Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ledbury: A Market Town and its Tudor Heritage

Reaching into the secrets of the past is never easy, but a group of dedicated volunteers and professionals are celebrating the fruits of their labours with a new book, Ledbury: A Market Town and its Tudor Heritage, thanks to a project supported by the University of Gloucestershire.

Dr Janet Cooper, chairman of the Victoria County History Trust for Herefordshire, welcomed guests and introduced well-known historian Sir Roy Strong, who inaugurated the Herefordshire English Past for Everyone (EPE) project in 2005, and officially launched the book.

Author Dr Sylvia Pinches is team leader of the Herefordshire EPE project and the University has supported her position in partnership with Herefordshire Heritage Services, the Trust for the Victoria County History of Herefordshire, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Embracing everything from gathering oral histories to examining 13th century manuscripts, people living in and around Ledbury were invited to attend public meetings to find out how they could get involved. The dedicated team gave up their free time to examine everything from 13th century manuscripts to brickmaking, and researching the history of today’s street names.

Dr Pinches said: “It has been a delight to work on the history of this lovely market town. Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming. I must thank the volunteers for all their enthusiasm and hard work, which has added so much to this volume. They have also been busy researching the medieval period, to contribute to a second volume on Ledbury’s earlier history, which will be published next year.”

The project is run by Victoria County History, which is based at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. Volunteers are working alongside authors in 10 counties around the country to bring their heritage to life. The project is also working closely with schools with its hands on Tudor History Tour workshop.

Research from the book, including images, historical documents and transcribed wills, can be accessed for free from the project website at