Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape

Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape by Mary-Ann Ochota

Format: Hardback, 288 Pages
ISBN: 9780711236929
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
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$29.99 / £20.00

For the times when you’re driving past a lumpy, bumpy field and you wonder what made the lumps and bumps; for when you’re walking between two lines of grand trees, wondering when and why they were planted; for when you see a brown heritage sign pointing to a ‘tumulus’ but you don’t know what to look for… Entertaining and factually rigorous, Hidden Histories will help you decipher the story of our landscape through the features you can see around you. This Spotter’s Guide arms the amateur explorer with the crucial information needed to ‘read’ the landscape and spot the human activities that have shaped our green and pleasant land. Photographs and diagrams point out specific details and typical examples to help the curious Spotter ‘get their eye in’ and understand what they’re looking at, or looking for. Specially commissioned illustrations bring to life the processes that shaped the landscape - from medieval ploughing to Roman road building -  and stand-alone capsules explore interesting aspects of history such as the Highland Clearances or the coming of Christianity. This unique guide uncovers the hidden stories behind the country's landscape, making it the perfect companion for an exploration of our green and pleasant land.

Mary-Ann Ochota is a broadcaster and anthropologist who gained her MA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Cambridge University in 2002.
She’s a familiar face on archaeology shows including the cult show Time Team, History Channel’s Ancient Impossible, BBC specials on Silbury Hill and Stonehenge, and ITV’s Britain’s Secret Treasures, for which she also wrote the tie-in book in association with the British Museum.
Mary-Ann writes regularly for newspapers and magazines on the outdoors and adventure, including for the Daily Telegraph, Countryfile Magazine, Geographical and Summit, and has presented documentaries for Animal Planet, Nat Geo, Channel 4 and BBC4.
Mary-Ann is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Hillwalking Ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council and an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @MaryAnnOchota

Format: Hardback, 288 Pages
ISBN: 9780711236929
Illustrations: color photos
Size: 6.85 in x 8.74 in / 174 mm x 222 mm
“…This fascinating spotter’s guide to Britain’s historical landscape – what to see and how to decipher it – is rammed with intriguing nuggets...You will quickly learn about the mysterious landscapes that we blunder across so blindly....Ochota’s book covers a satisfying variety of different subjects, from pathways, bridges and old houses, to hedges, churches, graveyards and field patterns left behind by medieval ploughmen…it is nuggets such as these that make this richly detailed book so attractive to read.”
"a fascinating and entertaining insight into the British landscape"
"splendidly illustrated with stunning, sunny pictures of the British countryside...it's a book that encourages the reader to go outside and see for themselves."
"Provides all the information you need to unlock the secret of your surroundings. Once you've read this book you'll see the landscape in a completely new light."
"A visually stimulating and accessible guide to Britain's varied historic environment...." 
“…a fascinating guide to deciphering and understanding the British landscape.”

"Hidden Histories is an accessible travelogue through time from prehistoric Britain to recent history. With the easy style of a handbook, it will help you become a Sherlock Holmes of the landscape, able to decipher clues and annoy your friends with factoids about British history… a pleasure for anyone curious about the outdoors."

"This beautifully presented and fascinating guide will enrich any walk and while away many a rainy afternoon."

“A great book to keep in the car ready for all those family days out and holidays. It is packed full of great illustrations that bring the book’s text to life.”

"A field guide that will open your eyes to the countryside in a way that very few books can rival."

“...in Hidden Histories, a definitive classic field guide on a neglected area of interest – the landscape itself – is born…  its scope is as magnificent as our countryside itself.”

"I’ve spent over forty years wandering the British countryside, and only just found out I’ve been doing it with my eyes shut! Mary-Ann’s 'Hidden Histories' unveils the forgotten stories behind things we see everyday, and sheds light on spectacles we might otherwise stride obliviously past."
"What a brilliant idea - I only wish I'd thought of it first! Reading the ground is so much fun - made even better by the fact it requires no kit except the human eye mark 1 - still the best tool of all, as you know. This fine tome is the perfect companion for a good old walk in the wilds. Fantastically thorough. And so much detail and careful thought, ideal for all - whether specialist or general enthusiast. I'm loving it and learning from it. First class! "
"This book is perfect for anyone who’s travelled through the countryside, scratched their head, and thought, ‘what on earth is that thing'?"
"A friendly and well-written introduction to the hidden riches of the British landscape, with clear explanations and excellent illustrations. Use it as a handy guide, when out-and-about, or read it from cover to cover at home. Either way, it’s an excellent and authoritative read."