Review of ‘A Short History Of Chelmorton’, by David Gould

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by David Gould
Published by the author (2008)

Local interest in this new publication has been strong since its inception and author David Gould acknowledges that 'To name everyone would take me forever ...' This support has encouraged and enabled him to achieve his aim of concentrating solely on recording a great deal of the history of Chelmorton, where he still lives in the house where he was born. David had already been collecting and copying old local photographs for some years before turning his attention to finding out about generations of the villagers themselves and, especially, where they lived, as revealed by old records including census returns and church registers.

He takes the reader on a detailed tour all around Chelmorton, starting at Brierlow Bar and coming home over The Low. Along the way he provides a mass of historical background and reveals changes brought about by time, from almost forgotten business ventures to road widening to new uses for farms with pedigrees going back hundreds of years.

Amongst stories of hardworking country folk, with even the occasional rogue, come legends of ghosts, fairies and witches. Snippets of local knowledge are tucked in along the way, so we learn that the first house in the village to have a flush toilet 'caused an outcry at wasting good water'. Then there was the resident Professor who loved holding parties but whose guests had good reason for not eating the food - 'one night he had made some sausage rolls and they had mouse tails hanging from them.'

David has managed to trace the occupants of an impressive number of properties, sometimes spanning several centuries and often held by the same families. It comes as no surprise to learn that he has been diligently 'digging' since 1990. His Short History of Chelmorton is told across 70 spiral bound A4 pages illustrated with rare historic images.

Review by Julie Bunting

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