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Martin Watts - Author

About the Author

Books by Martin Watts

The Royal Marines and the War at Sea 1939-45

The Royal Marines and the War at Sea 1939-45

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/02/2018

In The Royal Marines and the War at Sea 1939-45 military and naval historian Martin Watts records how marines fought at sea, their relationship with the Royal Navy, and the overall contribution they made to victory in the Second World War. Combining personal narrative with strategical, tactical and technical analysis, this book is centred on the career of the author's great-uncle, Colour Sergeant Albert 'Nobby' Elliott, who saw active service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic and Indian Oceans. He was Mentioned in Despatches at the Second Battle of Sirte, took part in Operation Torch, and was a gun layer in HMS Jamaicawhen she took part in the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorston Boxing Day 1943. Nobby finished the war recovering Allied prisoners of war from the south-west Pacific, and was present at the surrender of Japanese forces while on board HMS Glory.

Prehistoric, Romano-British and Medieval Occupation in the Frome Valley, Gloucestershire

Prehistoric, Romano-British and Medieval Occupation in the Frome Valley, Gloucestershire

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2014

This volume contains the results of two archaeological projects undertaken within the Frome Valley, Gloucestershire. The first describes a Beaker pit and evidence for a Romano-British settlement at Foxes Field, Ebley Road, Stonehouse; the second details the remains of medieval enclosures and a fishpond at Rectory Meadows, Kings Stanley. There is little to connect the two sites, other than them being less than a mile apart, with the site at Foxes Field principally comprising an early Roman-British rural settlement and late Romano-British burial ground; and the site at Rectory Meadows featuring medieval paddocks and a late medieval pond. In fact, with Foxes Field also producing evidence for prehistoric occupation and for a post-medieval path and plough furrows, the two sites largely complement each other in terms of period representation. However, common to both sites is evidence, of just a few fragments of flue tiles, roof tiles and building rubble, to suggest that late Roman villas once stood nearby to both locations. It is the recurring presence of Romano-British remains from archaeological investigations in the Frome valley, often with such evidence for high-status buildings, which demonstrates just how populated this area was during the Roman period in Britain. The burials from Foxes Field, and in particular the close bond that can be implied between the man and woman found in the remarkable `double' grave, serve to remind us that these discoveries are not just `relics of a bygone age', but were once homes to real people who lived, loved and died beside the river Frome.

Medieval and Post-Medieval Development within Bristol's Inner Suburbs

Medieval and Post-Medieval Development within Bristol's Inner Suburbs

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2013

This volume contains the results of four archaeological projects undertaken within the historic suburbs of Bristol. Excavations at nos 26-28 and at nos 55-60 St Thomas Street were both within the 12th-century planned suburb of Redcliffe, just to the southeast of the medieval city. Investigations at Harbourside and at Cabot House, Deanery Road, were undertaken in the medieval district of Billeswick, to the southwest of the city centre and in the vicinity of Bristol Cathedral, formerly the church of the 12th-century St Augustine's Abbey. However, it is the general lack of evidence for significant development at these sites throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods and up to the beginning of the 18th century that provides a common theme. The scarcity of evidence for medieval and post-medieval development at the Billeswick sites, Cabot House and Harbourside, is unsurprising as both were in the ownership of the abbey or cathedral throughout this period, and were clearly of value as undeveloped land, either as parkland (as at Cabot House) or meadow (i.e. Canon's Marsh at Harbourside). The dearth of evidence from the St Thomas Street sites in Redcliffe was more unexpected, though this appears to corroborate documentary evidence suggesting that this part of the suburb remained something of a backwater into late post-medieval times. At nos 55-60, there was little evidence for anything more substantial than simple boundaries and timber structures, perhaps used for drying cloth, until the beginning of the 18th century. At nos 26-28 there was no evidence for tenements until late into the post-medieval period and the site may well have been part of a medieval grange. The development of the first substantial buildings at both St Thomas Street sites, of new streets and terraces at Cabot House, and of the ropewalks and later industrial development of Canon's Marsh at Harbourside, all reflect the rapid expansion and building boom Bristol enjoyed in the 18th century, largely a result of the city's involvement in the Atlantic trade.

Bedford Camper Vans and Motorhomes

Bedford Camper Vans and Motorhomes

Author: Martin Watts Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/02/2010

Bedford is a name from British automotive history that became synonymous with quality commercial vehicles. Between 1930 and the late 1980s few companies, large or small, did have at least a couple of Bedfords within their fleet. These were dependable vehicles used by fleet operators all over the UK and beyond.

Prehistoric and Medieval Occupation at Moreton-in-Marsh and Bishop's Cleeve, Gloucestershire

Prehistoric and Medieval Occupation at Moreton-in-Marsh and Bishop's Cleeve, Gloucestershire

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/03/2008

Two reports are published in this volume: excavations in 2003 at Blenheim Farm, Moreton-in-Marsh (by Jonathan Hart and Mary Alexander) and excavations in 2004 at 21 Church Road, Bishop's Cleeve (by Kate Cullen and Annette Hancocks). Significant remains recorded at Moreton-in-Marsh include a Middle Bronze Age settlement of four post-built circular structures partly enclosed by a segmented ditch, and a series of medieval fields and paddocks with a possible sheepcote structure. A Middle Palaeolithic handaxe was also recovered. The Iron Age and medieval remains recorded at Bishop's Cleeve add to our understanding of past settlement in and around the village, where extensive development has resulted in a number of significant excavations in recent years.

Two Cemeteries from Bristol's Northern Suburbs

Two Cemeteries from Bristol's Northern Suburbs

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/12/2006

Two reports are published in this volume: excavations in 2004 at Henbury School, Bristol (by Derek Evans, Neil Holbrook and E.R. McSloy) and excavations in 2005 at Hewlett Packard, Filton, South Gloucestershire (by Kate Cullen, Neil Holbrook, Martin Watts, Anwen Caffell and Malin Holst). Excavations in 2004 at Henbury School, Bristol, revealed the truncated remains of 21 inhumation burials, making a total of 28 burials recorded at the site since 1982. Of these, 24 burials formed a dispersed cemetery of crouched inhumations, the vast majority of which were aligned north/south and lay on their left sides, with equal numbers of males and females (where sex could be determined) and only one child. Poor bone survival rendered radiocarbon dating invalid, and the cemetery is dated by only one grave good: a finger ring from the mid to late Iron Age. However, the cemetery clearly pre-dated a later rectangular enclosure of very late Iron Age (early 1st-century AD) date. Crouched inhumations from the later Iron Age are known from the region but usually from pits or scattered, so the presence of this cemetery at Henbury is significant. Inhumation cemeteries of this date are rare in Western Britain, although they may have been quite widespread. Despite the dearth of surviving features within the subsequent enclosure, the scale of the ditches suggests it was a farmstead, and environmental evidence hints at both livestock rearing and cereal cultivation. Subsequent Roman activity was clearly intensive, and included a further four burials; although difficult to interpret, it adds to a substantial amount of evidence for Roman activity to the north-west of Bristol. Excavations in 2005 at Hewlett Packard, Filton, revealed the truncated remains of 51 inhumation burials within an isolated post-Roman cemetery. All of the burials were extended and east-west aligned, and were arranged in rows and groups. The tradition of east/west-aligned graves is a common late Roman and post-Roman practice, and these were not necessarily Christian. The largest group comprised 24 burials clustered around a central grave that contained an unusual skeleton and evidence for a distinctive burial rite. Overall there were slightly more females than males (where sex could be determined) and ten children. Adult stature could only be calculated in a few cases; males were generally taller that the early medieval average, females shorter. No grave goods were recovered, but four radiocarbon dates obtained from human bone suggest a period of use sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries AD. There was no evidence for contemporary settlement within the immediate vicinity. Other post-Roman cemeteries that are culturally distinct from Anglo-Saxon influenced burials are known from the region. The absence of Anglo-Saxon cemeteries in South Gloucestershire suggests this area remained under British control in the 5th and 6th centuries. The abandonment of this cemetery may have been the result of changes in the religious landscape once the area finally came under Saxon control in the late 7th century.

Watermills

Watermills

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

Watermills were once commonplace but, because of their domestic scale and their often picturesque waterside locations, many have now lost their waterwheels and machinery and the buildings have been converted to other uses. Water power has been used for over 2000 years, initially for grinding grain and pumping water, and later for driving processing machinery for a wide variety of industries, which had a far-reaching effect on the economic and social development of Britain from the middle of the eighteenth century. In this new book, watermill expert Martin Watts, author of the Shire book Water and Wind Power , explains the history and development of watermills as working buildings and the importance of the wider appreciation of the built environment and the use of natural sources of power.

Windmills

Windmills

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2006

Windmills have been in existence for over 800 years and although only a fraction of those that once ground corn, pumped water and provided power for industry and agriculture, now survive. Among the most important features of these survivors are the variations in design that have come about through their different origins, the use of local materials in their construction, and the influence of millwrights and millers - those who built and worked them - in different parts of the country. Understanding these variations provides important clues to the need to protect and maintain windmills, the continued survival of which allows a fascinating insight into the historic use of renewable energy, the development of engineering, and the processing of grain, for flour and bread, as well as other essential products.

The Archaeology of Mills and Milling

The Archaeology of Mills and Milling

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2002

This account of grain mills and milling from prehistory, through Roman and medieval times, to the post-medieval and modern period is not just another book about windmills and watermills. Concentrating on Britain, it looks at the archaeological evidence for the early periods and at the interpretation of remains and standing mills, along with documentary evidence, for the last millennium. Individual chapters cover a brief history of the study of mills; the prehistory of milling; the introduction of mechanical milling by the Romans; the Anglo-Saxon mills; medieval mills, whether monastic, castle-based or secular; post-medieval and modern mills. The work is completed by a full glossary of technical terms and a bibliography for further reading.

Working Oxen

Working Oxen

Author: Martin Watts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/1999