Grime’s Graves: Young People’s Guide

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1964

The neolithic mines at Grime’s Graves are in the care of English Heritage. Barbara Green prepared the Young People’s Guide to Grime’s Graves (1964), in parallel to the souvenir guide to the site. The cover is by Alan Sorrell, and the guide was printed by Brown Knight & Truscott Ltd., London and Tonbridge.

The guide poses a two questions before addressing wider questions:

  • why were the mines dug?
  • what was the flint used for?
  • mining at Grime’s Graves
  • Exploring the mines (‘… it is often necessary to wriggle on one’s stomach’).

There is little in the text to make it more accessible for the younger visitor.

Inside the cover is a note: ‘Visitors wishing to crawl along the galleries are advised to wear old clothes and take an electric torch’. Those galleries are now closed to the public.

My copy was a handwritten note of the opening times on the back cover. The site was open until 7.00 pm from May to September (5.30 pm, March, April, October; 4.00 pm, November – February).

An Inventory for Scotland

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2015

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) presented its final reports in the form of a well illustrated overview of its work from 1908 until its conclusion in 2015. This beautifully designed study includes commentary on the impact of different technologies on how the historic landscape and its features can be mapped and recorded.

Celebrating 100 Years of Guides to the National Heritage Collection

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1917

2017 marks the centenary of the first guidebooks to what can now be termed the National Heritage Collection. One of the first was written by Sir Charles Peers on St Botolph’s Priory in Colchester and now in the care of English Heritage. The guidebook was reissued as a ‘blue’ guide in 1964.

The 1917 guide include a fold-out plan of the priory inside the back cover. This was prepared by E. Dace Brown in July 1916. The guide was divided into three sections: The Augustinian Rule; History of St Botolph’s Priory; and The Priory Buildings.

Brian Shefton: Classical Archaeologist

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2017

Oxford University Press has published a series of essays on refugee scholars who found a home and a welcome at the University of Oxford from 1930.

My contribution was on Professor Brian Shefton (1919-2012), who was brought to England with his parents in the summer if 1933. His father, Professor Isidor Isaac Scheftelowitz, initially found a home at Montefiore College in Ramsgate before moving to Oxford in the summer of 1934. Brian was a scholar at Oriel College, Oxford, where he came under the influence of Paul Jacobsthal and (Sir) John Beazley. His studies were interrupted in 1940 when many refugees of German origin were interned on the Isle of Man. Brian enrolled in the Pioneer Corps of the British Army serving in Yorkshire and Scotland. In 1944 he transferred to the Education Corps.

At the cessation of hostilities Brian returned to Oxford to complete us studies, and in 1947 obtained a School Scholarship at the British School at Athens where he assisted with the excavation of Old Smyrna. During this period he collaborated with colleagues at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) on the publication of some of the pottery from the Agora excavations. One of his significant publications from this time was on the monument to Kallimachos from the Athenian Acropolis.

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Nike from the Kallimachos monument on the Athenian Acropolis © David Gill

In 1950 he was appointed Lecturer in Classics at Exeter, and in 1953 moved to King’s College, Newcastle (now Newcastle University). One of his achievements was the creation of the Greek Museum (now incorporated in the Great North Museum). Among his research interests was the distribution of Greek and Etruscan material in Central Europe, a topic no doubt inherited from Jacobsthal.

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Brian Shefton lecturing at the opening of the Great North Museum © David Gill

Gill, D. W. J. 2017. “Brian Shefton: classical archaeologist.” In Ark of civilization: refugee scholars and Oxford University, 1930-1945, edited by S. Crawford, K. Ulmschneider, and J. Elsner: 151-60. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Guidebooks to Orford Castle

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1964 (2nd impress. 1975)

Orford Castle was placed in the care of the Ministry of Works in 1962. The first guidebook was prepared by R. Allen Brown (1964) with a second impression in 1975. This followed the standard format to the ‘blue’ guides with history and description. The foldout plan at the back provided a section through the castle, and six plans of the different floors.

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1964 (1982; English Heritage 1988; repr. 1975)

This became the English Heritage guidebook. The plans and section were incorporated in the text.

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1988

A combined guidebook with Framlingham Castle followed. This was prepared by Derek Renn (1988). This contained colour illustrations and plans. It followed the format of a tour followed by a history of the castles.

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2003 (rev. 2011; repr. 2013)

The present guidebook is by John Rhodes (2003). It contains a tour of the castle followed by a history.

Guidebooks for Audley End

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Audley End (1955)

The original Ministry of Works guidebook for Audley End in Essex was by Bryan H. St John O’Neil (1950). A third edition appeared in 1958, and this formed the basis of the (anonymous) Ministry of Public Buildings and Works Official Guidebook.

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1958 (3rd ed; 1967, 5th impress.)

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1984 (2nd ed. 1991)

English Heritage replaced this guide with a new one by P.J. Drury and I.R. Gow (1984; 2nd ed. 1991). This had the standard ‘white’ cover with red title.

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1997 (rev. 2002; rev. 2005; repr. 2007)

This was replaced in 1997 by a large format colour guide. The present English Heritage ‘red’ guide is by Paul Drury (2010).

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2010 (rev. repr. 2011)

Carreg Coetan Arthur Burial Chamber

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Carreg Coetan Arthur © David Gill

The burial chamber of Carreg Coetan Arthur lies on the east side of Newport in Pembrokeshire. The monument is in the care of Cadw. It was excavated in 1979 and 1980.

A Cadw guide was prepared by J.B. Hilling (1992). This is omitted from the earlier list of Cadw guides to burial chambers in Wales.