Press Release May 2016 Researching Rutland	Registered Charity No 700273 Rutland Local History & Record Society
Oakham Lordshold in 1787 A map and survey of Lord Winchilsea’s Oakham estate edited by T H McK Clough RLHRS Occasional Publication No 12 (A4, 104pp, paperback, full colour) - ISBN 9780907464556 A crumpled document found many years ago in a cupboard at Burley on the Hill turned out to be a very fine map of the manor of Oakham Lordshold, drawn by William Cullingworth in 1787. Indeed, it gives the earliest detailed plan of Oakham known so far. Not only that, but a series of four field survey books in the Finch family archives, deposited like the map in the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, were found to belong with it because they list all the occupiers of the Lordshold properties at that date, as well as information about changes of tenant over the new few years. The author, Tim Clough, who is also the Society’s Honorary Editor, said, “These documents are important because they reveal so much about the appearance and layout of the town of Oakham – even though they cover just one of the town’s two manors – before enclosure of the parish took place in the early part of the nineteenth century. “The field books in particular contain much information about the inhabitants of the town, where they lived, what type of property they occupied and how extensive it was, including houses, yards and outbuildings as well as closes and land in the then open fields.” The book draws together all these details, ranging from the layout of the roads and watercourses to an identification of tenants, tradesmen and others who are mentioned both in the field books and in the Universal British Directory of 1791. The field books are transcribed in full, with an index. The map can also be used to suggest successive patterns of defended enclosures centred on the church and castle in the early medieval period, which were disguised as a result of the later enclosure of the parish, and Tim Clough puts forward his ideas about how the layout of the town changed after the Norman Conquest. Debbie Frearson, the Society’s Chairman, said, “These documents are a valuable resource for the study of Oakham and its inhabitants at the end of the eighteenth century. They are full of information for family historians and local historians alike, and we are delighted to be able to publish it. We are particularly grateful to Mr Joss Hanbury for permission to publish them, and to the Record Office and the Rutland County Museum for facilitating their study.” Tim Clough was Curator of the Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle from 1974 to 2002, and is the Society’s Honorary Editor. Educated at Uppingham School, he has a degree in prehistoric archaeology from the University of Edinburgh and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He has a long association with the county of Rutland and has a keen interest in and appreciation of the county’s rich heritage. Published May 2016. Price: £10.00 (£7.50 for members of RLHRS) plus £2.50 UK p&p. Copies of the new publication can be obtained as usual from the Rutland Local History & Record Society at the Rutland County Museum via local bookshops, or on-line. For further information, please contact: Tim Clough, Honorary Editor, RLHRS, Rutland County Museum, Catmose Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HW, or e-mail.