Legionary Building Stone near Vindolanda

IMG_4333

Inscription found near Vindolanda © David Gill

This building stone was found in a field wall near Vindolanda by the Reverend Anthony Hedley prior to 1835 (RIB 1708). It appears to show a boar, and the inscription states the name of the unit: Legio XX V(aleria) V(ictrix).

The stone is now in the museum at Chesters Roman Fort (inv. CH256).

See a building inscription for Legio VI here.

Fixed Frontiers

hadrian_wall_portrait

Walltown Crags, Hadrian’s Wall © David Gill

As you stand on the northern edge of the Roman Empire it is hard not to speculate on why Hadrian decided to replace the string of forts along the military road (the Stanegate) to a fixed military frontier. Equally important is the economic cost: of the construction, but then of the garrison and upkeep of the defences. And was it effective? Within a generation the line was abandoned and the frontier moved north to the Antonine Wall.

The Value of Heritage and the RSA

IMG_1248

The gatehouse to the Abbey, Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

The importance of heritage to Suffolk will be the focus of the Second Coffeehouse event in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday 9 February 2017 at the Deanery.

Further details and booking can be found here. The meeting is open to Fellows and non-Fellows.

Guidebooks to Melrose Abbey

Melrose_blue

1932 (2nd ed. 1949, 6th impress. 1973)

Melrose Abbey was a Cistercian foundation from Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire. It was placed in State Guardianship in 1919.

The first guidebook was prepared by James S. Richardson and Marguerite Wood (1932). A second edition was prepared in 1949, and this continued into the period when the abbey was cared by the Department of the Environment. This phase coincided with a short card guide (1963), and a wider illustrated guide to the Border Abbeys (1964).

Melrose Abbey

1981 (rev. 1989)

The guide by Richardson and Wood was revised by C. J. Tabraham (1981; revised 1989). This was illustrated in black and white, and contained a plan of the abbey inside the back card cover. This was further revised in 1995 and then reprinted in 2003.

Melrose Abbey

2005

This Historic Scotland guide has been revised by the ‘Official Souvenir Guide’ prepared by Chris Tabraham (2005). It is fully illustrated, much in colour. The guide includes the reconstruction by Alan Sorrell.

 

Portencross Castle

IMG_3995

Portencross Castle © David Gill

Portencross Castle is built on the Firth of Clyde and dates back to the 14th century. It faces the islands of Bute and (a little further away) Arran.

The castle was scheduled in 1955. It is now managed by the Friends of Portencross Castle who have been able to open up the castle with the support of HLF and Historic Scotland.

During the Second World War the castle was surveyed by Vere Gordon Childe.

Inchmahome Priory: Chapter House

IMG_1941

Inchmahome Priory © David Gill

Inchmahome Priory stands on an island in the Lake of Menteith. The chapter house lies in the east range of the cloister: the dorter would have been above.

In the late 17th century the chapter house became a mausoleum, probably for Lord Kilpont (d. 1644). It is currently used as a site museum.

IMG_1929

Inchmahome Priory © David Gill

The cloister gave access to the priory church.

The Historic Scotland guide is by Kirsty Owen (2003 [2010]).

inchmahome_hs

2010 [2003]

Cross-selling of heritage – 80 years on. #heritageguides

Various features of the 1937 edition of the Official Guide to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Abbey & Environs have been covered already in recent posts. The guide also uses a number of pages at the back of the book to cross-sell not only other sites in the care of the Government, but also the range of guidebooks which HMSO had begun to prepare for them.

holyroodabbeyguide1937-i

In contrast to similar lists in other site guidebooks of the period, this section provides a distinct tone of voice in the promotion of sites in state care – suggesting that, “..it is not perhaps sufficiently realised that a large number of our most precious national monuments are not in the charge of the State and are being preserved and made accessible to the public, who for a small charge (usually not more than 6d.) are able to visit them.”

The section goes on to use a somewhat convoluted system of italics and capitals to highlight guides available, those in preparation and the prices of them.  The series of Regional Guides to Ancient Monuments (mentioned elsewhere) is noted as being in course of publication.

It is worth noting that the summer opening hours for sites are longer than current site opening schedules – closing at 7 or 8 p.m!