The author, Stan Beckensall, has lived and worked in Northumberland for thirty-five years and this is first and foremost an insider’s book. The outstanding natural beauty and distinctive geology of the county, and its rich archaeology and history, are seen through a series of case studies. When layers of time are peeled from these special places, the result is a microcosm of the county, captured in prose and poetry, photographs from the air and ground, and paintings and drawings by his friends.
Beckensall’s theme is that some places generate powerful feelings because of what has happened there, some as they are striking or beautiful, others due to an indefinable attraction or quality. There are famous sites that delight visitors: Berwick, Holy Island, Hadrian’s Wall and the Cheviots. There are also lesser known places such as Old Bewick and Edlingham where the author has made significant discoveries, and others like Ford and Etal, which have a particular significance on the author. Another dimension is his work on the significance of place names and field names.
Northumberland: A Celebration is written from the heart as well being firmly rooted in original research for the author’s extensive experience as a teacher, lecturer and dramatist has given him a unique insight into people’s lives in both town and country areas.
Dr Stan Beckensall has spent his working life in education, much of this in training teachers and being a head teacher in Northumberland. He is an honours graduate of Keele University, an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Newcastle University, winner of the 2006 British Archaeology Award in the Channel 4 ITC section, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and Scotland, and an international specialist in prehistoric rock art. Beckensall has published over forty books and pamphlets, including poetry and drama, and his work has been televised.
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Extent: 208 pages
Illustrations: 123 black-and-white and 33 colour photographs