Over a number of years the Society has published a range of books about historic Southwell and some of the people who have helped to make it the interesting place it is today.  Details of our publications are below. Copies are available direct from the Society and at the Cathedral Shop, Church Street, Southwell, or The Book Case Lowdham. The History of Southwell is also available at Southwell Library.  If you are finding it difficult to obtain a copy of a book please contact:

All prices quoted below exclude the cost of postage and packaging, and books may cost more at the book shops.

Some publications can be ordered from the Cathedral Shop website: or the BookCase, Lowdham:


Life in Lockdown

A Covid-19 Diary, March 2020 to July 2021

By J Michael Wilkinson

Published November 2023

Life in Lockdown is a personal account of family, national, and international events between March 2020 and July 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The changed pattern of daily life in Southwell during lockdown is described together with reactions to lockdown restrictions and political chaos.

Michael Wilkinson spent lockdown living alone in Southwell.  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the author and his family is recorded day by day.  Drawing on information from news channels and statistical databases, the diary is a vivid and detailed account of the pandemic as the number of positive cases, hospital admissions, deaths, and vaccinations varied in response to altered human behaviour, viral mutation, and vaccine development.

Price £12.50


Georgian Diaries 1782-84

George Hodgkinson Junior

Attorney of Southwell, Nottinghamshire

Published November 2021

This is the third in a series of diaries written by George Hodgkinson Junior, a young Southwell Attorney.

They describe life in Georgian Southwell and in London for a young middle-class professional.

Mike Kirton has transcribed the three diaries and expanded on them with a substantial introduction, based on some of the themes in the diaries. Price £10





Roman Southwell and Environs

By Matthew Beresford

Published 2019

This book summarises what we know about the Romans in Southwell and is the result of several years work by Dr Matthew Beresford, the Roman Southwell Community Project and various archaeologists over the years.  The book has been sponsored by this Society and the proceeds of the first print run are going directly to the project.  Price £7.50




Letters From The Cardinal

By David Turner

Published 2017

Thomas Wolsey spent five months living in Southwell, between April and September 1530. He had paused in the town on his way from London to York, where he planned to be installed as the Archbishop of York. He had been appointed to the post in 1514, but had never taken it up. Wolsey entered Royal service with Henry VII in 1507, but his real rise to power began in 1509 under the eighteen-year-old Henry VIII. He began to acquire many and various posts, both ecclesiastical and secular. In 1515 he was elected Cardinal and the following year was appointed Lord Chancellor. This book is based upon historical fact and is a well-researched novel.

All proceeds of the first 200 copies of  book will go to the ‘Leaves of Southwell’ project.       Price £6


A Brief Guide to The History of Southwell

Edited by J Michael Wilkinson

Published 2017

This book has been written by 11 different local historians and covers the main historic buildings of the the town.

The subjects covered are: Southwell Through the Ages; Roman and Saxon Southwell; The Minster and the Archbishop’s Palace; The Minster School; The Prebendal Houses; The Methodist, Baptist and Holy Trinity Churches; The Burgage; The House of Correction; The Workhouse; Southwell’s Inns and Alehouses; Southwell’s Industries; In and Around the Town (Easthorpe, Westhorpe and other interesting buildings).

140 pages, 88 illustrations.  Price £7.50


Southwell & District at War 1939-45

Volume 2

‘We’ll Meet Again’

By Roger Dobson

Published 2016

This is the second volume of Roger Dobson’s extensive research into the Second World War and how Southwell was affected.  The book is the result of over four years work that involved many interviews of local people and further research into the exploits of men from the district who served in the armed forces. It contains over 300 pages with many illustrations and photographs from the period.  Price £12.50.  


Southwell Settlers

By Doris Stirk

A History of the district known as Southwell in South Africa.

This edition published: 2015

With a foreword by Rob Smith of Southwell & District Local History Society.

This is a fascinating story of the founding of the area of Southwell in South Africa.   Price £6.50

Currently out of print



Nottinghamshire House of Correction Southwell, (1611-1880)

A Model Institution

Essential History & Architectural Notes

By Rob Smith

Published 2015

This volume has been extensively researched by Rob Smith and is a most interesting summary of the history of the House of Correction.  It also contains details of the design of the prison, which was copied throughout the country and in other parts of the world.

The book includes a detailed history of the establishment of the prison on the site at the bottom of The Burgage and also some detail of the first prison that was higher up Burgage Green.   Price £5


Southwell & District at War 1939-45

Volume 1

‘Keep Smiling Through’

By Roger Dobson

Published 2015

Roger Dobson spent 3 years recording the memories of people who were in Southwell and District during the Second World War.  This is an impressive record of social history from the people of Southwell during the last war.  It also includes memories from the many children who were evacuated to the town in the early years of the war.  Price £12.00


Southwell at War, 1914-1919

By Michael Austin, Michael J Kirton and Lance Wright

Published 2014

Soft Back £7.50

Hard Back £10.00

Michael Austin, Lance Wright and Mike Kirton have researched and edited a substantial account of the town in the war. Approximately 650 men served in the armed forces and 16% of them died in the conflict. The names and biographical details of the majority of the men are published in the book.

News stories for the 5 year period have been extracted from the Newark Advertiser, which chronicle life in the town during the period and include letters from men serving at the front.

Further chapters describe life on the ‘Home Front’ and in the schools in Southwell.  There is also a chapter of individual stories of heroism and  tragedy of individuals who served.  The progress of the local territorials who served in the 8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters has also been extracted from the regiment’s war diary.

This is a substantial volume containing nearly 350 pages and 136 illustrations.


Georgian Diary 1780: George Hodgkinson Junior

Apprentice Attorney of

Southwell, Nottinghamshire 

Edited by Michael J Kirton

Published 2011

Pages: 236, Illustrations: 46

Price £5

In 1780 Britain was at war in a far-off land; the economy was in recession; there were riots on the streets of London; and the government, led by Lord North, was heading for an election.  All of this, together with a record of his daily life as an eighteen-year-old apprentice attorney, is meticulously recorded by George Hodgkinson Junior who worked for his father in a busy legal practice in Southwell.

Minster People

Edited by Stanley Chapman & Derek Walker 

Published in 2009.  

A gift of a Nottinghamshire estate in 956 by the king of Wessex to Ocytel, later Archbishop of York, eventually led to the major rebuilding, nine hundred years ago, of a small church at Southwell. The building which resulted became the magnificent Minster church that we see today.

This book is about just a few of the people who have been involved with the Minster from medieval days to recent days.

Price: £5 



Georgian Diary: Southwell 1781

Transcribed by Robert Hardstaff

Published in 2000

This is the 1781 diary of George Hodgkinson Junior, an apprentice attorney who worked with his father, in their busy legal practice in Southwell.  George Junior was nineteen at the time and his mature writing presents an interesting insight into their business and professional lives. They had some important clients, including the Archbishop of York, Sir Richard Sutton, a senior member of the government and estate owner, and his father was registrar to the Minster Chapter and steward of the courts in the Peculiar of Southwell. Price: £4



Southwell Inns & Alehouses

By Roger Dobson

Published 2008

Available from the Society at the reduced price of £2.00

In the Middle Ages, Southwell was the focus for pilgrimages, and it appears that several inns were built to accommodate the devout visitors, many of whom would have walked long distances.  The little town seems to have had a large number of public houses in relation to the size of the population, than other places of comparable size.    From a wide range of sources, Roger has teased out the diverse roles of hotels, inns and alehouses, and the part they played in the long history of the town. 


It’s Not What You Know…

Patronage in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Nottinghamshire

Edited by Richard Gaunt

Published 2012

Price  Now £3.50 from the Society

It is a collection of four essays based on talks given by the authors at the Nottinghamshire Local History Association in Spring 2011.


Introduction by Richard Gaunt

Patronage and power in eighteenth-century Newark. By Stanley Chapman

The eighteenth-century country attorney: Professionalism and Patronage.  The Hodgkinsons of Southwell. By Michael J Kirton

Church class and patronage in Nottinghamshire in the nineteenth-century. By Michael Austin

Keeping it in the family: political patronage in early nineteenth-century Nottinghamshire. By Richard Gaunt


Southwell The Town and Its People, Volume II

Edited by Stanley Chapman and Derek Walker 

Published 2006

Price now £3.50

Volume 1, which is out of print, introduced a wide variety of topics from Southwell’s rich history.

Volume II explores the most important themes in depth, drawing on the extensive archives available to researchers.