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Pre-reformation Wills
Adrian IV
A new biography by Adrian Waddingham

Breakspear - The English Pope

Adrian Waddingham

Format: Hard-back book

Price: £20

This outstanding new biography of the only English pope, a local boy from Bedmond who worked his way to the throne of St Peter in 1154, goes a long way to reverse many of the il-informed comments on his calibre and character. He was an Abbot, a diplomat able to fulfil a particularly sensitive mission to Scandinavia, and a firm defender of the values of the Church at a time very different from ours. Much of his papacy was spent in conflict with Frederick Barbarossa, and he died suddenly at the age of about 60 while promising to deliver a great deal more even than he did in his five year papacy.

Adrian Waddingham has researched very deeply a period notoriously short of real evidence, and presents a very readable story rather than a classic historical work. But it goes a very long way to redressing the balance on a man, and a period of history, now generally poorly understood. This is required reading.

Pre-Reformation Wills of Rickmansworth

Life and Death in Historic Rickmansworth

Medieval wills provide insights into the lives of ordinary people: their family and social networks, their religious convictions and piety, their wealth, their personal and domestic possessions, their livestock and the tools of their trade. For many places such documents have not survived, but they have for the medieval parish of Rickmansworth, which encompassed the settlements at Batchworth, Chorleywood, Croxley, Maple Cross, Mill End and West Hyde, as well as Rickmansworth itself.

In all there are 213 surviving wills of Rickmansworth parishioners dating from 1409 to 1539, and probate documents relating to 35 others. As well as revealing details of life (and death) in the parish the wills also tell us about the church of St Mary’s, which was rebuilt (twice) in the nineteenth century. The wills also provide names of numerous relatives, servants and friends in the locality.

Although testators rarely stated where they lived – all were expected to attend St Mary’s and would be buried there – it is clear that they came from all over the parish. Tax assessments from 1524 do reveal in which settlement taxpayers lived and so people named in wills made about that time can be located more definitely.

Rickmansworth Historical Society's latest book, Pre-Reformation wills from Rickmansworth parish (1409 to 1539), provides the text of all of these documents, including the tax assessments, and the introduction discusses life in the medieval parish.

Pre-Reformation wills can be purchased for £7.50 from the Three Rivers Museum, at any of the Society's meetings, or by e-mail [email protected]. Or you can use the order form here:

Rails to Chorleywood
Hugh Howes
Rails to Chorleywood

By Hugh Howes, the local and industrial historian, and colleagues interested in the Chorleywood Signal Box.

This book tells the story of the Metropolitan Railway and the Great Central Railway with which it was closely associated, and the development of Metro-Land as the Metropolitan moved out of London to the Chilterns and beyond. It's a vital part of the story of Chorleywood, and indeed Rickmansworth, from the end of the 1880s, and includes articles on signalling and signal boxes.

Published by the Friends of the Chorleywood Signal Box in 2022, 62 pages softback, £12.
Roll of Honour
The stories of the men of Rickmansworth Rural and Urban districts who fell in WW1

Roll of Honour 1914-1919

A comprehensive accounts of the lives of the men of Rickmansworth who fell in the First World War.

By Brian Thomson, Pat Hamilton, Sal Williams, Robert Williams, published by Three Rivers Museum.

Softback, £3

Moor Park
Robert Bayne, 1871

Moor Park

Robert Bayne was the minister of the Rickmansworth Baptist Church in the 1870s, before leaving the district and becoming an Anglican. It was during that time that he researched and wrote this book, published in 1871 and now available in the museum at just £3.

It relates with reasonable accuracy the story of the early Manor of the More, the demise of the original building, the later rebuilding by Benjamin Styles and the subsequent ownership of Lord Anson, the East India Company connections and the Grosvenors (the Marquis of Westminster and latterly Lord Ebury). Later scholarship has revised some of what he wrote, and of course it stops in 1870, but this is still a vital link in understanding the history of our most prominent estate and building.

Croxley Green in WW1

Croxley Green in the First World War
Author: Brian Thomson
Published by Rickmansworth Historical Society
Format: Softback, 162 pages
ISBN 978 0 9544583 3 1

Price: £6

Passing Through

Passing Through: The Grand Junction Canal in West Herts, 1791-1841
Author: Fabian Hiscock
Published by: University of Hertfordshire
Format: softback, 213 pages, illustrated

Price: £14.99

Carpenders Park Station

A History of Carpenders Park Station 1914-2014
Author: David Reidy
Format: softback, 88 pages

Price: £15

V Illage Boyhood

A Village Boyhood in Croxley Green: 'When the Mill Field Grew Turnips' by Frank Paddick

Edited by Brian Thomson

Published by Rickmansworth Historical Society

Format: paperback, 109 pages, fully illustrated
ISBN 978 0 9544583 2 4

Price: £4


Loudwater, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
'The story of Loudwater Mill, Loudwater Farm & Loudwater House from Medieval times to the early twentieth century'
Author: Adrienne Jacques
Format: paperback – April 2008

Price: £1.00

Basing House

Basing House - the history of a famous Rickmansworth house
Author: Alan Jamieson
Format: Booklet

Price: £2.00

Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, Scots Hill Rickmansworth
Artist: (c) 1998 John Kirkham
Format: Printed Card

Price: £0.80p

First 21 years

The First 21 Years - the history of the Museum

Author: Alan Jamieson

Format: booklet


Ricky Park

Rickmansworth Park, Hertfordshire
Author: Adrienne Jacques
Format: paperback – March 2003

Price: £1.00

Thoughts on Old Ricky

Thoughts on Old Ricky
Author: Florence Samuel (neé Knight)
Format: paperback – February 2000

Price: £1.00

Rickmansworth etc through time

Rickmansworth, Croxley Green & Chorleywood Through Time

Author: John Cooper
Published by: Amberley
Format: softback, 96 pages, fully illustrated

Price: £14.99

Herts Historic Waterway

Hertfordshire's Historic Inland Waterway: Batchworth to Berkhamsted
Author: John Cooper
Published by: Amberley
Format: softback, 96 pages, fully illustrated

Price: £14.99

Croxley Great Barn intro

An Introduction to Croxley Great Barn
Compiled and edited by David Harding
Format: Booklet
Price: £2