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The Heritage Traveller

Travel, History, and exploring British Heritage

A History of Sussex

A History of Sussex Book Review

In 1912 an amateur archaeologist named Charles Dawson astounded the scientific world when he discovered the earliest human remains ever found in a gravel pit near the Sussex village of Piltdown, north of Lewes. Dawson built a worldwide reputation for his discovery, but that reputation was left in tatters when it emerged some 4 decades later that the skeletal remains were part of an elaborate hoax, with the skull constructed from a mix of human and ape bones carefully painted to give them an appearance of great age.

The story of Piltdown Man is one of the opening salvos of a fascinating new book by Philip Payton entitled 'A History of Sussex', from Carnegie Publishing.

Payton has done a magnificent job of covering the broad sweep of Sussex history, from the first dinosaurs to the Roman invasion, from the Roman Saxon Shore forts to the devastation of the Black Death, and Sussex in the Railway Age to how people lived through the dark days of the Battle of Britain.


Posted: 2017-10-17
Read more: Book Review: A History of Sussex


A Visitor's Guide to Georgian England

A Visitor's Guide to Georgian England Book Review

Imagine you could travel back in time to Georgian England. It sounds like the premise for a new TV series along the lines of Outlander, but it's the idea behind Monica Hall's intriguing book, 'A Visitor's Guide to Georgian England', from Pen and Sword Books.

This is history with a difference; rather than the sort of dull history book you might have been subjected to in school, Hall's delightful book makes the Georgian period come alive, as she describes what you, the time-travelling visitor, can expect to see, hear, even smell as you navigate your way through Georgian life, from fashion to entertainment, medicine to education, how to behave in polite society, and what you can expect if you venture into the shadows that lurk beyond polite society.


Posted: 2017-10-02
Read more: Book Review: A Visitor's Guide to Georgian England


Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs

Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs Book Review

In 1834 a group of poor farm workers in the Dorset village of Tolpiddle gathered together to form the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, with the aim of banding together to bargain for better wages from farm owners.

Tolpiddle (soon to be renamed Tolpuddle so the name didn't offend 19th-century sensibilities) was a rural backwater near Dorchester, an agricultural area dependent on large numbers of labourers, whose backbreaking labour was ill-paid at best and often bordered on starvation wages.


Posted: 2017-08-17
Read more: Book Review: Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs


London Curiosities

London Curiosities Book Review

Did you know ...?

That's the question I kept asking my wife while reading John Wade's delightful little book 'London Curiosities'. As in 'Did you know there's a traffic bollard in Bankside made from a French cannon captured at the Battle of Trafalgar?', or, 'Did you know there's a network of underground passages and vaults under Camden Market known as the Camden Catacombs?', or one of my favourites, 'Did you know that the official Centre of London is the statue of King Charles I on the south side of Trafalgar Square?".


Posted: 2017-04-11
Read more: London Curiosities: The Capital's Odd & Obscure, Weird and Wonderful Places


The History of Newgate Prison

The History of Newgate Prison Book Review

In 1740 the public executioner at Newgate Prison gave the corpse of a thief named William Duell to the Royal College of Physicians to dissect. The College had the right to receive 10 corpses per year for medieval research, and their dissections drew large crowds to Barber-Surgeons Hall in Wood Street. Imagine the scene when the 'corpse' came to life on the dissection table. It seems that Duell had survived his hanging, and regained consciousness just in time to avoid being dissected while still alive. He was not re-executed, but sentenced to transportation to America.

The case of the living corpse is just one of the colourful episodes in the history of Newgate Prison that come to life in this delicious book by Caroline Jowett. In this thoroughly researched and colourfully written little book the story of Newgate comes to life.


Posted: 2017-03-06
Read more: The History of Newgate Prison Review


Museum of London Archaeology Time Truck

Museum of London Archaeology Time Truck at Tune Hotel Liverpool Street, London

The Museum of London's Time Truck will be showcasing archaeological finds from London's Spitalfields district on 8-9 September in a free event. Some of the objects were found during excavations on the site of the Tune Hotel, Liverpool Street, and the hotel is offering a special discount to mark the Time Truck event.


Posted: 2016-08-26
Read more: Museum of London Archaeology Time Truck at Tune Hotel Liverpool Street


A Visitor's Guide to Jane Austen's England

A Visitor's Guide to Jane Austen's England Review

The perils of travel in Jane Austen's England were many, from bad roads to highwaymen, but perhaps the most peculiar peril of all occurred in October 1816 when a horse pulling the Exeter mail coach was attacked by an escaped lioness. The passengers travelling in the coach ran into a nearby inn while the coachman and guard tried to hold onto the horses and fight off the lioness. Thankfully the lioness's keeper appeared and recaptured the big cat before she could kill the horses.

That's just one of the wonderful historic vignettes in Sue Wilkes' beautifully written 'A Visitors Guide to Jane Austen's England'.


Posted: 2016-07-08
Read more: A Visitor's Guide to Jane Austen's England Review


A Visitors Guide to Shakespeare's London

A Visitors Guide to Shakespeare's London Review

William Shakespeare would be pilloried in the tabloid press today; he seems to have made a habit of avoiding paying his taxes, and in 1599 the authorities came after him.


Posted: 2016-06-08
Read more: A Visitors Guide to Shakespeare's London Review


Dr Who Experience

Dr Who Experience, Cardiff - Review and Photos

Here at Britain Express we focus on heritage, history, and 'traditional' Britain. Can't you just hear 'Rule Britannia' starting to play in the background? But we also have a 13 year-old-daughter who is absolutely bonkers for Dr Who. So, on a recent trip to Glamorgan to explore historic castles, gardens, stately homes, and the like, we couldn't pass up the chance to visit the Dr Who Experience in Cardiff.


Posted: 2014-09-01
Read more: Dr Who Experience, Cardiff




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