Dear Retailers and Buyers of
Historical Publications Ltd. Books


Historical publications Ltd. will not any longer from January 2019 be publishing new titles. Further, its stock, distributed by Countryside books is now sold. Some retailers may still have stock. Also Sandpiper may have stock of some titles, but stock is no longer available from the distributor Countryside books.

HPL was set up by John Richardson in l971. He is grateful to his distributor, and London booksellers for their support in retailing these specialist local histories of London, of which the Past series (in 64 volumes) was written to provide a detailed history of how London grew from its villages.

Brief history

HPL was founded by Joseph Charles Richardson, known as "John", in l971: he then worked in advertising and as a borough councillor for Camden (formerly a councillor for St. Pancras). The damage to parts of London in WWII, engendered a battle between the planners (to demolish the rest) and those who wished to conserve and re-use the best of what remained: John was for the latter with his eager participation in the (successful) campaign to save Covent Garden Market and then, to save St. Pancras hotel and the station.

These successes were supported by the Camden History Society (which John, with others, helped found) and Historical Publications Ltd. 's books. John wrote and then published the first edition of the Local Historian's Encyclopedia, a reference to the archival and other principal sources of information essential to the historian. He published it because he doubted the interest of a commercial publisher in such a specialist reference. John went on to commission, edit, print and sell 112 works of history on London-in particular the "Past series" mentioned above, of which he wrote 9-including several on Highgate and Camden, his special interest.

He commissioned and published thematic works in particular works on the Theatre (R. Tames), London's lost buildings (R. Tames), London's Coffee Houses (A. Clayton) and Folklore (A. Clayton), its Spas and Wells (James Stevens Curl), Subterranean London (A. Clayton) , Graveyards (Bard) and the Lost Rivers of London (by Nicholas Barton), continuously in print from l982 to 2018, through 3 editions, including its 3rd edition by Nicholas Barton and Stephen Myers. Historical Publications thanks all the authors for their unique contributions to Historical Publications and for sharing their knowledge with visitors and Londoners.

John is sad to end the publishing. John thanks its sales representatives Jan Cook and Jackie Arrowsmith, its distributor (Countryside Books from 2008 to date and Phillimore before that) who perform the essential tasks of safe-keeping, shipping the books efficiently and of course the retailers who ensure that readers can browse, buy and read.

You may contact Historical Publications at:

Tel: +44 (0)1227 272 605