Our books

The Land of Oak & Iron Trust publishes works about the history, legends and culture of the Land of Oak & Iron.

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.

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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.

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Thread of Iron

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

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.

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A Legend Evermore

A Legend Evermore‘ is the name of a local history outreach project created by Winlaton & District Local History Society.

Local musician Roly Veitch has recorded a CD of songs about the history of the lower Derwent Valley, centred on Blaydon and Winlaton.

A  pack has been prepared for schools in the area, including an A4 book, a copy of the CD and a poster.

The fully-illustrated book contains the lyrics and specially-written local history background for each track. Schools can photocopy pages and there is a loan box of 35 copies available for use in class – any school interested may contact us on the form below.

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Crowley’s

An attractive A4 softback with 44 pages, illustrated in colour throughout.

Industrial and social history of the Crowley ironworks 1691 –1966

Crowley’s Crew: from Royalists to Radicals by Susan Lynn, local historian and Newcastle City Guide. Extractsfrom the 1754 diary of Swedish industrial spy Reinhold Angerstein, who visited Crowley’s in 1754.

llustrated by: Angerstein’s drawings; exquisite contemporary watercolours by William Beilby; the beautifully rendered maps of 1713 by John Warner; images from the collection of Winlaton Local History Society

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Releasing the Genie of Coal

Historian Bill Lancaster reveals how nationally significant the Derwent Valley has been in the development of the mining industry, and Peter Stark’s visionary essay poses the fascinating question as to whether the level of innovation involved in the industrial developments in the area’s mining and steel production could not now be applied to the global challenges we face.

Illustrated in colour by photographs, graphs, historic maps and engravings, this quality A4 book has 52 pages and a softback cover.

An accompanying PowerPoint for secondary school students and staff is available here.

Where to buy our books

You can buy our books on line from local author and trustee Val Scully here. All proceeds of on line sales of our books go to the Land of Oak & Iron Trust.

A list of local stockists can be found here.

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