Royston and District Local History Society


The Society publishes its own resources and makes available those published by others where the content may be of interest to those seeking to understand more of Royston’s history.



  • From the Society at its monthly meetings

  • The Cave Shop, 8 Melbourn Street, Royston, SG8 7BZ

  • Bow Books, 6 Angel Pavement, Royston, SG8 9AS

  • Royston Museum and Royston Library - although with limited availability

A publication’s availability can be checked by email using the button below or by phone on 01763 242677



These should be made payable to
Royston and District Local History Society and should include the apprioriate amount for postage and packing when books are requested to be sent by post.

These should be made payable to
Royston and District Local History Society and should include the apprioriate amount for postage and packing when books are requested to be sent by post.

Card payments
The Society now has the facility to take card payments for its publications at its monthly meetings. 

The Society's Publications

Royston and District Local History Society publishes a number of resourcess of local interest as part of its mission to promote and safeguard Royston’s history and environment for future generations.

The Society also holds the copyright of the books by the late Alfred Kingston F. R. Hist. S., a local historian who lived in Royston from the 1870s to the early part of the 20th century.

Royston%20War%20Memorial%20 %20Centenary%20%28Cover%20-%20Crop%20-%20Small%29

Centenary of the Royston War Memorial

Yolanda Hayes and Pamela Wright

Published to mark the centenary of Royston’s War Memorial on 26th March 1922, this limited edition book explores the stories behind the men listed from both World Wars, together with their photographs.

Written by Yolanda Hayes and Pamela Wright of the What Royston Did project, the book provides information on those men whose names were put forward for inclusion but who do not appear on the memorial. Also included are the other memorials in the town, in particular those in the Priory Memorial Gardens, as are the memorials and cemeteries where men are remembered or lie buried at home or in foreign fields.


Royston Cave - A Mystery Beneath Our Feet

DVD Produced by Film Infinity

Royston Cave is a grade I historical monument hidden almost 30 feet below the streets of Royston close to where the ancient roads Ermine Street and the Icknield Way intersect.

We may never know the whole story of the Royston Cave but this DVD will give you a glimpse into the past and give you plently of food for thought.

April 2013


Royston Cave - Postcards

Postcards of some of the images on the walls of Royston Cave


Royston’s Heritage Buildings
2nd edition

Peter Ranson

An updated edition of the book originally published in 2017 which describes the buildings of historical importance in Royston, Hertfordshire.

84 pages - Many illustrations

ISBN - 978-0-9957896-2-3


Royston Bill Heads

P W Smith

A fascinating collection of bill heads from Royston businesses from 1776 to 1914. 

A4 - 54 pages- Illustrated

ISBN - 978-0-9511722-7-8


Royston’s Call to Arms - Volume 1

Front Line 1914-15

Yolanda Hayes

Letter and interviews from 1914-15 researched and compiled from Royston’s local newspaper, The Crow.

92 pages plus introduction - Illustrated

ISBN - 978-0-9511722-7-8


Royston’s Call to Arms - Volume 2

France and Flanders 1916-1919

Yolanda Hayes

Letters, interviews and stories from a market town in Hertfordshire.

97 pages - Illustrated

ISBN - 978-0-9957896-0-9


The Royston Gas Incident 1981

Sylvia P Beamon MA (Cantab)

The day Royston was nearly blown off the map.

A4 - 96 pages - Illustrated

ISBN - 978-0-9511722-8-5


The Royston War Memorial

Douglas Plowman

A description of the military service of each soldier appearing on the Royston War Memorial.

1st edition 2006 - 2nd edition 2014

71 pages


Wartime Reminiscences

Kathleen Dodkin MBE

Kathleen Dodkin was a long-term resident of Royston and these are her reminiscences of her time in Royston during WWII. 

33 pages
First published in 2005 - Second edition 2016.


Royston Priory
Foundation to Dissolution

David Wallington

The story of Royston Priory from foundation to dissolution and to the present parish church of St John the Baptist.

ISBN: 978-0-9957896-4-7

108 pages with illustrations.


Recipes from a Cook’s Notebook 1778

Edited by S and J Ralls

This book reproduces over a hundred recipes, handwritten by a cook(s) around 1778.

90 pages


Royston Inns and Public Houses

K Curtis, J Halstead, A Jones, M Michie, C Rayner, A Smith, H Weetman
Revised by S and J Ralls

Approx. 55 public houses are known to have existed in the town, and this book identifies and describes as many of them as possible. Traditional inns have been included, as well as public houses and beer houses, but licenced hotels and restaurants have been excluded. For each house, the licensees have been listed where known.

1st edition - 1990
32 pages - 17 Illustrations

ISBN : 0-9511722-1-2


The Blue Plaques of Royston

F John Smith

An account the historical background tom the Blue Plaques in the town.

34 pages


Royston 1900 - A Year in the Life of a Small Market Town

S and J Ralls

This book takes a look at a year in the life of the people in Royston in 1900. The first section covers events, both national and world-wide and examines their effect on a small market town. The second section deals with specific activities in the town, on a month by month basis, in the year 1900, making extensive use of local newspaper archives.

208 pages - Illustrated with photos, maps and extracts from the Royston Crow

1st edition - 1999


The Vestry Book, Royston, Cambs. 1659-1749

An Analysis by Dr. Ivor A Williams

This book is an analysis of the Vestry Book, a record of the meetings of the officers of the parish in the Church Vestry. It contains full details of all the residents of the town mentioned in these records.

92 pages


Royston Cave

Joseph Beldham
Preface by Peter E Ketteringham

A reprint of of the book published in 1906. Includes a brief memoir of the late Joseph Beldam, FSA.

50+ pages with illustrations.


Hertfordshire Session Books V-X 1619-1843

Transcribed by S and J Ralls
Background information by Jean Cosslett

Extracts relating to Royston from 1619 to 1843.

82 Pages

Other Publications

Publications available from sources other than the Society’s publishing subcommittee. Many of these can be found at the Cave Art and Bookshop, 8 Melbourn Street, Royston (adjacent to the Cave) as well as Royston Museum, although numbers are limted.

Publications available from sources other than the Society’s publishing subcommittee. Many of these can be found at the Cave Art and Bookshop, 8 Melbourn Street, Royston (adjacent to the Cave) as well as Royston Museum, although numbers are limted, and by mail from the Society.


20th Century Royston Volume I The First 50 Years

Fred Sillence

The history of Royston from 1901 to 1951 told by the former editor of the Royston Crow.

121 pages - 84 illustrations

ISBN Ref : 0 904378 42 X


Old Royston Volume II

Peter Ketteringham

Photographs and illustrations mainly selected from Royston Museum's unique collection by Peter Ketteringham who has lived in Royston all his life and is President of the Royston and District Local History Society.


70 pages - 133 illustrations

ISBN Ref : 0 904378 46 2 


The Medieval Structure within Royston Cave

P. T. Houldcroft, F.R.Eng

A description of the Royston cave during medieval times showing the most likely form of a wooden structure that would have been used by the Knights Templar movement.

1st edition - 1995, reprinted 1997, reprinted with revisions and additions 1999

20 pages - Illustrated with colour photographs and line drawings

ISBN Ref : 0 9511722 4 71999 


A Medieval Mystery at the Crossroads

P T Houldcroft F.R.Eng

A new theory on the origin and original purpose of the Royston Cave by the author who was managing this Grade I national monument for 17 years.

144 pages


Fragments of Two Centuries

Alfred Kingston F.R.Hist.S.

The book describes rural life in England from approximately 1750 to 1890, using church records, local newspaper archives and personal reminiscences from the Royston area. It details the changes in all aspects of rural life in that period : social, agricultural, transportation, etc. Though local in its overall theme, the book will be of a wider interest to all those interested in the social history of the period.

Facsimile copy of 1893 edition (reprinted 1990).
194 pages - 19 illustrations


The Heath and its Wildflowers

Alfred Kingston F.R.Hist.S.

The author brings together a brief record of the principal points of interest which the Heath presents to the visitor. It begins with a short history of the Heath and is followed notes on its typical wild flowers. These are written for the general reader and so the book follows the natural arrangement of the flowers on the Heath, rather than the order which is found in botanical books.1961 (reprint of original 1904 publication). 

47 pages - 1 illustration

Other Resources Available

The Society’s News Sheets

The Society periodically publishes a newsletter covering its recent activities and topics which readers may find of interest. The Society is now making these available via its web site.

The Conduit


The Conduit is a yearly publication of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society.

It is a work of reference for members of the Society and provides a roundup of events and activities which may be of interest for members and non members alike.

It is published on a yearly basis with 2015-16 being the first "Interactive' version.