Historical Publications, founded in the 1970s, is the largest publisher of historical books on London and nearby towns. We have three distinct categories. One is the celebrated ‘Past’ series, which consists of histories of single areas – quite often the only modern history of some of them. Hornsey Past is a recent example. The books, profusely illustrated, are usually compiled chronologically and thematically. They are well researched, detailed histories. All of them are originally published in hardback.

We have also introduced A-Z format histories of some of the same areas, such as The Enfield Book, or The Ealing Book. Recently we have published Covent Garden and Soho: the illustrated A-Z historical guide and The Hampstead Book, covering two of London’s most visited areas. These are high-quality softbacks and again, are well illustrated.

We publish books on London themes. The Lost Rivers of London is a long-standing classic. Other theme books include Political London, Theatrical London, The Folklore of London and so on. We have recently published the definitive book on the Spas, Wells, and Pleasure-Gardens of London by Professor James Stevens Curl. This was followed by an extended and newly-researched second edition of Subterranean City: Beneath the Streets of London, by Anthony Clayton, a wide-ranging survey of what goes on beneath the capital.

Books may be ordered from bookshops or else from our distributors Countryside Books – click on Order for details


- Just published -

The Lost Rivers of London

By Nicholas Barton and Stephen Myers

Lost Rivers of London Cover

This is a revised and much expanded edition of a book that is the recognised authority on the lost rivers of London. It deals extensively not only with the courses of the rivers beneath our feet, but with their history, the industries they aided, such as milling and brewing, and also how they were degraded and eventually buried. Once ornamental fresh water streams flowing through London, sadly they became part of the drainage system.

In this new edition the routes taken by the rivers are superimposed on Geographers’ A-Z maps – all in colour. The lost rivers south of the Thames are described in detail for the first time. There are additional illustrations – many in colour.

The book includes much new research. For example, the Walbrook river, which divided into two what would evolve as the City of London, is now shown to have a source as far distant as near the Angel in Islington. 

It would now not be practicable to bring the rivers to the surface because of their many connections to sewer systems or to industrial outlets. But the authors propose a way to harness the source water of at least three rivers, so as to channel it into pipelines that could be tapped at intervals to create attractive short streams to flow through our built-up city again. 

Hardback 245 x 185mm; 224 pages, 45maps (31 in colour) and 109 illustrations (28 in colour) £22.50.
ISBN 978-1-905286-51-5

Obtainable from bookshops or Countryside Books (click on Orders)



Freemasonry & the Enlightenment:
Architecture, Symbols, and Influences

By James Stevens Curl


This wide-ranging, thorough and beautifully illustrated study of Freemasonry's influence on Western culture puts into context a movement that has left a significant legacy. Professor Curl shows how aspects of Freemasonic ideas have permeated the design of buildings, parks, gardens, and cemeteries, as well as other art-forms from literature to the performing arts. An extensive glossary and bibliography provide additional detail on the complex ideas and iconography of Freemasonry.

This title can only be ordered directly from Historical Publications

More details and ordering information >