Stephen Cox Garden Trust is a Registered  Charity (number: 1174239)

Writings: incl. Wildlife-History-Spirituality



Stephen Cox is a prolific writer on history, wildlife,  ancient sites, philosophy, spirituality, ancient religions, conservation, heritage, folklore, mythology. This includes over 23 small books and over 600 articles.

Because of time restrictions related to his duties running the garden and directing the Trust, his writings are presently confined to Local Wiltshire History and Conservatioin/Wildlife. This includes a monthly article for 'InSpire' the local parish.

An outline of his writing career, together with subjects, titles, and some samples of articles etc will appear here shortly.


(I) Wiltshire History Series

These articles are completed and will form part of my Wiltshire History Website. It is also anticipated in time that a small series of books will be published. Lectures and guided tours are also available on some of these subjects, Many more articles are in process of being written. These will be added to this list on completion.

1. The Wesleyan Chapel Studley.

2. The Wilsaetas (Saxon tribe).

3. Battle of Chippenham (1643).

4. Cherhill White Horse.

5. St.Dunstan.

6. Calne Broadcloth.

7. The Domesday Book.

8. Priory of Kington St.Michael.

9. Royal Forests.

10. The Moonrakers.

11. Little Zoar Baptist Chapel.

12. Maud Heath’s Causeway.

13. The Burning of Reginald de Cobham.

14. Sandy Lane Providence Chapel.

15. Studley Economics 1643-1999.

16. The Holy Well of Biddestone.

17. The Dumbpost Inn.

18. Bremhill.

19. Devizes Castle.

20. Gabriel Goldney.

21. Studley Manor

22. The Temple of Cunomaglus.

23.  The Lysley Arms

24. The Golden Gates

25. Early Saxon Studley

26. Fulk Fitzwarin & King John

27. Pinhills Manor.

28. The Burning of Sir Reginald de Cobham

29. Avebury Stone Circles

30. West Kennet Long Barrow.

31. Silbury Hill

32. The Battle of Dyrham 571ad (the battle of the 5 kings)

33. King Alfred and Chippenham

34. Stanley Abbey

35. The Anglo-Saxon Conquest.

36, The War of King Stephen and the Empress Matilda

37. Stanley Abbey and The Anarchy (1135-1153)

38. Chippenham- Forest History and Extent

39. Chippenham Forest- Governance

40. Chippenham- Forest Law

41. The Wilsaetas

(II) Wildlife & Conservation

I am passionate about wildlife, the landscape, conservation, protection of rural England, and enriching and cherishing our planet and all itscreatures. Alternate months I write an article in the parish magazine 'InSpire' on such matters as they relate to the local area in North Wiltshire. And these are listred below (I have written on many other subjects elsewhere and these will be listed in due course) My garden (Stephen Cox Garden Trust) is also geared to wildlife and respect for Nature and other creatures. I also have available workshops and courses on various aspects of the philosophy, spirituality and practical means of understanding wildlife and conservation and enhancing our lives thereby.


1. Bats.

2. Conservation Today- A Gift For Tomorrow.

3. Local Wildlife an Introduction.

4. Ragwort.

5. Moles.

6. Hedgehogs.

7. Butterflies.

8. Saving Eden.

9. Slow worms.

10. Biological Records.

11. Hibernation.

12. Widlife Decline.

13. Pollinators & Plants.

14. Trust Wildlife Notes.

15. Mid-Summer Glories

16. Swallows.

17. Wildlife War.

18. New Animals.

19. All Creatures Great and Small.

20. The Garden: Hope and the Sacred.

21. Winter Wildlife.

22. Before The Flood.

23. Mid-Summer Glories

24. Wildlife Decline

25. Calne Without Environmental Policies

26. The Life and Symbolism of the Bee

27. The Life and Symbolism of the Stag Beetle

28. Hedgerows-  Reality and Value

29. Hedgerows- Wildlife

30. Hedgerows-  The Craft

32. Hedgerows- Health

33. Hedgerows- Heritage

(III) Studley & Derry Hill History

This series of local histrory articles has been written primiarilly for 'InSpire' the parish magazine for the villages of Derry Hill and Studley. Artiles are also being publisde quarterly in the Calne Town Guide.

The scope of the articels does goes a litle beyond these two villages and includes Calne, Sandy Lane, Pewsham, Bremhill, Cherhill, Chippenham:


1.  Tales of The Black Dog.

2.  Studley Carrots.

3.  King John & Fulk at Stanley Abbey.

4.  Sir William Lysley.

5.  Studley Manor.

6.  Walter Studley.

7.  Lords of Studley Manor parts 1,2,3 (of 5)

8.  Studley Manor Chapel.

9.  Verlucio.

10. William of Newburgh.

11. Studley Mill..

12. The Wilsaetas.

13. Saxon Place Names.

14. St. Dunstan.

15. Old Road (8 parts)1: Introduction

16. Old Road 2: Old Derry & Lysley.

17. Old Road 3: The Golden Gates & Lansdowne

18. Old Road 4:  Church Road & Red Hill

19. Old Road 5: Christ Church & Littlke Zoar

20. Old Road 6: Ragg Lane & The Sohoi Inn

21. Saxon Studley.

22. Sandy Lane Chapel.

23. Agricultural Workers Cottages

24. Social & design aspects of 18th./19th.century Workers Cottages

25. Stone and Virtue: rural domestic architceture

26. Studley: Land Use: 1643-1996

27. Studley Allotments  1600 to 1900

28. Brief History of Studley Common

29.  Marden Valley Railway

30. The Golden Gates

31. Loxwell Abbey

32. Loxwell Abbey Historic References

33. Loxwell Springs

34. Studley and Derry Hill Alotments

35. Land Use in the 18th. and 19th. Centuries


Local history articles are published every other month.

(IV) Prehistoric & Ancient European Religions & Spiritiual Traditions

List is in preparation. More coming soon.

These articles deal with:

a) what is thought to have been the main festivals and themes of ancient European religions and which, to some extent, continmue to this day in varuious forms. and

b) ancient religious practices, or liturgy

c) priesthoods.

d) spiritual essence and ethos and themes. 


1. Lammas.

2. Walpurga.

3. Sonenwende.

4. Yule

5. Pontifex Maximus.

6. The Yule Log.

7. Santa Claus The Shaman

8. North European Shamans

9. The Fly Agaric & The Berserkers

10. The Flesh of the Gods

11. Voluspa: Interprerations

12. The Minoan  Bull Cult

13. The Eleusinian  Mysteries

14. The Spirit of Pelops.

15. Eostre.

16. Beltaine.

17. Imbolc.




(v) Prehistoric and Ancient British Sites

Further details coming soon.


1. Wayland's Smithy.

2. Grimspound.

3. West Kennet Long Barrow

4. Avebury.

5. Silbury Hill.

6. New Grange.

7. The Avenue.

8. The Sanctuary.

9. The Rollright Stones.

10. Grey Wethers.

11. The Ridgeway.

12. Dragon Hill.

13. The Blowing Stone

14. Men An Tol.

15. Skara Brae.

16. Stanton Drew Stones.

17. The Uffington White Horse.

18. Guided Tour: Uffton Fort, Wayland Smithy, White Horse.

19. Calleva Atrabatum: A Guided Tour

(VI) Mythology and Legends

Most articles deal with the mythology of the British Isles and Europe: in particular that of the Celtic peoples and the Germanic (Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Frisian, German etc)


1. Brutus The Trojan & the founding of Britain.

2. The Swan Maidens.

3. Albion and the Giants of Britain

4. Tyr

5. The Families of the Norse Gods

6. The Legend of Lyonesse.

7. The Nine Worlds

8. Draupnir.

9. Ivaldi's Clan.

10. The Light Elves.

11. The Dark Elves.

12. The Dwarves.

13. The Norse Giants.

14. The Asynor.

15. The Aesir.

16. The Aesir.

17. Yggdrasil

18. Freyr.

19. Jorumungandr & the Ouroboros.

20. Svipdag.

21. Wayland & The Winter War.

22. Cretan Serpents.

23. Jormungandr & the Serpent Goddess.

24. The Sword of Wayland.

25. The Jotunns.

26. Literary Sources of the Norse Myths.

27. Freyr and Alfheim.

28. Wayland and Nidud.

29. Wayland and the Winter War.

30. Freyr and the Eddas.

31. Skidbladnir


(VII) Folklore, Folk Traditions & Customs

This list is in preparation. More coming soon.

Most articles deal with the British Isles, although ocassionally I write about subjects on mainland Europe.


1. Herne The Hunter.

2. Robin Hood.

3. Bladud.

4. Lugh The Long Handed.

5. The Marshfield Mummers.

6. Plough Monday.

7. Hot Cross Buns.

8. The Spring Fest of Brigid.

9. Mark of Cornwall.

10. Puck.

11. The Whist Hounds.

12. The Dartmoor Pixies

13. Jan Coo

14. Avalon

15. Yule Folk Customs

16. Fechwerk

17. Glastonbury Tor

18. Gorum and the Giants.

19. 'Sally On The Barn'

20. Vixana.

21. Jay's Grave.

22. The Arbor Tree.

23. Hy Brasil.

24. Sabrina: Goddess of the Severn

25. The Glastonbury Rose.

26. Joseph, Jesus and Glastonbury.




(VIII) Dartmoor Writings

Dartmoor: Land of The Spirit

List in preparation. More items coming soon. 

I have been going to Dartmoor since the very early 1990's on a regular basis. In that time I have taken many groups of European students for explorations ane expeditions dealing with history, folklore, ancient sites, wildlife & Nature. And to explore ans convey an appreciation of appreciate the area known as " England's last great wilderness".


1. A Dartmoor Primer

2. Dartmoor: Glossary of Terms.

3. Widdecombe-in-the-Moor

4. A Pixie Encyclopaedia

5. On Hookney Tor

6. Scorhill's Dance of Time

7. Homage

8. A Gift For The Lady

9. Towers of Timeless

10. She Hath Gifts.

11. Land of the Spirit.

12. A Bell At Midnight.

13. A Bridge For The Epochs

14. Brooks

15. Her Timeless Sentinels

16. Homage.

17. The Webburn

18. Hymn To Cosmic Tree

19. Prehistoric 'Pounds' of Dartmoor.

20. Dartmoor Stannary 'Parliament'.

21. Ashburton Ale & Bread Ceremony.



(IX) European History

Note: This list is not complete. Research and archiving work is still in progresss in order to collate a complete record.

1. Sandro Botticelli- Introductiuon.

2. Sandro Botticelli- The Renaissance

3. Sandro Botticelli : Lorenzo’s Platonic Academy.

4. Sandro Botticelli- Poliziano & the Vernacular Revival

5. Sandro Botticelli- Ficino’s Arcane Humanism

6. Sandro Botticelli-: Pico Mirandola

7. Sandro Botticelli- Biography

8. Sandro Botticelli- Primavera

9. Fechwerk

10. Vlad Dracul Tepes

11. The Long Bow 1: Folk Values

12. The Long Bow 2: History and Legends

13. The Berserkers- History & Shapeshifting

14. The Berserkers- Myths and Sagas

15. The Berserkers- Early Medieval ‘Special Forces’

16. Giordano Bruno - Confrontation of Cosmologies

17. Giordano Bruno – Alchemy & Transformation

18. Giordano Bruno- Time & Memory Maps

19. Giordano Bruno- The Nem Ankh

20. Giordana Bruno- Main Works

21. Giordano Bruno - Heresy and Hermetics

22. Norwegian Stave Churches

23. Jomsburg

24. The Knights Templars- Baphomet

25. The Knights Templars- The Turin Shroud

26. The KnightsTemplars- Cauldron & Skull

27. The Knights Templars- The End

28. Library of the Medici

29. Elias Ashmole

30. Caesar's Conquest of Gaul

31. Goffrey of Monmouth – pt.1

32. Geoffrey of Monmouth- pt.2

33. Geoffrey of Monmouth- pt.3

34. Lorenzo di Medici

35. The Anglo-Saxon House Carls

36. The Dragon Order of Family Vlad Dracul

37. Anglo-Saxon Kinship and Lordship

38. History of the Wolf in Europe

39. Dartmoor - A Brief History

40. The Yew Tree

41. The Siege of Reading 1642

42. Lorenzo di Medici

43. The Medici Library

44. Crecy: The Killing Fields of 1346

45. The Wandervogel.

46. The Long Bow:Tactics & Technology

47. The Berserkers.

48. The Crown of Olives.

49. Anglo-Saxon House Carls

50. The Varangian Guard.

51. Stave Churches

52. Julian The Apostate

53. Vlad Dracul and the Dragon Order

54. Divided Family Loyalties at the Outbreak of the Civil War 1642.

55. The Court Martial of Colonel Fielding: 1643.

56. The Town of Readaing At The Outbreak of the Civil War in 1642.

57. The Notable Famlies of Redaing in 1642.

58. Aftermath of the Siege of Reading 1643.

59. Financial Ruin of Reading 1642-1649.

60. The Political and Religious Divide in 1642.

61. The Tudor and Stuart Seeds of the Civil War



(list still being collated)

(X) Ancient & Prehistoric European History

List in preparation. More comng soon.


1. Heliopolis.

2. Pergamum.

3. The Library of Alexandria

4. Pankration.

5. Pindar and the Olympiad

6. Temple of Columns: Egyptian Sacred Architecture

7. The Ancient Greek Games

8. The Pylons of the Temple

9. The Berbers.

10. The Ivernians.

11. The Sea Peoples.

12. Celtic Coming of Age.

13. Senua: A Lost British Goddess

14. Ethos of the Ancient Greek Games

15. Ancient Greek Hoplite Race.

16. Ancient Greek Sports Curricula

17. Javelin and Discus in Ancient Greece

18. Wrestling and Boxing in Ancient Greece

19. Dendera: Egyptian Temple

20. The Oracle of Delphi

(XI) West Country Memoirs

A World Away

There was safety, adventure, community and mystery in the hills, fields woods and village in those days.


Tradition and history everywhere abounded, and we were part of a living fabric that stretched back countless centuries.


The cycle of the week, of the season and of the year and the festivals and rural routines therein marked the passage of our days.


It was a time of foods in season, of neighbourly bonds, of family gatherings and recognition of age old customs.


Our play was resourced not by electrical gadgets but by physical adventure and exploration, or historical enactment, and a sense of communion with Nature and the farming year.




Growing up in a village (on the edge of a small town between Bath and Bristol) in the valley beneath the southern final sweep of the Cotswold Hills provides a rich ground for humour, nostalgia, social commentary, social history, anecdote and much more.


More than half a century have passed since those unspoilt, carefree, traditional days of childhood (1950-1962) and it seems a whole world away. For many years I used to go back to my native area every week for a day. Much has changed but some things endure- usually as snippets among a newer material and mass produced landscape.


I am engaged in writing around five dozen stories of various aspects of life then, and add to each as and when memories pop up from deep in the recesses of my little grey cells. Not many have been completed. These are:

1. Warmley House.

2. The Secret of the Middle Payground.

3. Half Day Holy Days.

4. Old Tom and His Horse 

5. Going Upstream.

6.Adventures of the Brook.

7.Warmley Church.

8. Joan ‘The Egg’

9.Our Road.

10. The Tump

11.Barrs Court.


 Subjects in progress are:

Village Characters;       Grimsbury Farm;        Neptunes Statue;

The Strange Stone;          Fog and Moon;          Hay Harvest;

The School Play;            Whitsun Parade;            Mr. Wintle;                  

 Colliery Castle;                   The Old Dram Road;        Rodway Common;     

Coronation Day Street Party;    The Swimming Baths;      The Horizon;     

The Art Expedition.     The Old Mine Shaft.               The Village Pubs.

Dams and Dangerous Waters.     Sally on the Barn.     The Village.   The Police House.

Four Winds Hill.      Sunday Morning Walks.        Hills and Horizon.   Giant & Waterfall.    

 Sunday Tea.  Mangotsfield Railway Station.  The Pub on The Comon,.    Sunday Picnics.   The Hot Cross Bun Boys.     Bottle of Pop At Uncle Jacks Pub.   Penny Blackjacks et al.  Upton Cheyney.   The Clay Pits.   Griffin Cattle Market.   Golden Valley.  Village Bakery.  The Post Office Ladies.   Mrs.Woolfords.  Kingfishers and Tiddlers. The Village School.  Syston Court.  


It was a time before the advent of the internet, or grprs, or colour television. There were hardly any motor-cars: in our road there was one car and one motorcycle (with side car). There were no holidays abroad. No one had a telephone in the house. Televisions-  well these were just coming into our part of society- and they were tiny things about  a twelve inch screen, and monochrome of course (hence the expression "sit around the telly"). And broadcasting was only for a few short hours a day so was a special feature.


Lots of things were still delivered to your home- milk, bread, coal, eggs, and the greengrocer with his horse and cart.  The farm was opposite and we helped with hay harvest and played in the fields and woods. There were streams to explore and  ruined cottages to dare go in. Here were hiding places and dens.


The village 'bobby' kept us all in check- and he had his own police house and little police station. But the village itself was the real law and order. No one dared step out of line, you grew up knowing what was expected of you as a member of the community. There was no mamby-pamby pc idiocy if you got a clip round the ear from a stranger for misbehaviour: we accepted it, for we were brought up to know right from wrong and if we dared go to the boundary and overstep the mark well we had to accept the result.


It was also a time when there were Church of England village schools which had the advantage of having extra half day holidays (such as Ash Wednesday). There was a community centre at the bottom of the road and a swimming bath filled from a spring higher up the valley. And in Chapel Lane (some families in our road were 'chapel' others were 'church') there was a tiny bakery. The smell of fresh warm bread floods me with memories to this day.


In our road there were neat gardens front and back and all homes raised their own vegetables. Neighbours chatted over the fence or out on the front  wall. If you came home from school and your mother had had to go out then you were called in to a neighbours house to have tea, children were not left in the house on their own. Strict care and supervision was the order of the day unlike these days when latch-key kids and and careless parenting seem to be acceptable..


There were very few amenities and almost no luxuries. Food (except those items which came in a can) was what was in season. Alcohol was usually only consumed at Christmas in moderation, except for a bottle of sherry kept for special occasions for guests. The menfolk would occasionally walk across the field or down to the village for one beer together before Sunday lunch at home. There were plenty of family walks and picnics. And  the extended family met regularly- aunts, uncles cousins all got together on birthdays and Easter and Christmas and at least each month in between. And kids often had to wear 'hand me downs' for some items of clothing. And you had one set of 'best clothes' you only wore on Sunday or for special events and outings. And of course no washing-machine: mum did the weekly wash in ' the boiler' in the outhouse- a metal container on legs fired via a gas tube which when the water was hot enough mum would stir around the laundry with a big stick the put it through a hand-mangle before pegging out to dry. And down in the village there were still some cottages not on mains water: age five I recall seeing old ladies come out to fetch water in buckets from a fast bubbling spring in a stone enclosure at the side of the road.


Whatever you wanted you had to save up and buy. No instant credit-  and debt or buying things on tick was regarded as a cardinal sin. School leaving age was 14 (later raised to 15). There was no breathilyser. Pubs closed at 10.30pm. There was Wednesday afternoon closing of shops. And all shops were closed on a Sunday, except the off licence where a few items of tinned things could be obtained. The 'corner shop' was flourishing and supermarkets had not yet arrived. The only place open after 5pm was the off-license (which opened at 7pm). But there was 'Hicksies' off-license up on Hill Street where you could buy groceries of an evening if you'd run out.


Mothers made their own curtiains, repaired shirts and trousers, and knitted cardigans and pullovers for all the family and made their own dresses- they had to, it was the only way to afford such items. And fathers husbanded a rich garden that kept their families supplied in most vegetables for a good part of the year.


There was no January 1st. or May 1st. Bank holiday. People went back to work on December 27th. or occasionally the 28th. And most people worked Saturday mornings. For a mother to go out to work was regarded as neglectful of the children. A good ordered home with a parent at home for the children was more important than consumer goods or a fancy holiday, or new furniture. The twin income home had not fully arrived.


Life was more ordered and reliable. I'm not sure if they were necessarily happier, for each generation accepts its  lot I suppose. But they seemed happier for despite having "get by" and "make and mend" there was an intensity, creativity and excitement to almost all aspects of life. And standards were higher. Streets were safer. And the pace was more sedate and more human.


It was a time of safety, of family, of community, of Nature, of village and farm. It was a world away. But before I lapse into the inevitable grumpiness of the 'baby-boom' generation lamenting for the golden age, I'l stop! Read about the delights and dangers, magic and mystery of life in 1950's South Gloucestershire in my books.


I will say though that I feel blessed to have grown up in those times and regret that generations since have been impoverished by the passing of the humble riches that they contained



(XII) Philosophy and Spirituality

Including lectures.  Introductory information, guide and list coming soon,

1. Spirituality into Physicality.

2. Homoeostasis.

3. Immanence.

4. John Woodrow- Obituary.

5.  The Path of the Sun in the Masonic Lodge.

6. Northern Traditions of Meditation.

7. Spiritual Living.

8. Landscape As A Spiritual Path

9. The Journey Home.

10. Ecology of the Self.

11. Spiritual Parenting.

12. Spirituality of Water.

13. The Garden of Spirit.

14. Landscape Gymnasioum.

15. Path of Purificaton.

16. Reality of the Symbol.

17. Letting Go.

18. Land Blessing.

19. Lords of the Dance.

20. Gordon Morris: Obituary

21. Eddie Bendall: Obituary

22. The All Seeing Eye.

23. The Rough and Smooth Ashlar.

24. The Compasses.

25. The North East Corner.

26. The Apron.

27. Squares, Levels and Perpendiculars.

28. The Flower Carol.

29. The Symbol in History.

XIII: The Keys of Life

The Keys of Life is a major book entering final stages of writing dealing with aspscts of life-coaching and self-help: 


THE KEYS OF LIFE by Stephen Ben Cox

Why is it that so much of what we seek slips through our fingers? Have you ever wondered if there was a secret mission programme to guide you through daily living and the stages of life? Well here it is! “The Keys of Life” explains the essential tools to gain mastery, obtain insights, overcome problems and enhance life’s journey

“Question: do you feel time is passing you by, you work hard yet haven’t gotten much further forward, and that you are constantly “missing something?” With this book distilled from years of analysis and exploration I reveal a set of principles and techniques to tap into the hidden text of life.

These are practical steps to overcome all that we are beset by. And a manual on changing one’s perception on life and how to deal with it. It is also a tool on how to creatively transform oneself, gain insights into who we are, how the mechanics of life operate. And to commence self –transformation.

I have created principles and insights in how to best function on this journey to maximise our opportunities and our potential. It is an element of that bigger programme which I teach: “self evolution in this life time”.

For this re-vitalisation of you and your life and to enable the lessons in this book you need to have determination and self-belief : and yes joy and passion! Beyond that everything in it can be achieved. I offer this book to do for you what the principles and lessons have done for me. Good luck!

(Approximately 320 pages, the chapters of the book include:

Power of Positive; Thought Contagion;  Baggage;  Life Accounts;  The Daily Sacraments; Interdependence;  Cooperation;   What Makes You Tick? ;   Opening The Door;  Where Are You Coming From?;   The Anger Tool;   Why Are You Thinking Like This? ;  Banish The News;  Planning and Basking;  Growth Patterns;  Take That Picture!)



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PURPOSE: To advance education in the subjects of horticulture, conservation , wildlife and heritage by providing study courses, training placements, talks, and workshops and other means for the enrichment of the Wiltshire/Calne and S.Glos/N.Somerset area communities and for the improvement of human well being in general based upon the Founder’s garden, library, writings, teaching and spiritual philosophy.

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