Publications

This group is interested in identifying published works about the history, legends and culture of the Land of Oak & Iron, many of which are out-of-print and difficult to find. We would particularly like to hear from anyone with skills in proof-reading and/or publishing software.

There are currently three books in the collection that we have recreated from out-of print originals.

Our books

Men of Iron

We may never know why Sir Ambrose Crowley chose the Derwent Valley as the manufacturing centre for his London-based company, but what we do know, thanks to this masterly account, is how: how he thought, spoke and wrote; how he ran his empire;and importantly, how he created an enlightened welfare system for his workers and their families at the dawn of the industrial revolution.

One family’s influence on the

industrial development of the

Lower Derwent Valley.

Written in 1962 by Professor Michael Flinn, Men of Iron provides a detailed academic review of the Crowley family, their firm, and how the commercial and industrial organisations were operated in the Lower Derwent Valley from the late 17th Century.

This book is a must for everybody interested the early development of industry in the UK.

Tales of Derwentdale

Local tales and  the remarkable story of the  man  who originally had them published.

The riches of the Land of Oak & Iron lie not only in fertile soil, mineral wealth, invention, industry and a history that goes back to the Romans. Its greatest wealth lies in its people, and people love stories. Teeming with devils, boggles, witches, giants and marauding moss-troopers, the Tales of Derwentdale conjure the magical mysterious past of our farms and villages. In setting down these myths, legends and anecdotes in 1902, James William Fawcett drew on centuries of traditional tales, many of them passed down by word of mouth.

But it turns out the man himself was a mystery and some of his best stories were about himself. Traveller, adventurer, naturalist, linguist, historian and writer he certainly was. But was he also an intelligence officer working closely with Lord Kitchener? Did he really enter Khartoum immediately after the murder of general Gordon? Was he shipwrecked three times and rescued by gunboat?

Last published in 1902, this new edition of the Tales of Derwentdale, now illustrated by the wondrous woodcuts of Thomas Bewick, will thrill and entertain a new generation of readers. And then the extraordinary story of James William Fawcett is told for the first time, along with extensive extracts from his wonderful work on the natural history of the Land of Oak & Iron.

Thread of Iron

A history of the people and industries that shaped Shotley Bridge and Consett

Our Publications Group has been working hard in recent months to get a new edition of Douglas Vernon’s book into print. Originally planned for launch in April 2020 the Corona Virus pandemic has resulted in a delay until later in the year.

For everybody interested in the industrial history of the Derwent Valley this book is a must. Written in two parts; the first focuses on the history of Shotley Bridge where Douglas lived and where the famous Sword makers were based. The second part details the history of the Consett Iron Company; from formation until closure in 1980. The influences of these industrial enterprises stretched throughout the length of the Land of Oak & Iron, from the edges of the Pennines to the River Tyne and far beyond.

A well-researched historic account, which includes extensive reference material, this book may be considered the authoritative guide to the subjects covered.

To accompany this new edition of Thread of Iron we produced a “Virtual Launch” video which may be found on You Tube.

To purchase books please visit The Trust Shop.