Castell Caernarfon: Kyffin Williams and a variation in red

Caernarvon Castle

Dr John R. Kenyon has drawn my attention to a variation in the Kyffin Williams designed cover for Castell Caernarfon. The original 1961 copy was in brown. Kenyon has a short note on the 1963 ‘red’ edition by Alan Phillips (John R. Kenyon, “Caernarfon Castle Guidebook, 1963”, Castle Studies Group Bulletin April 2015, p. 16). My copy, like Kenyon’s, has a small printed note inside date October 1963 stating that “Mr. Kyffin Williams is responsible … for the cover design of this booklet. He is not, however, responsible for the colour”.

The books are very similar but in the back card cover showing ‘Castles in North Wales’ it adds ‘Maintained by the Ministry of Works’ (1961) and ‘Maintained by the Ministry of Public Building and Works’ (1963). The new Ministry had obviously intended to mark the change of name by a change of colour scheme.

Interestingly Castell Caernarfon in red was chosen for the cover of the Department of Environment guide to Wales.

Caernarvon Castle

Phillips, the author of the souvenir, was also responsible for the guide to Monasteries in North Yorkshire.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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