Publications from Eydon Historical Research Group

Most of the publications listed below are in stock and available to buy, although some may be photocopied versions.

Details of how to make a purchase are explained at the foot of the page. Go on - treat yourself!

Both the original hardback version and the subsequent National Trust paperback version of Syd Tyrrell's 'A Countryman's Tale', are currently out of print. However, we do have a range of second-hand copies of both versions. Please contact us for details and prices.

A Countryman's Tale - Syd Tyrrell published 1973 by Constable ISBN 978-0094589001   

The story of Eydon, in Northamptonshire, a village that existed before Domesday Book and in many respects a microcosm of rural England. A family memoir as well as a village history, it is the fruit of a lifetime of curiosity and diligent research. It explains the drastic effects of the Enclosures in the 18th century on the lives of country people and other historic influences which have made an English village what it is today. Prices vary according to condition and our purchase price as this book is currently out of print.

A Countryman's Tale - Syd Tyrrell Published 1991 National Trust Classics ISBN 0712646253 

The story of Eydon, in Northamptonshire, a village that existed before Domesday Book and in many respects a microcosm of rural England. A family memoir as well as a village history, it is the fruit of a lifetime of curiosity and diligent research. It explains the drastic effects of the Enclosures in the 18th century on the lives of country people and other historic influences which have made an English village what it is today. This paperback book, with an updated introduction by Byron Rogers, is currently out of print, however, we have obtained a selection of second-hand copies. Prices vary according to condition and our purchase price.

Syd Tyrrell's Eydon Syd Tyrrell published 2001 by EHRG ISBN 0-9539655-2-X  £6.00

Syd Tyrrell's long-awaited second book, gently edited by EHRG, continues tales of Eydon, a small rural village in Northamptonshire, into the first half of the 20th century. In this book you will find and enjoy Syd's acute and personal observations of his fellow countrymen and women. To quote him; "You may think these folk are all dead, but all I can say is, they won't be quite dead while I'm alive." Some years after his death, these folks - and Syd himself - are very much alive.

We have published our own research articles in the following series of booklets.

Grafitti, Pigs and Old Lace! Vol. 1 published Sept 1998. ISBN 0-9539655-0-3  £4.00

A 48-page, illustrated A5 booklet, with map and index, looking at Eydon's geography, including field names and who lived where in Eydon. Local events such as the effects of the Enclosure Act of 1762 and the Great Fire of Eydon in 1905 are also featured. Finally there are details of some of the occupations including pig husbandry, lace making, steam threshing, political activity from 1884 to 1997, and the story of the Ancient Order of Foresters – known in Eydon as the ‘United Brothers’.

Paupers, Pupils and Prisoners Vol. 2 published Feb 2000. ISBN 0-9539655-1-1  £4.00

A 64-page, illustrated A5 booklet, with map and index of people and places. It covers the Poor Law in Eydon; the village water supply, and stories from the school. The story of Eydon’s buildings before, and the dramatic changes of, the 20th century, including the history of Cedar Cottage from 1744 onwards. The tales are told of the Quaker, Thomas Smallbone; the Fitz-Wales, early Lords of Eydon, and the Brightwells, an Eydon family for 150 years, with later connections to Utah in the U.S.A. This booklet is currently only available as a photocopy.

Landscapes and Laundry Vol. 3 published July 2002. ISBN 0-9539655-3-8  £4.00

A 64-page, illustrated A5 booklet with maps and index, looking at Eydon’s landscape, the Mummers, Eydon’s war and Eydon’s laundry. It includes a reconstructed enclosure map with details of Eydon's 1762 Inclosure Award; the strange tale of how Eydon rediscovered its Mummers’ play, and the play itself. There is also the story of the evacuation of children to Eydon during the 1939 - 45 War, a report of the National Farm Survey of 1941 and finally the story of Eydon’s laundry and its processes.

Big Marjorie and the Rector's Bull Vol. 4 published Sept 2008. ISBN 978-095396554  £4.00

A 68-page, illustrated A5 booklet, with map and index of people and places - in which EHRG covers a wider timescale than before. Read about evidence of Eydon's earliest inhabitants, from before the last Ice Age to the Bronze Age; the traumatic effects of the English Civil War on the village and the preservation of some of these in subsequent Mummers' plays. We make sense of the earliest map of Eydon, and investigate tithes, taxes and unusual payments in kind! Eydon was the focus of a complicated 19th century law case - was murder involved? What were the Boy Scouts doing in Lincolnshire? Finally, women tend to vanish from historical records, but the early years of the Women's Institute gives us an invaluable glimpse into their lives.

Maidens, Matches and More...  Vol. 5 published Sept 2009. ISBN 978-095396555-7  £4.00

A 56 page, illustrated A5 booklet, with photographs, map and index. The main topic is Eydon Cricket Club, formally established in 1877. It has a history of enthusiastic, dedicated players and supporters and an excellent record of achievements. The club was one of the founding members of the South Northants. Cricket League in 1920. Anecdotes range from Churchill's horse, to a chicken coop which interrupted play. The changing face of village life meant the end of league cricket in 1996 but the cricketing tradition continues to thrive. Other articles in the booklet cover the purchase of Oakey's Field, where cricket is played, for use as a community sports field, and the formation of two charities to run the sports field and the village hall.

Poverty, Plots and the Palace Vol. 6 published Sept 2010. ISBN 978-0-9539655-6-4  £4.00

Illustrated 64 page A5 booklet. A range of topics are covered, from the earliest settlement patterns in the planned medieval village to today's buildings; the search for the pre-Victorian village poorhouses; the harsh lives of some of the women of the village, Sarah Sconce - whose story was haunted by the Victorian workhouse; and Annie Adkins, whose brooch travelled the Atlantic; and on a brighter note - the story of how Hope Walker visited the Palace; a further instalment of the history of the village's earliest women-led group, the WI; and finally the hunt for Eydon's connection to the Great Train Robbery. All illustrated with photos and maps. Fully referenced and indexed.

Service, Sun and Settlement Vol. 7 published Sept 2011. ISBN 978-0-9539655-7-1  £4.00

This 7th volume of Research Reports tells who gave who gave EHRG’s treasurer her first bath and why there was a buried reservoir marked at the top of Culworth Road on a 1970s OS map. And where Britain’s earliest east-facing domestic sundial can be found - and who in Eydon wouldn’t give to an outmoded method of telling the time but would unveil Eydon’s newest sundial. It also tells why searching for the original property boundaries of Eydon’s medieval settlement is like looking for the Cheshire Cat - and why accurate but inaccurate boundaries pointed to evidence for an even greater Great Fire of Eydon back in 1651; and what the WI did over the years to educate and amuse themselves at their meetings. 64-page A5 indexed booklet, maps & photos.

Manors to Manitoba Vol. 8 published Feb 2013. ISBN 978-095396558-8   £5.00

Our eighth booklet of research reports is, at 80 pages, biggest and, with a full colour cover, our brightest. Its nine papers cover topics from the earliest days of Eydon’s manors to the last days of its WI, from why badly built walls in Eydon changed the world to why two roads in the village got called after the Cree Indians! In between we search for the surviving evidence of the pre-Enclosure landscape and for the local size of that variable unit, the Yardland. There is also the history and technical description of ‘one of the finest examples of 19th century village church organs’. And how ‘Small is Beautiful’ author Fritz Schumacher spent part of the war years as a farm labourer in Eydon. As always, mapped, indexed and illustrated.

Lest We Forget - Eydon in the Great War Vol. 9 published Feb 2014. ISBN 978-0-9539655-9-5  £5.00

A comprehensive 126 page illustrated A5 booklet covering the impact of WW1 on Eydon's residents, from the King's visit to the village, to Fred Kench's war diary covering his deployment on the battlefields and how the other men and women of the village played their part. Eydon Hall was used as an Auxiliary Home Hospital and we recount some of the stories of the people involved in that movement. We remember those who lost their lives, including the sacrifices behind the Lewis Memorial, and those who returned home safely. Finally we investigate the politics and decisions behind the creation of the war memorials and speculate on who were classified as men of Eydon...

Geology, Generosity and Glimpses…  Vol. 10 published May 2017. ISBN 978-0-9957-82402  £5.00

EHRG’s 10th booklet of Research Reports, published in 2017, is entitled ‘Geology, Generosity and Glimpses…’. Geology as it dominated the farming life of the village, as recorded 90 years ago; secondly also raises the question as to why the church font, the oldest relic in the village, is not made from the local sandstone? Generosity chronicles the village’s (mainly Victorian) benefactors, who gave the village a school and several other fine buildings. And Glimpses.. recording lost interiors of the pre-restoration church, and most intriguingly, a glimpse of Eydon’s Black history, about ‘Thomas Bull, niger’, buried in 1545. 70 pages, illustrated, with map and index.

Boats, Bells and Blossoms Vol. 11 published March 2019. ISBN 978-0-9957824-1-9 £6.00

The 11th book of research carried out by the members, published in 2019 with COLOUR illustrations. Contents - The Gardens of Eydon - a history of village gardens; Eydon's Allotments - their unusual ownership; Polio and the Eydon Mayde - how the disease of polio led to the building of a large boat in Eydon; The Rickety Bell Frame - how & why it was replaced in the 1970's; The Wooden Cross - the discovery and preservation of a WW1 memorial cross.

How to Purchase

  • If you wish to pay by credit or debit card - we have a PayPal account and can invoice you via email. 

  • Postage and packing for orders in the UK is £2 per order.
    For orders outside the UK please contact us for details of postage and transaction fees.

  • Volumes 1 -7 may be purchased at a discounted rate of three booklets for £10 plus p & p.

  • If you live in the UK and prefer to pay by cheque please make it payable to 'Eydon Historical Research Group', remembering to include postage and packing costs. We are sorry but we cannot process cheques other than in sterling, so orders outside the UK will be invoiced by Paypal as above.

  • Let us know to whom to send the publications, and at which address, and then email us, or post your UK order to the address below.