Hallaig © David Gill
Today is National Poetry Day (with excellent material from the BBC). So Heritage Futures turns to Scotland and Sorley Maclean’s “Hallaig” (see Scottish Poetry Library).
The wood at Hallaig © David Gill
The opening line, ‘Tha tìm, am fiadh, an coille Hallaig’, takes me to the wood through which you walk to reach the clearance village of Hallaig on the eastern side of Raasay facing the Applecross peninsula.
The monument to Sorley MacLean at Hallaig © David Gill
And on the old trackway leading from the jetty is a monument reminding us of the village and the poem that keeps the memory of the village and community alive.
Tretower Court © David Gill
I was exploring C.A. Ralegh Radford’s contribution to guidebooks for heritage sites in Wales (as well as in England and in Scotland) today. One of the series of guides I explored was on Tretower Court that was placed in state guardianship in 1930. One of the attractions is the replanting of the gardens (see the guide).
Tretower Court © David Gill
The courtyard had to undergo substantial restoration that was completed in the 1960s.
1975 (8th impression)
Caerlaverock Castle must be one of my favourite castles: perhaps alongside Nunney Castle in Somerset. Caerlaverock’s triangular shape, and the setting within a moat add to its setting.
Parts of the castle date back to the late 13th century. It was besieged by Edward I in 1300. The housing inside the castle was constructed in the 17th century.
The castle was placed int the guardianship of the Ministry of Works in 1946.
The official guide by B.H. St John O’Neil was prepared in 1952 (my copy is the 1975 edition). It contains a detailed history (pp. 2-9) followed by a description (pp. 10-16). A series of plans, black and white photographs, and a reconstruction by Alan Sorrell appear in the centre section. O’Neil describes it was ‘one of the most impressive castles of Britain’.
The Historic Scotland Official Souvenir Guide by Doreen Grove and Peter Yeoman was first published in 2995, with a revised edition in 2006. This is a fully illustrated guide, with a Guided Tour followed by the History, with special features on the siege of 1300, and the castle and the wars with England. The guide claims it as ‘one of Scotland’s great medieval fortresses’.
Audley End (1955)
Bryan Hugh St John O’Neil (1905-54) was appointed Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments in 1930, and succeeded Ralegh Radford as Inspector in Wales in 1936. He followed Bushe-Fox as Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments in 1945.
His Ministry guidebooks included:
- Criccieth Castle (1934)
- Dartmouth Castle (1934)
- Peveril Castle (1934)
- Clifford’s Tower (1936)
- Talley Abbey (1938)
- New Castle, Bridgend (1949)
- Walmer Castle (1949)
- Isles of Scilly (1949)
- Scalloway Castle (1950)
- Audley End (1950)
- Caerlaverock Castle (1952)
- Deal Castle (1953)
- Castles (1954)
His guidebooks included sites in England (Dartmouth Castle, Peveril Castle, Clifford’s Tower, Walmer Castle, The Isles of Scilly, Audley End, and Deal Castle), Wales (Criccieth Castle, Talley Abbey, New Castle), and Scotland (Scalloway Castle, Caerlaverock Castle).
West Stow Anglo-Saxon village © David Gill
The Anglo-Saxon “grubenhaus” at West Stow Anglo-Saxon village is to be dismantled (“Anglo-Saxon house in West Stow to be pulled down“, BBC News, 3 October 2015). The reconstruction was erected in 1974.
Ickworth © David Gill
The lemon trees were in flower and in fruit at Ickworth this weekend. They were certainly giving an Italianate feel to the gardens.
There was a stunning display of agapanthus on the steps of the orangery that forms part of the west wing of Ickworth House.
St Mary’s church, Ickworth © David Gill
The ladybirds were gathering in large numbers over the weekend at Ickworth. We were able to count more than 55 on the west end of St Mary’s church (in the grounds), mostly, though not exclusively harlequins. They were clearly looking for cracks and corners as temperatures begin to dip.
The tower of the church dates to 1778. The church is now maintained by the Ickworth Church Conservation Trust.
© David Gill
© David Gill