Not so long ago, our roads, buildings, gravestones & monuments were built from local rock, our cities were powered by coal from Welsh mines, & our lamps were lit with paraffin from Scottish shale. At the height of the empire, British stone travelled across the world to India and China, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Singapore & South Africa. There were thousands of mines, quarries, slag heaps & brick pits across the British Isles. We live among the remnants of those times – our older cities are built from Bath limestone, or Aberdeen granite – but for the most part our mines are gone, our buildings are no longer local, & the flow of stone travels east to west.

Spurred on by the erasure of history and industry, Ted Nield journeyed across this buried landscape: from the small Welsh … More

Will Hunt is an urban adventurer who has explored caves & catacombs, subway systems, & long abandoned, ghostly mines: all varieties of holes in the ground. He’s tracked down people who, for one reason or another, have shared his underground fixation: each an incarnation of Hermes, who could see & touch the underworld in ways others could not. Underground is a place of overlapping, often contradictory associations: it is a space that evokes death & burial even as it is a place of origins; it fills us with primordial dread, even as we seek refuge there in times of strife; we dig in search of riches & we bury our most toxic waste.

It is a spawning ground for political insurgence and where governments hide their most sensitive secrets. We excavate in search … More

Back in stock, our Gareth’s, ‘Marshland’. Marshland is a deep map of the east London marshes, a blend of local history, folklore and weird fiction, where nothing is quite as it seems. Cocker spaniel by his side, Rees wanders the marshes of Hackney, Leyton and Walthamstow, avoiding his family and the pressures of life. He discovers a lost world of Victorian filter plants, ancient grazing lands, dead toy factories and tidal rivers on the edgelands of a rapidly changing city.

Ghosts are his friends. As strange tales of bears, crocodiles, magic narrowboats and apocalyptic tribes begin to manifest themselves, Rees … More

London is in a state of constant transformation, layer upon layer built up over centuries of destruction and reconstruction. There is so much change all around us that we scarcely notice it, but among the areas now vanished and forgotten are some of the city’s most famous, and infamous, neighbourhoods.

  Vanished City takes us to ten areas, well-known in their day,which have disappeared from the A-Z. Each chapter tells … More

In this brilliant collection of diverse works essays, short stories, poems, translations which spans a lifetime’s engagement with art, Berger reveals how he came to his own unique way of seeing. He challenges readers to rethink their every assumption about the role of creativity in our lives. Paying homage to the writers & thinkers who influenced him, he pushes at the limits of art writing, demonstrating beautifully how his artist’s eye makes him a storyteller, rather than a critic.

His expansive perspective takes in artistic movements and individual artists from the Renaissance to the present while never neglecting the … More

A passionate and personal book about the writer’s own love for a controversial architectural style. Whether you love or hate brutalist buildings, this book will explain what it is about them that elicits such strong feeling. You will understand the true power of concrete and of mammoth-sized buildings, but also some of the more subtle aspects of brutalist buildings that you may not have known or considered.

Brutalist architecture, which flourished in the 1950s to mid-1970s, gained its name from the term ‘ Beton-brut’, or raw concrete … More

What does it mean to be out walking in the world, whether in a landscape or a metropolis, on a pilgrimage or a protest march? In this first general history of walking, Solnit draws together many histories to create a range of possibilities for this most basic act. Arguing that walking as history means walking for pleasure and for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit homes in on the walkers whose everyday & extreme acts have shaped our culture, from the peripatetic philosophers of ancient Greece to the poets of the Romantic Age, from the perambulations of the Surrealists to the ascents of mountaineers.

With profiles of some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction – from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from … More

We live in a world that prizes the fast over the slow, the new over the familiar and work over rest. Birds Art Life Death is Kyo Maclear’s beautiful journey to stake out a sense of meaning amid the crushing rush. One winter Maclear felt unmoored. Her father had recently fallen ill and she suddenly found herself a little lost. In the midst of this crisis, she met a musician who loved birds. When he watched birds and began to photograph them, his worries dissipated.

Curious, she began to accompany him on his urban birdwatching expeditions and witnessed the magic of a transient city. Birds … More

The oak is the wooden tie between heaven and earth. It is the lynch pin of the British landscape. The oak is our most beloved and most common tree. It has roots that stretch back to all the old European cultures but Britain has more ancient oaks than all the other European countries put together.

More than half the ancient oaks in the world are in Britain. Many of our ancestors – the Angles, the … More