The medieval borough of Barnard Castle was founded in the eleventh century.
A hundred years later Bernard Baliol built a castle and a busy town began to thrive alongside it, with one of the largest corn markets in the North of England drawing custom from far and wide.
This unique book charts the character and ownership of many of the commercial establishments in Barnard Castle from the 1800s to the present day and reveals the history behind the modern shopfronts.
Barnard Castle Shops, Pubs & Trades Through Time is the first book to provide a door-to-door survey of the commercial development of this vibrant and varied town.
In so doing it provides a unique, commercial and social history of one of Britain's most significant market towns.
Today, as the high street faces another challenge - this time from Internet shopping - it will be interesting to see how the current businesses adapt to face that test.