Warkworth Hermitage: Ministry sign

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Warkworth Hermitage © David Gill

Warkworth Hermitage was placed in State Guardianship in 1923. The Ministry of Works guardianship sign still stands. (For another in Northumberland, see Chesterholm Roman Milestone).

Druchtag Motte

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Druchtag Motte © David Gill

The 12th century motte near the village of Mochrum is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. It still stands some 6.5 m high.

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View from the top of Druchtag Motte © David Gill

Access to the top of the motte is via a rope from which there are views towards the Mull of Galloway and the Isle of Man.

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Druchtag Motte © David Gill

Egglestone Abbey

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Egglestone Abbey © David Gill

Egglestone Abbey was a Premonstratensian foundation dating back to 1195. It was founded from Easby Abbey just outside Richmond. There are substantial remains of the abbey church, and the eastern range.

The remains of the abbey were place in State Guardianship in 1925. At the time it formed part of the county of Yorkshire, but with boundary changes it now lies within Co. Durham.

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1958 (8th impress. 1976)

The original ‘blue guide’ was by Rose Graham (history) and P.K. Baillie Reynolds (description). There is a full tour of the remains, with a fold-out plan inside the back cover.

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1999 (2014)

The abbey is now included in a combined guide (by Katy Kenyon) with nearby Barnard Castle and Bowes Castle.

Warkworth Hermitage: landing sign

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Warkworth Hermitage © David Gill

There is limited access to the Hermitage near Warkworth in Northumberland. A rowing boat, crewed by a member of staff from English Heritage, takes you across the river. An official sign reminds you that only official boats are allowed to moor.

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Warkworth Hermitage © David Gill

Grimes Graves: DOE Guide

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1984

I have noted before the Young People’s Guide to Grime’s Graves by Barbara Green (MPBW, 1964). This was adapted in 1984 by the Department of the Environment with a rather striking cover (designed by William Brouard). Note that Grime’s Graves has now become Grimes Graves, and the young people’s guide has been dropped.

Additions include a map inside the front cover along with a revised version of ‘how to get there’. The Alan Sorrell reconstructions have also been dropped. The plan of Pit no. 1 has been re-orientated so that north is at the top. The general plan of the site shows that the custodian’s hut was moved from the site of the car-park to a point closer to Pit 1.

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UK UNESCO World Heritage site damaged

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Brunton Turret, Hadrian’s Wall © David Gill

Part of Hadrian’s Wall at Brunton Turret has been damaged by metal-detectorists “‘Nighthawk’ metal detectorists damage Hadrian’s Wall“, BBC News 20 June 2018). Some 50 holes have been noted around this well-preserved section of the Roman frontier. This raises questions about how internationally significant heritage assets can be protected for future generations. Equally important is the question, how can the archaeological and heritage communities make it clear that such activity cannot be accepted?

Top 10 Heritage Sites in England: a personal view

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Castle Howard © David Gill

Historic England has published a list of its Top 10 Heritage Sites in England. But what would be on my personal list? The oldest site on their list was the Anglo-Saxon ship-burial site at Sutton Hoo, but I would like to push the list back a little further. I would place two key sites:

  • the first, the prehistoric mound of Silbury Hill near Avebury in Wiltshire.
  • the second, the monumental Roman frontier of Hadrian’s Wall that cuts across Northumberland and Cumbria.

Cathedrals are equally hard to list. I think top of my list would be Durham. What can beat the view of the cathedral from the train? I would also place the magnificent Norwich Cathedral in the rankings.

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Norwich Cathedral © David Gill

I would like them to be joined by one of the Yorkshire abbeys, and Fountains is probably the  one that heads the list. But should there be a castle on the list? Pevensey Castle brings together the Roman fort with the later medieval castle, and with hints of the Second World War inserted into the masonry.

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Fountains Abbey © David Gill

Country houses are difficult. Chatsworth is an outstanding residence, but I think that I would place Castle Howard, Yorkshire above it. Queen Victoria’s residence, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, has spectacular views over the Solent and should be on the list.

On a more modest scale, Cherryburn in Northumberland linked to Thomas Bewick, is an intimate location.

I feel that there should be some industrial heritage in the list. Stott Park Bobbin Mill, tucked away on the edge of Windermere in the Lake District, is one of those captivating sites. Local resources and energy supplies provided a key component of Britain’s trade.

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Stott Park Bobbin Mill © David Gill