There are many interesting books available from which to learn more about the Corsham area: how it developed, who contributed and with some fascinating stories of its history. Several of these can also be invaluable when carrying out Family History research.

A Corsham Boyhood

A Corsham Boyhood: The Diary of Herbert Spackman 1877-1891*

Ernest Hird

This represents the first thirteen years of a diary started purely as shorthand practise, but continued by the writer into his twenties. It paints a picture of family life in Corsham with music, cricket, and other activities of the local community – all described with enthusiasm and affection for his home town.

A Life Revealed: From the diaries of Herbert Spackman*

Ernest Hird

A new look at Herbert Spackman and the enormous impact he made on the life of the inhabitants of Corsham. His dedication to his family, his music, and his business is demonstrated by his success in achieving and passing on his high moral and professional standards.

An Appreciation of the Life of Robin Tanner

An Appreciation of Robin Tanner

Ernest Hird

An account of the intelligent and clever man who excelled at writing and was a great believer in the promotion of education for all. But Robin Tanner will be remembered especially for his talents as an etcher, where he must take his place as a member of the Wiltshire Arts & Crafts movement.

Available from Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre
Price £11.99

An Exceptional Woman

An Exceptional Woman: The Writings of Heather Tanner

Selected by Rosemary Devonald

The daughter of Herbert Spackman. Heather Tanner was to marry Robin Tanner and live in Kington Langley, where their home became a centre for visiting friends and intellectual conversation. Throughout her life Heather wrote, poems and essays on her understanding of rural life, some of which are remembered here.

Available from £14.50 (Hobnob Press, Salisbury or University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham – The Tanner Archive in the Crafts Study Centre)

Corsham and the Spackmans

Corsham & The Spackmans: A Musical Family*

Ernest Hird

The Spackmans came to Corsham in the early 19th Century running Corsham’s first shop selling essentials from grocery to drapery. The families also shared a talent in music and were involved in the local community as violinists, choirmasters, conductors, composers, concert singers and dance band players. If music was needed – Corsham was the place to come.

Corsham Born and Bred

Corsham Born and Bred*

Stephen Flavin

An avid collector of postcards for many years Stephen Flavin has been fascinated by the way they record the views and impressions of townspeople and visitors to the area from Edwardian times. This gives the reader of today an image of life in a small town before cars, aeroplanes and computers became the norm.

Corsham Born and Bred 2

Corsham Born and Bred II

Stephen Flavin

A further dip into the Edwardian view of life creating an historical journey around the Corsham area.

Available from Corsham Bookshop and Corsham Tourist Information Office.
Price £9.95

Corsham Facts & Folklore

Corsham Facts and Folklore

Pat Whalley

A look at Corsham’s early history and an A – Z of local stories collected over many years, featuring the people who made an interesting and often very significant contribution to the town’s social history.

Available from Corsham Bookshop and Corsham Tourist Information Office.
Price £9.99

Corsham Revealed

Corsham Revealed

Julian Carosi

Corsham might appear to be a small, quiet town, but Julian’s research into the many and varied aspects of Corsham’s life has created a volume of truly interesting stories giving another view of the social history which abounds in the streets and houses that are passed every day.

Available from Corsham Bookshop and Corsham Tourist Information Office.
Price £14.99

History of Royal Naval Store Depot Copenacre

A History of Royal Naval Stores Copenacre

Pat Whalley

The Royal Naval Stores Depot began in the 1930’s. As Civil Servants were transferred from the north of England and the London area it grew to over a thousand people and family members until 1996. As one of 8 family members working on the site, Pat Whalley tells its story.

Available from Corsham Tourist Information Office. Price £1.

Secret Underground Cities

Secret Underground Cities

Nick McCamley

From a great love of exploring the caves beneath our feet, Nick became absorbed in the history and multiple uses our ancestors have made of these places – and in particular since the 1940’s. This led him to photograph, catalogue and research stories about the underground complex beneath Corsham & further afield.

Available from many good bookshops. Price £ 14.95

The Lady Margaret Hungerford Almshouses

Corsham Hungerford Almshouses & Freeschool *

Ernest Hird

The story of this beautiful building raised in 1668 at the bidding of Lady Margaret Hungerford. A fine example of the Puritan faith in action creating six houses or ladies who had fallen on hard times and a live in schoolmaster teaching young boys free of charge. A legacy worthy of preservation.

The Shadow of Mary Deane

Pat Whalley

Taken from her WW1 diaries, living in Box, Mary Deane was an author, and aunt to PG Woodhouse. Pat Whalley acknowledged that his character Aunt Agatha was based on Aunt Mary! Needless to say Mary was not amused!

Around Corsham

Corsham Civic Society

A collection of photographs and snippets of local stories.

Corsham Memories from 1910

Corsham Memories from 1910

Corsham Civic Society

Personal stories of life in Corsham pre WWII

Corsham Memories, The Prefab Years

Pat Whalley

Personal stories of life in Corsham during and after WWII

* These are now out of print, but may be obtained secondhand on websites or in charity shops.

+ Obtainable at Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre

Others may be obtained through Corsham Bookshop, Corsham Tourist Information Centre, or by request.