KINGTON is mourning champion of history and archaeology, Dr Duncan Noble who has died just months after moving to Hertfordshire to be nearer his family.

For many years the charismatic author and historian lived in retirement on the Welsh border where he produced a series of novels packed with intrigue and derring-do. In 2015 he launched his weighty treatise, Dawn of the Horse Warriors at Kington Museum. The book drew on his own experiences of training warhorses, a practice he continued until leaving Kington earlier this year with his partner, Vicky Bernays.

In helping the BBC with its former Chronicle history programme, Dr Noble built – and tested – a working replica of a chariot. With his characteristic wit, he later described the alarming ordeal of riding at breakneck speed in a homemade chariot.

For a number of years, Glasgow-born Dr Noble and Ms Bernays ran a smallholding at Colva near Gladestry,, eventually moving to a town house in Kington. They were staunch supporters of the museum, and Dr Noble’s wide archaeological knowledge made him a key member of the team.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Dr Noble studied horses in the Middle East, researching the domestication of the horse that revolutionised warfare in the ancient world.

“This allowed them to strike with terrifying speed,” he pointed out, and with his customary pluck he was able to draw on his own first-hand experiences.

He lectured in archaeology and took part in major digs in the Middle East, and after moving to the Welsh Border he concentrated on his writing while also supplying authentic props for filmmakers ranging from uniforms to tanks.

A familiar figure in Kington, Dr Noble is remembered as a first-class raconteur and a great wit. Said chairman of Kington Museum and History Society, Alan Stoyel: “Duncan and Vicky were loyal and cheerful supporters of both the history society and the museum. Duncan’s smile, knowledge, experience and ready wit will be sorely missed.”