The Author: Barney Rolfe-Smith


Barney Rolfe-Smith




Barney has lived in the area of Ludlow since 2003.  From the start he has  been engaged in researching aspects of the history of the area.  His first publication, Notes on Bringewood Forge and the Downton Walks (2009), examined the picturesque walks laid out by Richard Payne Knight (1750-1824) along the banks of the river Teme at Downton, near Ludlow.

Fishing in Time: The History of the Leintwardine Fishing Club followed in 2011.  This book tells the story of one of the oldest fly-fishing clubs in the country. This was not just the tale of great men of the Victorian and Edwardian eras who fished the Teme but also the story of the influence wielded by loyal river-keepers, bailiffs and others from Leintwardine village who served the Club over the years.  It tells the tale of the social intercourse between two Herefordshire estates and the Club member's efforts to maintain and secure the continuance of their highly regarded Club. 

The author took pride in presenting a great deal of unpublished material in Fishing in Time and has been able to do the same in his  book relating the tale of Lucien Bonaparte’s ‘imprisonment’ in England, 1810-1814, A Gilded Cage.

Further researches led him to produce a book on a man who fished with the LFC, visited Downton Castle regularly and was an inspiring Victorian gentleman who lived in Leintwardine, Colonel John Colvin.

In 2016 he produced, Downton Gorge, Richard Payne Knight's Secret Garden, which was the result of a decade of research into the Gorge and in particular the images found relating to it.  Many of these images have not been generally available before to the public.

His latest work published in 2020, The Knight Family of Downton Castle, Volume 1, 1698-1852, is the culmination of all the above works with considerable new material added.