St Breock Downs Monolith

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© Patrick Taylor

This monolith stands at about the highest point to the south-west of Wadebridge in Cornwall.  It was re-erected in 1956 and placed in State Guardianship in 1965 when it was provided with an MPBW sign (now replaced). Note that the original name was longstone rather than monolith.

Note that the stone is now dated from the Late Neolithic to the mid-Bronze Age, i.e. c. 2500–1500 BC; this contrasts with the view in the 1960s as used on the sign, 1800–600 BC.

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St Breock Down Monolith © David Gill

The site is now managed by the Cornwall Heritage Trust.

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St Breock Down Monolith © David Gill

Sutton Hoo: visualising the burials

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Sutton Hoo sculpture © David Gill

Visitors to the cemetery at Sutton Hoo sometimes find it hard to visualise a ship under the mound. The NLHF supported project has allowed a ship sculpture to be inserted in the courtyard next to the cafe and shop. The central part maps out the finds on the ‘burial chamber’.

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Burial details in the Sutton Hoo sculpture © David Gill

This contrasts with the reconstructed display in the original exhibition at the site.

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Reconstructed ship burial at National Trust Sutton Hoo © David Gill

Guidebook: Stanton Drew Circles

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Revised 1969

The series of stone circles at Stanton Drew in Bath and Avon (formerly Somerset) were placed under the protection of the Ancient Monuments Protection Act (1882). For an overview of the site see English Heritage.

The guide was prepared by L.V. Grinsell (who also wrote the guide for Hetty Pegler’s Tump). It consists of 7 pages (the back page is blank) and contains a plan of the three circles in the centre pages. There is a short history of the site (noting the date to between 2000 and 1400 BC) and then descriptions of the Great Circle and Avenue, the North-eastern Circle, the South-western Circle, the Cove, and Hautville’s Quoit. In addition there is a section on Stanton Drew in Folk Tradition, and a review of the literature from John Aubrey (1664) and William Stukeley (1776).

Shap Abbey: guidebook

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1963 (3rd impress. with amendments)

The Premonstratensian abbey at Shap was founded in the 12th century. The remains were placed in State Guardianship by the Lowther Estates in 1948.

The MPBW guide was first published in 1963. It was divided into two sections, each by separate authors (a pattern found for other sites, e.g. guides prepared by James S. Richardson). The history was prepared by H.M. Colvin of St John’s College, Oxford (pp. 3–5), followed by the Architectural History (pp. 5–6) and Description (pp. 6–15) by R. Gilyard-Beer. A fold-out plan of the abbey was placed inside the back cover. There are four black and white plates, including a pen drawing of 1859 and a Buck engraving of 1739.

Where to go to find a job in heritage – a heritage careers guide.

I have been working for a little while on compiling useful links for finding a job in the heritage sector based on recommendations made to students over many years.  The final result has been spruced up into a small booklet, now available to download. Hopefully it will prove useful to anybody wanting a ‘go to’ list of places to start job hunting. It isn’t exhaustive, and will be further developed over time in association with BEFS and the Heritage Alliance.

https://indd.adobe.com/view/9fcea657-9869-43eb-a60e-d6516cc70823

Middleham Castle: guidebooks

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Middleham Castle, looking north from the keep © David Gill

Middleham Castle was placed in state guardianship in 1925. The first guidebook was prepared by (Sir) Charles Peers in 1933; a second edition appeared in 1965. The guide would be followed by other Yorkshire castles: Richmond (1934) and Helmsley (1946).

This remained in print until 1984 when it was replaced by a new English Heritage guide by Beric Morley.

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This paper guide consists of six pages, i.e. each side with three pages. A plan was printed in the centre. It consisted of a short history followed by a description.

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1993

Morley’s guide was replaced in 1993 by a new guide prepared by John Weaver. This contains a tour and description, followed by a history. There are numerous colour images and plans

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1998 [2014]

Weaver’s guide was updated in 1998.

Huntingtower: guidebooks

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Huntingtower © David Gill

Huntingtower, near Perth, was placed in State Guardianship in 1912. James S. Richardson prepared the first guidebook in 1931. A second edition appeared in 1950 and continued in print into the 1970s. The blue guide uses a detail from the ceiling inside the castle. Richardson’s guide starts with historical notes (pp. 1–5), followed by a description (pp. 6–9). Black and white photographs, as well as floor plans appear in the centre of the guide. He comments:

Viewed from any point, Huntingtower presents a picturesque appearance; the broken line of walling, the corbelled parapets with their subdued corner rounds and the corbie-stepped gables give the visitor an impression of a Scottish fortified-house of the 16th century, divested of its outer defensive works, garden and orchard.

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1st ed. 1931; 2nd ed. 1950 (4th impress. 1972)

A third edition of Richardson’s guide was published in 1982. Historical notes have been replaced by history, and description by descriptive tour. Photographs and plans are incorporated in the text.

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1982, 3rd edition

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HMSO 1989 (Historic Scotland 1996, 2001)

Richardson’s guide was replaced in 1989 by a new guide by Denys Pringle. There are two main sections: the story of Huntingtower, and the architecture of Huntingtower. The centre pages provide a short tour of the castle. Floor plans are printed inside the back cover.