3 MARCH 1939, Page 34

ABBOTS BROMLEY By Marcia Alicia Rice

Miss Rice's book (Shrewsbury : Wilding, 75. 6d.) is a good example of the parish history that combines scholarly re- search with intimate knowledge of the place and its local legends. Abbots Bromley, in Staffordshire, is now known mainly for the Woodard Girls' School, over which Miss Rice presided for many years. Before the railway age it was a market town, as the old town hall and market-house show, and in the middle ages it was an appendage of the great abbey at Burton, a few miles away. Mary Queen of Scots stayed at the manor house for a few hours in x586 on her way to Chartlev, as an inscribed window, now in the Stafford museum, records. No other event in national history seems to have affected Abbots Bromley, but the local material here collected in abundance will have its value for residents. Students of folk dancing should note the three elaborate chapters on the Horn Dance performed every September by twelve men carrying reindeer antlers; it was known to Dr. Plot, the seventeenth-century antiquary, and is doubtless much older than his time. Miss Rice reminds us that H. F. Cary, the translator of Dante, was once vicar of Abbots Bromley ; she has, too, a useful account of old trades and sports. The work is well illustrated.