Tretower is a delightful site nestling into the Brecon Beacons close to Abergavenny. My earliest guide is a blue Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (MPBW) Official Guide-book [note the hyphenation] for Tretower Court (3rd edition1959, 3rd impression 1963), cost one shilling [i.e. 5 p]. The guide was written by C.A. Ralegh Radford, the Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Wales, and a former Director of the British School at Rome. My own interest in Ralegh Radford is that he was taken around north-western Greece by Winifred Lamb during the inter-war years. Note ‘Y Ddraig Goch’ (‘Red Dragon’) seal on the cover.
Inside the cover is useful information about the admission charge, 1 shilling, and 6 d for children under 15. Tretower was open all year round from 9.30 am (2 pm on Sundays) until 7 pm from May to September.
The guide has 15 pages of text with 4 black and white plates. The sections are History (3-5), Periods of Construction (6-7), and Description (8-15). There is no plan.
Ralegh Radford also wrote the paper guide to the adjacent Tretower Castle (MPBW, 1950, reprinted 1965), cost 6 d. A plan of the castle appears in the centre pages (4-5). The sections are History (1-3, 6), and Description (6-10).
A revised and edited version of both Ralegh Radford guides appeared in 1969 (HMSO), edited by David M. Robinson, and a third edition in 1986 issued by CADW (reprinted 1990), price £1.50. This small format CADW guide was fully illustrated (in black and white) with main sections on Historical Background, Periods of construction at the Castle and Court, A Descriptive Tour of Tretower Court, A Descriptive Tour of Tretower Castle, Suggestions for Further Reading and ‘Llys a chastell Tre-Twr’ (a short one page summary in Welsh). [There was also a garden guide that I have considered earlier.]
This 1986 guide has now been replaced by a slim colour CADW guide in a large format by David M. Robinson, Tretower Court and Castle, 2010. This has a fold out tour of the Court and Castle (pp. 5-8).