Berkhampstead Castle: Guidebook

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1948 (repr. 1966)

Berkhampstead Castle, Hertfordshire, is now in the care of English Heritage. It was founded as a motte and bailey castle c. 1170. The castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1930. The first guide was written by Sir Charles Peers, Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments (1932), and then reissued in 1936. The post-war leaflet appeared in 1948 (and was reprinted in 1966). The 1936 edition had eight pages of text although this was compressed to four pages by the 1966 reprint (with two additional pages of plan). The text appears to be identical.

The early editions had a foldout plan, but by 1966 this was printed as a double-page spread (pp. 2-3).

Stott Park Bobbin Mill

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Stott Park Bobbin Mill © David Gill

The Stott Park Bobbin Mill in Cumbria was in use from 1835 (when it was founded by John Harrison) until its closure in 1971. It was placed in State Guardianship in 1974 (and is now in the care of English Heritage). One of its chief functions was to make bobbins from locally harvested wood for use in the cotton mills. The mill is located at the south-west corner of Lake Windermere.

Stott_Park_DOE

1983

The first DOE guidebook was prepared in 1983 by Ian Ayris and Peter White. The introduction states: ‘The mill buildings and the machinery are predominantly Victorian. It is scarcely different in appearance today than it was over 100 years ago. It is, therefore, a unique and important monument’. The cover indicates the then vision for the bobbin mill: ‘An Industrial Museum’.

The fully illustrated guide has sections on the products; the bobbin masters; the bobbin mills; the bobbin makers; and bobbin making.

The acknowledgements notes that the DOE ‘will be pleased to hear from people who have further records, photographs or information on the history of the bobbin industry’.

Stott_Park_EH_red

2015

The present fully illustrated English Heritage guidebook by Peter White is divided into two main sections, tour of the site, and history of the mill. There is a description of each feature of the mill and its outlying buildings. There are several special features including child labour; powering the mill; apprentices, journeymen and masters; the cotton famine; and the workhouse. There is a section on the 1980 interview with Jack Ivison and his memories of the working mill.

 

Tour of Caernarfon Castle

Caernarvon_MPBW_card

1969

I have been noting some of the short card tour guides that were produced for sites in State Guardianship, e.g. Caerphilly Castle, Criccieth Castle. One was produced by the MPBW for Caernarvon (Caernarfon) Castle in 1969 (price, 6d). This has a tour of the castle with 13 key points.

Caernarvon Castle

(1961)

The same plan appears inside the card back cover of Alan Phillips 1961 souvenir guide of the castle. It also contained some of the line drawings of the features that reappear in the 1969 guide. However there are some differences in the text, and the card seems to use the revised text of the 1963 souvenir guide.

Caernarvon Castle

(1963)

The text appears in the 1970 reprint but without the line drawings.

Caernarvon_DOE_line

1970

The back of the card guide has a short history of the castle.

Guidebooks to Chesters Roman fort

Chesters_MPBW

1960 (6th impress. 1970)

The Roman fort at Chesters lies immediately to the west of where Hadrian’s Wall crossed the river North Tyne. The site, along with the Clayton Memorial Museum, was placed in State Guardianship in 1954. The official Ministry guidebook was prepared by Eric Birley, who also wrote the guides for Corbridge and Housesteads.

The sections include: the site; historical outline; the fort bath-house, bridge; civilian settlement; and museum. A foldout map inside the back cover shows the location of the fort and its environs, from Milecastle 26 to Milecastle 28. Plans of the fort and bath-house are included within the guide.

Chesters_EH

1990 (1999)

The English Heritage guide by J.S. Johnson was published in 1990. It is fully illustrated in black and white. It starts with a tour of the fort and bath-house; the museum; Chesters bridge; the Romans in the north; history of Chesters fort (including a section on the Chesters Estate and John Clayton). It includes reconstructions by Alan Sorrell.

Chesters_EH_red

2011

The most recent English Heritage guide is by Nick Hodgson (who also wrote the EH guide to Corbridge). This is fully illustrated in colour. It follows the patter of tour then history. A foldout plan inside the back cover shows the layout of the adjacent civilian settlement.

One of the features includes the so-called Crosby Garrett Roman cavalry helmet.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Philippi

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The forum, Philippi © David Gill

The Roman colony of Philippi in Macedonia, northern Greece, has been designated as one of the latest additions to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites (“Philippi becomes UNESCO World Heritage site“, ekathimerini.com 15 July 2016). Excavations have revealed parts of the Roman city including a series of Byzantine churches.

The site is described as follows:
The remains of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in north-eastern Greece, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia, the Via Egnatia. Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “small Rome” with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades following the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BCE. The vibrant Hellenistic city of Philip II, of which the walls and their gates, the theatre and the funerary heroon (temple) are to be seen, was supplemented with Roman public buildings such as the Forum and a monumental terrace with temples to its north. Later the city became a centre of the Christian faith following the visit of the Apostle Paul in 49-50 CE. The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity.

The colony was the setting of the Apostle Paul’s mission to Macedonia as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

Arsinoe in the Peloponnese

Methana

Ptolemaic base of Arsinoe in the Peloponnese © David Gill

The Ptolemaic base of Arsinoe was probably established on the Methana peninsula in the 260s BC (for further details see here). The base was founded away from the classical polis of Methana. Significant remains of the fort walls are found on the Nissaki near the modern port of Loutra.

The base was probably abandoned soon after 145 BC.

Tourism in Contemporary Cities

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Greenwich © David Gill

The International Tourism Studies Association (ITSA) Biennial Conference 2016 is taking place in Greenwich this week. One of the themes is ‘Heritage tourism in cities’, with an emphasis on UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

I will be presenting an analysis of visitor figures for UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece with a special emphasis on the period of austerity. One of my strands will be the city of Athens with the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Athenian Acropolis.