MACLAUCHLAN’S DERE STREET, by Henry MacLauchlan.

MACLAUCHLAN’S DERE STREET, by Henry MacLauchlan. Reprint published by Wanney Books (www.wildsofwanney.co.uk). £4.50. Softback.

IN 1849 the author, an expert surveyor and antiquarian, was commissioned by the Duke of Northumberland to survey the Roman remains in Northumberland, including the subject of this book, Dere Street (Watling Street) from the Tees to the Scottish border.

His survey was carried out at a time when Roman remains were far more visible in the landscape than they are today and MacLauchlan’s 1851 memoir provides a fascinating insight into our Roman past.


HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS OF NORTHUMBERLAND: THE GREAT NORTH ROAD, by Ian Hall.

HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS OF NORTHUMBERLAND: THE GREAT NORTH ROAD, by Ian Hall. Published by Wanney Books (www.wildsofwanney.co.uk). £4.50. Softback.

EXPLORING the old route of the Great North Road from the Tyne to the Tweed, this book evokes a past age when people had time to stop and look around while they travelled. A coach timetable of 1833 for the London to Edinburgh service records that the journey between Newcastle and Berwick, including a 30-minute stopover at Belford, took almost seven hours.

The author follows the road’s older and quieter sections that can still be travelled today and describes various sights along the route which have become hidden as the A1 has been upgraded, including Cale Cross at Blagdon and Scremerston mine near Berwick.


STORIES BEHIND THE GLASS, by Richard Busby.

STORIES BEHIND THE GLASS, by Richard Busby. Available from St Andrew’s Church, Corbridge and Forum Books. £9.99 (all proceeds from sales will be donated to the church). Softback.

THE result of two years’ research by the author, this book records not only the stained glass windows of St Andrew’s Church but also the people and families they commemorate. These include Philip George Gipps, who died after falling from a roof in Australia in 1884, and Elizabeth Gray, who died suddenly during a service in the church in 1930.

The fine glass of the east window of the church, made by noted Newcastle glassmaker William Wailes, is dedicated to the memory of Hannah Eliza, wife of John Grey of Dilston Hall, who died in 1860. Of their 10 surviving children, the most famous was Josephine Elizabeth, who died in 1906 and is best remembered as the social and women’s education reformer Josephine Butler.

Others linked to the church’s many 19th and 20th century stained glass windows include the Stephens, Edwards and Dixon shipbuilding families, the Reed brewing dynasty and many farming families.