Monty Larkin Autobiography book

Monty Larkin –

A Rural Autobiography – 40 Years Of Countryside Working & Campaigning.

Much of the content of this autobiography is heavily motivated by a lifetime’s interest in the subjects of geology, countryside and the myriad plants and animals that inhabit them. I have also always been heavily drawn to that cocktail of ingredients that form the agricultural industry – past and present.

This complex of strands creates for me, an intriguing feast of landscape with its varying biodiversity and of its farming communities wresting a living from food production within it… This volume is in essence a dual biography, for I have also written at length about a number of accompanying countryside aspects and issues.  I have also written at length concerning problems and emotional highs and lows that I have faced during life.

Monty will always get the best out of his helpers and re-pay them with more work to do as well, parting with a little more knowledge. He is full of information about the Downs, writing books on the subject telling of their flora, fauna and landscapes, what he doesn’t know about birds and bees - yes, the Downs could write some books of their own!”

Neil B., friend and work colleague.

The Pony Chapter was full of information I never knew and I’m really glad you were able to share your thoughts by keeping a diary. I think this is especially valuable for conservation grazing. What really struck me was how hard you worked to make the project successful which you accomplished, and you should feel proud of all your efforts.”

David R., pony looker

“A very sympathetic man, very much missed on the Downs... The Downs will be a poorer place without Monty to look after them.”

Quote by a Downland farmer.

Buy online:

Book Details:

  • Size: 210 x 148mm
  • The book consists of 496 pages
  • To order, contact me at    montylarkin@yahoo.co.uk
  • Priced at £17.99 for delivery within East Sussex.  For delivery further afield include an additional £4 p&p

Book cover of Seven Sisters by Monty Larkin

Seven Sisters –
The History Behind the View

First published in 2008, this captivating local history concerns one of England’s ‘jewels in the crown,’ – the Seven Sisters and Cuckmere valley, now within the South Downs National Park. What is revealed by this work will fascinate local people, visitors and students of the Cuckmere valley and the neighbouring stunning coastline. Above all, it is an accurate source of detailed knowledge. It is a record of life and times within a classic piece of English landscape.

The books ‘study area’ centres on Exceat (the Seven Sisters Country Park) at the southern end of the Cuckmere Valley and takes in neighbouring Chyngton, West Dean and Friston Forest. This also includes the fabulous chalk coastline from Seaford Head to Birling Gap including the famous Seven Sisters cliffs.

The 12 subjects areas covered include buildings, land ownership, River Cuckmere, smuggling, shipwrecks, agriculture, establishment of Friston Forest, RAF Friston and the Seven Sisters Country Park. The book includes much un-published material, particularly in relation to the shipwrecks, Friston Forest and wartime flying at RAF Friston.

The feature film ‘A United Kingdom’ released in December 2016:

A United KingdomRuth Khama (played by Rosamund Pike) served during WW2 at RAF Friston; book contains a small section detailing her experiences there in her own words…

New Second Edition.

The text of the Second Edition has been re-edited and considerably extended where new research has disclosed further information. This encompasses additional accounts of shipwrecks, including newly-commissioned scientific research for this book on one of the two great Sussex shipwrecks, that of the exceptionally valuable Spanish galleon, the Nympha Americana. Also to be found, are newly discovered details of both sea and river defences and also the early recreational use of the Cuckmere River.

New research has enabled an entirely new chapter setting out events leading to the creation and early management of the Seven Sisters Country Park at Exceat including its use by the film industry. Excepting this new chapter and Chapters One and Two, the ‘cut-off point’ of the book’s content is approximately the early-1970’s. A number of additional illustrations have also been included, as is a new comprehensive index.

‘PC’ wrote in January 2017:  “They’re wonderful books and I’d be very grateful if you could sign them for me. I started work as a Visitor Welcome Assistant with National Trust in August last year, and have been enjoying copies of the books borrowed from my local library.”

Couple on a horse and cart

Buy online:

Book Details:

  • Size: 210 x 147mm
  • The book consists of 307 pages
  • 67 black and white images
  • Detailed two-page map
Old ship at sea
Old cottages

“This book is an invaluable study of a famous area of coast and downland by one who is passionately and professionally concerned in its conservation.”

Lady Edna Healey.

SECOND EDITION NOW AVAILABLE VIA THIS WEBSITE, OR AT THESE LOCAL STOCKISTS BELOW:

Alfriston: Much Ado Bookshop.

Beachy Head Countryside Centre.

Exceat: Seven Sisters Country Park Centre.

Newhaven: Newhaven Historical Society Museum, Avis Road.

Seaford: Seaford Museum & Historical Society, Martello Tower.

In the Footsteps of Time book cover

In the Footsteps of Time
Geology and Landscape of Cuckmere Valley and Downs

This well-received illustrated book published in 2006, provides a readable, in-depth source of knowledge on the geology and landscape of an area centred on the Cuckmere valley in East Sussex. The text concentrates on an area broadly bound by Eastbourne, Newhaven, Lewes and Hailsham, with limited reference to features outside those margins. It is written at an intermediate level for country-lovers, students and those with an enquiring mind. It is not intended as a substitute for the standard reference books dealing with the subject.

The layout of the book attempts to keep to the principle of a ‘timeline,’ presenting processes and events in chronological order. The book begins with the area’s basic geology starting with its main constituent – chalk, followed by the other lesser components: enquiring into their origin, structure and development into today’s landscape. This is followed by chapters on key periods and landscape forms. Key terms are highlighted with further facts provided in numbered text boxes, with a list of further reading at the end of the book.

The focus of this book, is situated within the long chalk spine of the South Downs National Park, part of the English southern chalk uplands. To the east, lie the marshlands of Pevensey Levels; to the north, rise the gentle ridges of the Low Weald, formed of soft clays and sandstones beyond which rises the High Weald. The undoubted ‘stars’ of these landscapes are the spectacular white chalk cliffs between Eastbourne and Seaford including Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters. 

‘PC’ wrote in January 2017:  “They’re wonderful books and I’d be very grateful if you could sign them for me. I started work as a Visitor Welcome Assistant with National Trust in August last year, and have been enjoying copies of the books borrowed from my local library.”

Buy online:

Book Details:

  • Size: 210 x 147mm
  • The book consists of 82 pages
  • 20 black and white images
  • 11 line drawings

AVAILABLE VIA THIS WEBSITE OR AT THESE LOCAL STOCKISTS BELOW:

Alfriston: Much Ado Bookshop.
Beachy Head Countryside Centre.
Exceat: Seven Sisters Country Park Centre.

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