Peter Adamson’s tribute to Wallingford book

Round & About

In his latest book, A Town Called Wallingford, local author Peter Adamson shares the stories that made the town

Many thanks to the many readers of Round & About who bought my previous book Landmark in Time – the World of the Wittenham Clumps. The response was so encouraging that I have now written a follow-up – A Town Called Wallingford.

Once again, I have tried to make each chapter into a story that starts in our local town but doesn’t necessarily end there – and I hope there will be a few surprises along the way.

There are stories of Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror… but also stories of internationally important, state-of-the-art enterprises in the town’s business parks. There is the story of the Wallingford blacksmith’s son who rose to be the greatest mathematician of the age… and of the small-town lawyer who became one of the most influential figures ever born in these islands. There are stories of thousand-year-old Saxon defences… but also of the ‘great coffee shop invasion’ of our town centres. Stories of the great castle that gave England the Plantagenets and the Tudors… and of an act of heroism and that averted a 20th-century disaster.

From the world of the arts, there are chapters on the four sisters who overcame Victorian prejudice to be acclaimed as Royal Academy artists… and on why Wallingford’s most famous resident and the world’s best-selling novelist is scorned by the literary critics. Plus the first in-depth investigation into an extraordinary rumour that has lingered on in the town for the last two hundred years.

A Town Called Wallingford is a tribute to small towns in general and to Wallingford in particular. And just as Landmark in Time set out to add to the pleasure of those who know and walk the Wittenham Clumps, I hope that this book will add to the interest and enjoyment of those who have grown to love Wallingford as I have over the years.

A Town Called Wallingford is available from Wallingford Bookshop and from Peter Adamson (

Peter Adamson is a winner of the Royal Society of Literature V.S.Pritchett Memorial Prize and in addition to non-fiction writing has published three novels and a collection of short stories.