Slums, or a lost world heritage site? The notorious yards and alleyways of Morpeth have almost gone. Almost but not quite. This history exposes their origin, in the hazy distant times of the Norman barons with their local wives; when the French speaking conquerors established new Morpeth on the furrows made by the ox plough teams. It describes life in the middle ages, as the armies marched through the town, and the crowded living conditions of the nineteenth century. It looks at the curious yards and alleyways that remain, and suggests that their boundaries should be preserved with as much care and devotion as the ramparts of Northumberland's hillforts, the mounds of lost medieval villages or the drove roads which cross the Cheviots.
Bridget Gubbins, who lives in one of the yards, has written an account which re-examines the foundations of the town. Victor Ambrus's illustrations encapsulate the everyday activities of its humbler people. Photos and anecdotes from those who lived in the demolished yards, and a summary of the independent traders whose treasure trove of shops is keeping the town alive, complete the story.
Very good+ condition. Some very minor shelf wear and a partially removed label to rear but otherwise no apparent signs of use.