Update on new local history research/writing projects

I have not been posting many new blogs recently, apart from the Allotment Diary, because I have been busy researching and writing two longer articles for publication.

The first is about the medieval pilgrimage to the Chapel on the Barrington Hill. It discusses not only the evidence for this shrine but also looks more deeply into the lives and motivations of the antiquaries, local historians and village residents who over the years did much to preserve and maintain the history. It’s a study about how  ‘local history’ is created and passed on. This piece is more or less finished and I am now looking to publish in pamphlet form since it will be too long to post as a blog. I will however blog the introduction to give a flavour of the piece before publication, with details of how to purchase a copy.

The second piece, which is in the research phase at the moment, is a detailed study of the history of fruit farming in the Rhee valley. This industry arose in the mid 19th century, with the coming of the railway, and lasted until the 1970s, reaching a peak in the 1920s and 30s.

The article will be looking at both the social and economic aspects; looking at the people who owned or worked in the orchards;  how fruit farming fitted in to the agrarian economy of the district; looking at developments in fruit cultivation methods and techniques and of course the varieties of fruit under cultivation.

It’s a story about the rise and fall of a once important sector of our local economy which will be of interest to many  local residents, particularly those whose forbears may have worked in the orchards!


About jonathanspain

My blog reflects my interests in local history in South Cambridgeshire, growing your own food, and walking in the district and elsewhere
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