Margam Stones Museum: guidebook

Margam_MPBW

1949 (2nd impress. 1967)

The guidebook presents the collection of a Roman milestone, early Christian inscriptions, and later monastic material that were moved into the old School House at Margam in 1932.

The guidebook by C.A. Ralegh Radford starts with a history of the area that allows the material in the museum to be placed in context: The Silures and Glamorgan in the Roman period; the restoration of native rile and the introduction of Christianity; the early Christian memorial stones; the formation of Glamorgan; the Celtic monastery at Margam; the pre-Romanesque crosses; the later history of the kingdom of Morgannwg; the Norman conquest of Glamorgan; the Cistercian abbey of Margam.

The second half includes a description of the pieces, starting with the early 4th century Roman milestone from Port Talbot (RIB 2254).

The guidebook includes a plan of the museum showing how the stone were displayed.

Lamphey: Bishop’s Palace

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The Bishop’s Palace, Lamphey © David Gill

The Bishop’s Palace at Lamphey in Pembrokeshire is now in the care of Cadw; the remains were placed in State Guardianship in 1925. The origins of the house lay in the Norman occupation of south-west Wales.

Bishop Henry de Gower (1328–47) expanded the palace. The estate was handed over to the crown at the time of the Reformation.

C.A. Ralegh Radford prepared a simple paper guide in 1948. It contains a history and a description, with a double page plan in the centre.

Lamphey_MPBW

Repr. 1969

Grosmont Castle: guidebook

Grosmont_MPBW

1946 (repr. 1968)

Grosmont Castle was given to Hubert de Burgh by King John in July 1201, though its origins lies in the Norman annexation of the area. On Hubert’s death the castle reverted to the crown, becoming the property of the future king Edward I in 1254, and in 1267 to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.

Grosmont Castle remained the property of the Duchy of Lancaster until 1825, and it was placed in State Guardianship in 1923.

C.A. Ralegh Radford’s paper guide consists of a history followed by a description. A plan was printed on p. 3.

Three_Castles_Cadw

1991 (2nd ed. rev. 2000)

Grosmont Castle is included in the Cadw guide for the Three Castles (Grosmont, Skenfrith, and White Castles) written by Jeremy K. Knight. This starts with a combined history for the three castles, followed by individual tours. There is also a short entry on Hen Gwrt Medieval Moated Site.

Monmouth Castle: guidebook

Monmouth_MPBW

1951 (5th impress. 1969)

Monmouth Castle was established in the late 1060s by William Fitz Osbern. It was here that the future King Henry V was born in 1387,

The Office of Works took over responsibility for Monmouth Castle in 1906. A.J. Taylor prepared the official Ministry guide for Monmouth Castle and Great Castle House in 1951. The 1969 edition was prepared by MPBW on behalf of the Welsh Office. The guide is divided into two parts: history and description (The medieval town and its defences; the castle; Great Castle House). There are three plans: one of Monmouth; the second for the Great Tower; and the third, on a foldout plan inside the back cover, of the castle.

Top 10 Heritage Sites for Suffolk

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Sutton Hoo © David Gill

I have been reviewing the summer and thinking about the key heritage sites in Suffolk. I have put the ten locations in a broadly chronological order.

Sutton Hoo. The Anglo-Saxon ship-burial site is one of the most important archaeological sites in the UK. The spectacular finds are displayed in the British Museum.

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

The Abbey of St Edmund. The abbey precinct contains the ruined abbey as well as two impressive gatehouses. The present cathedral stands alongside the former abbey church.

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Blythburgh © David Gill

Blythburgh church. Suffolk has numerous medieval churches but Blythburgh is probably one of the most impressive. The setting with the marshes enhances the visit.

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Lavenham © David Gill

Lavenham, Guildhall. The Guildhall at Lavenham stood at the heart of the medieval community.

Clare Castle

Clare Castle © David Gill

Clare Castle. It is hard to beat a castle that has a (disused) railway station in its outer bailey. The castle provides good views over Clare with its splendid church.

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Orford Castle © David Gill

Orford Castle. The castle at Orford provides a wonderful platform to view part of the Suffolk coast including the twentieth century Cold War remains on Orford Ness.

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Ickworth © David Gill

Ickworth. The Rotunda at Ickworth dominates the landscape and can be viewed from the Italianate gardens.

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Museum of East Anglian Life © David Gill

Museum of East Anglian Life. This outdoor museum in Stowmarket brings together different elements of rural life in the region. The riverside walk provides a good opportunity to spot wildlife.

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East Anglia Transport Museum © David Gill

East Anglia Transport Museum. This gem of a museum provides train, tram and trolleybus rides, exhibits of signs, and displays from the now dismantled Southwold railway.

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Palace House, Newmarket © David Gill

Newmarket, Palace House. Newmarket is synonymous with horseracing and the exhibitions have everything from Greek pottery to modern art, physiological displays, and memorabilia. Visitors can even take an automated ride.

This is very much a personal list, and it reflects some of the key locations.

 

Brochs in State Guardianship

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Dun Beag, Skye © David Gill

Brochs are an important part of the archaeological landscape. Several have been placed in State Guardianship in Scotland.

Shetland: Clickimin Broch; Mousa Broch

Orkney: Broch of Gurness; Midhowe Broch [Guidebook: HES]

Gurness_HS

1993 (rev. ed. 2008)

Western Lewis: Dun Carloway

Skye: Dun Beag

Mainland: Glenelg Brochs (Dun Telve, Dun Troddan)

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Glenelg © David Gill

Sutherland: Dun DornaigilCarn Liath

Scottish Borders: Edin’s Hall

 

Ministry Guidebooks from 1955

Caernarvon Castle

(1961)

My study of Ministry Souvenir Guidebooks has appeared in the latest number of the Journal of Public Archaeology (2018).

Abstract
The first formal guidebooks for historic sites placed in state guardianship in the United Kingdom appeared in 1917. There was an expansion of the series in the 1930s and 1950s. However from the late 1950s the Ministry of Works, and later the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, started to produce an additional series of illustrated souvenir guides. One distinct group covered Royal Palaces: The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Queen Victoria’s residence of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. This was followed by guides for the archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, the Neolithic flint mines at Grime’s Graves, the Roman villa at Lullingstone, and Hadrian’s Wall. In 1961 a series of guides, with covers designed by Kyffin Williams, was produced for the English castles constructed in North Wales and that now form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ‘Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd’. These illustrated guides, some with colour, prepared the way for the fully designed guides now produced by English Heritage, Cadw, and History Scotland.

‘The Ministry of Works and the Development of Souvenir Guides from 1955’, Public Archaeology (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14655187.2017.1484584