Whithorn: guidebooks

Whithorn_blue

1953 (5th impress. 1968)

C.A. Ralegh Radford and Gordon Donaldson prepared an official guidebook for Whithorn and Kirkmadrine in 1953. This covers the monastery and later priory at Whithorn; St Ninian’s Chapel at the Isle of Whithorn; St Ninian’s Cave at Glasserton; the museum at Whithorn that contains material from surrounding locations; and the Kirkmadrine stones displayed in the old church. There is a fold-out plan of the priory at Whithorn. The guide contains an extensive history of the region (pp. 3–27).

whithorn_HS

The present History Scotland guide is by Adrian Cox with Sally Gall and Peter Yeoman. The focus is on Whithorn but there are sections on St Ninian’s Chapel and Cave, as well as a double page spread on Kirkmadrine.

St Andrews Castle: guidebooks

IMG_0642.JPG

St Andrews Castle © David Gill

St Andrews castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1911. Stewart Cruden, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland, prepared the official guide (1951; 2nd ed. 1958). This starts with a history followed by a description. A block of black and white photographs appear in the centre section. A fold-out plan is printed inside the stiff back cover.

The cover device is described as follows:

An imaginative composition consisting of a saltire cross (for St Andrew and St Andrews) surrounded by battlementing typifying castles generally. The cinque-foil in each corner is the armorial device of Archbishop John Hamilton who erected the south front and placed this badge upon the work he did, in four carved medallions over the entrance.

StAndrews_castle_blue

1951; 2nd ed. 1958 (5th impress. 1970)

IMG_0639.JPG

St Andrews Castle © David Gill

A third edition of Cruden’s guidebook was published in 1982. The text is the same as the blue guide, but integrates photographs and plans with the text.

St_Andrews_cast_HS

1982 (3rd ed.)

The Historic Scotland souvenir guide was prepared by Richard Fawcett in 1992, and revised by Chris Tabraham and Doreen Grove in 2001. This colour guide starts with a guided tour followed by the story (not history) of the castle. There is a bird’s eye drawing to help visitors around the site, with numbered locations that relate to sections in the text.

StAndrews_castle_HS

1992 (rev. ed. 2001, repr. 2007)

Valle Crucis Abbey: guidebooks

ValleCrucis_DOE

1953 (rev. 1971)

The abbey at Valle Crucis was founded in 1201 from Strata Marcella. The site was placed in State Guardianship in 1951.

C.A. Ralegh Radford prepared the first guidebook in 1953 consisting of the standard history followed by a description. A fold-out plan was placed inside the back cover. The 1971 edition included the Welsh name on the tile page (Abaty Glyn y Groes) along with a short summary in Welsh (pp. 21–22). The guide included a study of some of the early gave slabs.

ValleCrucis_Cadw

1987

The Cadw guide contained two sections: Valle Crucis Abbey by D.H. Evans, and The Pillar of Eliseg by Jeremy K. Knight (1987). This consists of the main sections: Historical background; the development of the abbey buildings; a descriptive tour of Valle Crucis. A fold-out plan of the abbey is printed inside the card cover. A short summary in Welsh was provided (p. 46).

This guide was revised in 1995.

ValleCrucis_Cadw_large

1987 (rev. 1995)

 

Free but not easy: raising money for the twilight portfolio of English Heritage sites in care

English Heritage has just launched The Once & Future Fund designed to build an endowment to support specifically the sites looked after by the organisation that don’t have admission charges, shops, cafes or custodians.  This group of free to access sites form the vast majority of the national portfolios of English Heritage (as well as Historic Scotland and Cadw), and therefore tend to be less in the public eye for recognition and visitation. The sites which vary in size from the very small (such as Dunster Butter Cross), through to the very large (like Maiden Castle) are theoretically no less important, though they do, unsurprisingly, fall much further down the pecking order when it comes to investment and maintenance.

The campaign by English Heritage is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, through its Heritage Endowments programme, with a HLF commitment to match fund donations up to £1 million. It will dedicate much needed funds and attention on this twilight group of sites which has never received the investment it should have, has never been made the most of within the broader national portfolio, and remains hugely under-interpreted for the visitor. Whilst the dedicated attention and matching commitment by the HLF is to be applauded, it does raise further broader questions about the original £88.5 million ‘endowment’ given to English Heritage / Historic England by Government as part of the English Heritage New Model organisational structure change, particularly around the state of play of reducing the long term conservation backlog for the unstaffed sites with complex needs, and the long-term viability of this part of the national collection which will have to increasingly rely on such fund-raising schemes.

Llawhaden Castle: guidebook

Llawhaden_MPBW

Repr. 1969

Llawhaden Castle was constructed in the 12th century to protect the lands owned by the bishops of St Davids in Pembrokeshire. The castle was destroyed in 1192, but rebuilt in the late 13th century.

The guidebook by C.A. Ralegh Radford contains a standard history, followed by a description divided into sub-sections. A plan of the castle was placed on the centre pages.

White Castle: guidebooks

Three_Castles_Cadw

1991 (2nd ed. rev. 2000)

White Castle lies between Abergavenny and Monmouth in the Welsh Marches. Its origins lie in the Norman Conquest of the region, but the earliest stone remains date to the 12th century. It was placed in State Guardianship in 1922.

C.A. Ralegh Radford prepared the guidebook for White Castle in 1934 (along with the other two castles of ‘The Three Castles’: Grosmont and Skenfrith). The DOE Blue Guide is partially bilingual.  The title page (but not the cover) gives the English and Welsh titles of the site: White Castle / Castell Gwyn, and it was prepared by the DOE on behalf of the Secretary of State for Wales. The guide is in two main parts: history and description. However it is introduced with a short summary in Welsh (pp. 5–7). There is a foldout plan inside the back cover.

The 1991 Cadw guide for the Three Castles was prepared by Jeremy K. Knight.

White_castle_blue

1962 (7th impress. 1976)