The Hosking Houses Trust have produced two publications that are linked by subject matter.
Round the Square and Up the Tower: Clifford Chambers, Warwickshire is an eclectic study of the church, the river and the immediate surrounding area of this village. Part picture book and part history and published by HHT in November 2013, its success prompted the commission of ten contemporary writers to contribute short stories for an anthology, Kiss and Part.
This hump of land above the flood line of the River Stour has been occupied since Anglo-Saxon times and we felt this worthy of study. Basically, the Square was once a farmyard of some sort but it is now a highly desirable village location in Shakespeare-land, and how the one became the other is our subject. The church dominates the Square and we wanted to produce a study of it that relates its existence to the one time humble houses all around, and to do it with lots and lots of pictures.
This is one of our favourite composite photographs: it shows some of the doors in the Square and nearby, which vary from being locked and unused to clean and painted.
A review is included in the Press link, but one comment that has delighted us is included here.
Ronald Blythe is forever remembered for his 1969 masterpiece Akenfield: portrait of an English village. This was his comment on Round the Square and Up the Tower.
‘Round the Square and Up the Tower‘ is the most wonderful village history. How good of you to give it to me. It is a lesson to those who write about such things and I shall treasure it. I am always moved by there being a sound basic outline to such books, the agriculture, the poverty, the buildings and the education, the two world wars etc. yet each account is subtly different. All those 19th century faces, with their innocence, plus their knowing what we no longer know. The other excellence of ‘Round the Square and Up the Tower‘ is the scholarly way in which you tie-in an ancient community with our national history- it is so well done. I have a shelf of such books and yours will be an example of how they should be written. But then you could hardly do less with Shakespeare looking over your shoulder.
Thank you again for such a fine gift, and kindest wishes.
Sarah Hosking with Ronald Blythe at Bottengorms Farm, 2013
Available on Amazon £10
Kiss and Part – an anthology
This stellar list of ten contemporary writers were all invited to stay at Church Cottage, adjacent to the churchyard in Clifford Chambers. Their brief was then to write a short story based on the immediate area at some time or in some way, and also to refer to the first line of Michael Drayton‘s most famous sonnet-
‘Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part’
Imaginative and varied, these ten stories present a unique collection with a strong sense of place.
Published by Canterbury Press 2019 at £16.99
Available from all major bookshops and on Amazon
ISBN 978 1 78622 192 6