Welcome to the
Farningham and Eynsford
Local History Society
Farningham and Eynsford Local History Society
Publication Review
Stanley McIntyre
£2.00   A5, 20 pages, 13 sketches, 1 map, published 1995

A most welcome new guide to Eynsford Castle, with additional botanical notes by the Eynsford Village Society Natural History Group, by S.G. McIntyre to replace the now out of print 1964 guide, by S.E. Rigold, for English Heritage. Stan McIntyre is to be congratulated on this, his first publication of those produced by the F & E LHS. The Society enjoys a reputation for the excellence and scholarliness of its publications within Kentish local history circles, and the author has followed in the Society's traditions by having produced a well written, well researched and easily readable document. I found the layout of the guide particularly good and, in some aspects, superior to its predecessor in that the visitor is lead straight to the Castle itself and is guided round it in an interesting and clear manner. On his tour round the Castle, the visitor has the landmarks and points of interest described in an easily assimilated way; sufficient to make the points but brief enough so as not to bore the reader. A novel innovation is the way the information, regarding the rich abundance of flora to be found at the Castle, is inserted in italics at appropriate points during the tour. Having whetted his reader's appetite, the author then adds flesh to the bare bones of his narrative by listing and giving the backgrounds of the Castle's former inhabitants. The visitor is introduced to the families and individuals, both good and bad, who leased or owned it, from the relatively brief three hundred year period of its habitation, through the time of its lowest decline when it was hunting kennels in the 18th. century, to its partial renaissance as an ancient monument. The final section deals briefly with the development of the Castle and nicely rounds off the guide, allowing the information in the preceding pages to fit neatly into place, and giving the visitor a satisfying ending to his visit.

Ron Halford
Amended review reprinted from The Trident magazine.