Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

HIDDEN HISTORIES by Mary-Ann Ochota

HIDDEN HISTORIES by Mary-Ann Ochota
05 Dec
2016
There is so much history to the British landscape. What with its stone circles, hill forts, mines and umpteenth century cottages, the land is marked with centuries of use. This can make it hard to read, like a blackboard written on hundreds of times and never erased

Luckily, anthropologist and Time Team regular, Mary-Ann Ochota is here to offer you a hand. Hidden Histories is an accessible travelogue through time from prehistoric Britain to recent history. With the easy style of a handbook, it will help you become a Sherlock Holmes of the landscape, able to decipher clues and annoy your friends with factoids about British history. Ochota’s observations cover the specific, such as recognising the different types of ancient barrow, to the more general, such as the difference between the open, planned countryside of the midlands compared to the more enclosed, ancient countryside of lowland Wales and the South. Some of the most remarkable clues are those embedded in place names, and a useful dictionary reintroduces us to old meanings such as ‘aber-’a Welsh prefix for the mouth of a river or stream and ‘-caster’, ‘-chester’ and ‘-cester’, which indicate old Roman fortified sites.

She also delves into the rich history of pub names, which have been controversial for longer than you may think. ‘An editorial in The Spectator in 1710 bemoaned the fashion for foolish pub names, like Blue Boar and Flying Pig,’ she writes. However, she discusses the central role of pub signs too, which once were more than just festive decoration. ‘Pictoral signs were important in times when many people were illiterate – a crow, bull’s head or star were easy symbols to depict and recognise’. Overall, this book is a pleasure for anyone curious about the outdoors.

Click here to purchase Hidden Histories by Mary-Ann Ochota

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Films

A brutal, hard-hitting coming-of-age tale that doesn’t hold its punches

Books

by Dan Richards • Canongate • £19.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jeremy Purseglove • Profile Books • £14.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Peter Hessler • Profile Books • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard • Little, Brown • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Robert Macfarlane • Hamish Hamilton • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Exhibitions

An exhibition at the V&A brings together innovations from across…

Books

Dead in the Water edited by Bruce Shoemakers and William…

Films

A brutally realistic film about a cruel and pointless confrontation

Books

by Mike Berners-Lee • Cambridge University Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

In our attempt to control the natural world, humans have…

Books

by Sudipta Sen • Yale University Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jerry Brotton • Reaktion Books • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Colin Everard • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Pete Brown • Particular Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Paul Dobraszczyk • Reaktion Books • £18 (hardback)

Books

by Parag Khanna • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20 (hardback)

Films

It makes you angry - extremely. It makes you sad…

Books

by Rory O’Grady • The Conrad Press • £18.99 (hardback)