UWE historian investigates the history of Minety

Issue date: 06 January 2009

A History of Minety by Dr James Lee A book tracing the history of the village of Minety in North Wiltshire from pre-history to the present day has recently been published by Dr James Lee, a Historian based at the University of the West of England.

Dr Lee was formerly Assistant Editor of the Wiltshire Victoria County History (WVCH), a highly prestigious project part-hosted and funded by UWE. The WVCH accounts are internationally regarded as the pinnacle of local history writing with their readership extending all over the world.

Dr Lee explains, “A wealth of exciting finds emerged from the research and we were overwhelmed by the extent of interest by local residents in Minety when we announced this project as part the wider study, and this inspired me to investigate further.

“Research for A History of Minety began in Autumn 2006. I looked at in the region of 1,000 primary and secondary sources in researching the book over a period of 18 months.

“Of particular interest was the way the local community had evolved from its Iron Age and Roman origins involved in the manufacture of bricks and tiles, through its 19th-century heyday as a busy supplier of agricultural produce, to its current status as a typical commuter village supplying workers for larger towns.

“Local residents shared their knowledge of the local community and contributed some text and a large number of photographs for inclusion in the book.”

Dr Steve Poole, Director of UWE's Regional History Centre, said, “A History of Minety represents a classic example of the History department's relevant and community-centred research. Dr Lee's work filtered into the local community and generated significant interest which meant that the book was greatly enriched by contributions from local residents. In addition to this it is significant that the book was published by money raised through the parish council and with a grant from Wiltshire County Council.”


Editor's notes:

Funding for the book was provided by Minety Parish Council and Wiltshire County Council. The text of the book will also appear in the Wiltshire Victoria County History's Volume 18 due for publication in 2009.

Dr James Lee is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern British History, UWE, and he continues to work closely with the local community in his capacity as Assistant Director of the Regional History Centre, UWE.

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