history of the Wolds – as indeed anywhere – is the sum total of how people for dozens of generations have lived their lives and the changes, minor or major, which they brought about. The Wolds is how it is because of those living before us, just as we too will leave a rich legacy for those who follow after.

ISBN 978-1-9517343-4-0. Septembr 2017.
245 x 175 mm, 100 + iv pages, 28 colour photos, 79 b&w photos; 9 line drawings, 2 maps, paperback.


Distributed by Heart of Albion on behalf of Wolds Historical Organisation



Memories of an Edwardian childhood

Sarah Dallaston

One of Heart of Albion's earliest booklets, first published in 1991, 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. Sarah grew up at the Bottom Lock Cottage, later the shop and now part of the Foxton Locks Inn. She later worked on farms in nearby villages, such as Clipston, and moved to Stoneygate and then Braunstone.


Originally published 1991. Now available as a free PDF download only. Note that the original edition only had blck and white illustrations whereas in PDF version they have been replaced by full-colour versions, where possible.

Download Around Foxton for FREE (12.5 megabyte PDF)



The story of the lost sons of Wymeswold

Ivor J. Perry

Over a hundred years have passed since the 'Great War' engulfed thousands of small communities. Around eighty men from Wymeswold, out of a total population of under eight hundred, are known to have served with the army during the hostilities.

The tide of history has receded, leaving thirty names on memorials to the fallen. Who were these 'lost sons'? What was the story of their lives and deaths? The numbers of deaths as a proportion of those who served is almost three times the national average. How did the village react?

Most people assume that villages were composed of families that had lived locally for generations. This book shows that then, as now, 'old' families and 'incomers' lived and worked side by side. As well as discovering the stories of these 'lost sons', Ivor Perry brings to life the diverse community of people who lived in Wymeswold around the start of the twentieth century.

Ivor Perry's first loves were History and then English – the subject he read at Jesus College, Cambridge. Two more degrees and several careers later he has returned to those first passions. He now researches and gives lectures about the First World War and its literature. He has lived in Wymeswold for seventeen years.

ISBN 978-1-951734-35-0. Nov 2014.
245 x 175 mm, 201 + viii pages, 62 b&w photos; 10 maps, paperback.


Distributed by Heart of Albion on behalf of Wolds Historical Organisation


second edition

Bob Trubshaw

Drawing upon nearly twenty-five years of research, Little-known Leicestershire and Rutland provides a unique source of information on the counties' holy wells, standing stones, ancient crosses and medieval carvings. arranged as twelve bicycle or car tours, with introductory information. The second edition is fully revised with entirely new illustrations and maps.

ISBN 978-1-905646-17-3. October 2010. Demi 8vo (215 x 138 mm), 147 + x pages, 71 b&w photos; 2 line drawings; 11 maps.




Six Hills and Vernemetum, Leicestershire

Bob Trubshaw

Little is known about the Roman small town on the Leicestershire:Nottinghamshire borders except its name: Vernemetum. This means the 'Great or Especially Sacred Grove' and tells us there was a regionally or perhaps even nationally important Iron Age ritual site in the vicinity.

In trying to understand more about this Iron Age site Bob Trubshaw also looks at the likely Anglo-Saxon successor, the hundred moot site at Six Hills a mile or so to the south.

This detailed look at these places is based on current academic research combined with twenty-five years of fieldwork and personal research. By looking closely at these places he also helps us to understand more clearly Anglo-Saxon ritual sites elsewhere.

The Especially Sacred Grove both draws upon and supercedes Bob Trubshaw's previous publications about Six Hills and the Leicestershire Wolds.

Published March 2012. Revised and published as Volume Seven of The Twlight Age March 2016. Available as a free PDF download only.

Download The Especially Sacred Grove for FREE (4 megabyte PDF)




retold by Black Annis

'Let's you and I get a thing or two straight. The name's Black Annis, but you may call me 'Cat Anna' between yourselves but not to my face, if you value the appearance of yours. There've been days when the aches and pains make me a bit awkward at times, I'll admit as much myself. I've been known to get a bit upset when silly little kids used to play around outside my cave and shout rude remarks like me being an old witch.'

But is she or isn't she? Just an old woman with an attitude problem or actually more of a witch? Herself one of Leicester's best-known legends, Black Annis never quite lets on if she really knows more than she is prepared to say about the Old Ways. But in her direct manner, and with a bit of help from some of her friends, she retells some of the tales of Leicestershire in a way they've never been heard before, with local phrases and dialect rather than written out all posh.

Phantom black hounds, weird goings on where saints were murdered, very odd ways of finding water, pipers who enter underground tunnels and are never seen again, stories about stones, strange lights in the sky, and any number of ghosts it's all happened in Leicestershire and much more besides, at least if these legends are to be believed.

Black Annis's engaging way of telling of these Leicestershire legends will appeal to all ages and especially to those who think they've heard all this old stuff before.

Specially illustrated by Jenny Clarke, one of Britain's leading tattoo designers.

'I really enjoyed reading this collection. The stories are so well told and the printing is so well done that you can feel you are actually there listening to conversations about ghosts, UFOs, old Leicestershire witch trials, phantom hounds, silent sentinels, and so much more. There's just enough of local dialect to add to the reality… Highly recommended.'
Francis Cameron Pentacle

'… a rattling good read… '
Anna Franklin Silver Wheel

'Although seemingly light-hearted with its glorious cover art, whimsical storytelling manner and presentation as the ramblings of an old witch, Lleicestershire Legends has the same serious intent as the other books produced by Heart of Albion Press. Whilst the form may belie it, the content is an important work recording both local lore and its likely interpretation… all told in marvellous prose.'
D J Tyrer Monomyth

'A bit of fun, and a good selection of local curiosities… '
John Billingsley Northern Earth

ISBN 978 1872 883 779. 2004.
Demy 8vo (215 x 138 mm), 99 + xiv pages, 10 line drawings, paperback.





Medieval Carvings of Leicestershire and Rutland

Bob Trubshaw

Grimacing gargoyles adorn many of the churches in Leicestershire and Rutland. Alongside them are a wide range of imaginary beasties, foliate faces and Green Men, face-pulling heads, contortionists, and other imaginative figurative carvings. While those on the outside of the churches may be badly weathered, their counterparts inside are usually near-perfect examples of the medieval mason's skills.

Leicestershire and Rutland is fortunate in having more such carvings than in adjoining counties, although this wealth of medieval art has been unjustly overlooked by church historians. These depictions provide a unique insight into the often rather disturbing thinking of the craftsmen who carved them many hundreds of years ago, people who are otherwise almost entirely invisible from historical records.

The aim of the Good Gargoyle Guide is to encourage people who would not normally take an interest in church architecture to get out and about hunting further examples of these extraordinary sculptures.

'This excellent guide... is a typical Heart of Albion publication: thoroughly researched, nicely presented and also affordable!'
John Hinks Leicestershire Historian

ISBN 978 1872 883 700. 2004.
Demy 8vo (215 x 138 mm), 100 + xii pages, 151 b&w photographs, paperback.





Jill Bourne

We take for granted the names we use for places. Yet these names are a valuable part of our cultural heritage, providing a detailed insight into the early history of the region. Place-names reveal the otherwise lost voices of our forebears who settled here.

Understanding Leicestershire and Rutland Place-names analyses the whole range of place-names which occur in Leicestershire and Rutland, most of which were coined between 1,000 and 1,500 years ago. These place-names describe, often in fine detail, the landscape, geology, rivers, buildings, flora, fauna, boundaries, meeting places, roads and track-ways. This book also looks at the distribution of the names, the languages from which they are derived, the successive waves of conquerors and migrants who fought and settled here, and the society they created.

Jill Bourne is an historian, archaeologist and museum professional who has specialised in the area of place-name studies and landscape history for over 20 years.

'... this will surely be the standard reference work on its subject for many years to come.'
John Hinks Leicestershire Historian

'... a useful little handbook... '
Veronica Smart Nomina

ISBN 978 1872 883 717. 2003.
Demy 8vo (215 x 138 mm), 145 + viii pages. 5 maps, paperback.







Bob Trubshaw

A guide to the history of all the villages in Rutland, with the emphasis on places that can be seen or visited. Based on the author's sixteen years of research into the little-known aspects of the county.

Bob Trubshaw's Heart of Albion Press has made a significant contribution to local history publishing in the East Midlands and this latest offering maintains the publisher's reputation for informative books, attractively produced and, importantly, at an affordable price. This A to Z account of the villages of Rutland – a county unsurpassed, in the words of W.G. Hoskins, for its 'unspoiled, quiet charm' – is both readable and very easy to use. Introductory material includes a short outline of Rutland's history and a brief glossary: very useful if you need to check the meaning of architectural terms...
John Hinks Leicestershire Historian

ISBN 978 1872 883 694. 2003.
Demy 8vo (215 x 138 mm), 73 + x pages, 53 b&w photos, paperback


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