Aerial view of a large brick house
Aerial view of Bryanston House, c.1980. Photo copyright Sue Sieger

From Somerset to Portman Square, the Portman Family and their Estates

By Richard Bowden and Tom Mayberry. rrp £24

The Portman family were one of the most influential families in Somerset and Dorset from the 16th to the 20th centuries, and their estates made them among the largest landowners. The book is 192 pages long, with well over 100 illustrations, a detailed family tree and plans showing the family’s properties both in Marylebone and in the West Country.

Copies can be ordered through any bookshop.

A Guide to the Retention of Modern Records on Landed Estates

by Elizabeth Lomas £10 + £2.25 p&p.

To order a copy please contact




Holkham- the social, architectural and landscape history of a great English country house

Using the extensive documents kept by generations of staff and family, recording the daily life of the Hall and estate, Christine Hiskey has traced Holkham’s history through four hundred years, adding considerably to existing knowledge.

For further information and how to purchase please see the Holkham website




The Gypsy Countess by Anne-Marie Ford

£18.00 including UK P&P

The Gypsy Countess recounts the life of Catherine Cox, daughter of a Romany Gypsy woman and an agricultural labourer, who in 1855 married George Harry Grey, Earl of Stamford and Warrington, one of England’s richest bachelors. Thus she became chatelaine of two great estates: Dunham Massey in Cheshire and Enville Hall in Staffordshire.

To order a copy please see the Romany & Traveller Family History Society website

The Red Book for Woburn Abbey by Humphry Repton, 1805

£4,995 including packing, postage & insurance for UK purchases; postage outside UK additional








To mark the bicentenary of the death of landscape designer Humphry Repton (1752-1818) Woburn Abbey & Gardens commissioned a limited edition facsimile of Repton’s grandest Red Book, the Red Book for Woburn Abbey, 1805. Repton’s beautifully presented proposals includes plans, surveys, architectural features and explanatory passages outlining his theory of landscape gardening. However, they were also a clever marketing tool incorporating before and after scenes to help clients imagine how his proposals would alter the landscape.

Humphry Repton and the Russell Family featuring the Red Books for Woburn Abbey and Endsleigh, Devon by Keir Davidson

£14.99 plus £3 P&P A richly illustrated companion book, written by landscape designer, garden historian and Repton scholar, Keir Davidson, accompanies the facsimile and is available for sale separately. It introduces a wider audience to Repton’s exquisite watercolours and his work for the Russell family (the Dukes of Bedford), patrons of Repton’s most varied commissions.

The contents page for the book can be viewed here

Further information and purchase details for either book can be found on the Woburn Abbey website

Ralph Treswell’s Survey of Purbeck 1585-6

Edited by Mark Forrest, with essays by Rose Mitchell, Martin Papworth and Jenny Halling Barnard

Published by Dorset Record Society, £19.95 plus £2.50 postage

Facsimile edition of the Survey and Maps of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. Commissioned by the Elizabethan courtier, Sir Christopher Hatton. Using the most advanced mapping techniques, Treswell produced an extremely accurate and attractive record of the landscape, as well as a detailed plan of Corfe Castle only sixty years before its destruction in the Civil War, accompanied by a survey of the land holders. On Hatton’s death, the estate passed to the Bankes family of Kingston Lacy. Ralph Bankes bequeathed it to the National Trust in 1981, and the archives are now in Dorset History Centre.

Orders from Ann Smith or from the Flyer here

Art, Animals and Politics- Knowsley and the Earls of Derby

Edited by Stephen Lloyd

Thomas, Lord Stanley, was created Earl of Derby in 1485 after the Battle of Bosworth Field. Since that time the Stanleys- a great Lancastrian family whose seat, Knowsley Hall, is near Liverpool- have been significant in the life of the nation as patrons and collectors, sportsmen and politicians. These absorbing essays by a distinguished cast of contributors cover key facets of the family’s diverse achievements.

Hardback copies (80 col pls, 336 pp) can be purchased from the Estate Office, Knowsley Hall, for £60 plus post and packing.

A contact form for further information is available on the Knowsley website

A Family Life Revealed The Stuarts at Traquair 1491 – 1875

This is an intimate account of the Stuarts, based on documents from the archives, allowing members of the family over the centuries to tell their story in their own words. It has been woven together by Catherine Maxwell Stuart, 21st Lady of Traquair, and Margaret Fox, Traquair’s archivist. There is drama and tragedy alongside excitement, sadness and humour. Packed with high quality colour images, it vividly illustrates how this ancient Borders family helped to shape history and was itself shaped by it.

ISBN 978-1-907750-36-6

Available to purchase from the Traquair House website

A Tour to Preston Guild in 1802

Written by the 21 year old Lord Linton, son of the 7th Earl of Traquair, it recounts his trip down to Preston to enjoy the spectacle of the UK’s oldest merchant guild celebration, held once every 20 years since 1542. Read this to get a wonderful insight into a quirky young Scottish lord let loose from boarding school for a couple of weeks in pre-Regency England- and not afraid to offer catty observations about Lancashire’s high society!

The publication includes a full colour facsimile of all 37 pages of the future 8th Earl’s diary, with transcript and  background information by Margaret Fox, archivist at Traquair.

It has been jointly published with the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston to support the 2012 Preston Guild.

ISBN 1 871575 29 X

Available to purchase from the Traquair House website