St Davids Bishop’s Palace: guidebooks

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The Cathedral from the Bishop’s Palace, St Davids © David Gill

The Bishop’s Palace at St Davids was placed in State Guardianship in 1932. The official guidebook was prepared by C.A. Ralegh Radford. The first edition appeared in 1934, and the second edition in 1953. This starts with the history of the palace followed by a description of the remains. There is a foldout plan inside the back cover.

StDavids_MPBW

1953 (2nd ed.)

The blue guide continued into the 1970s as a DOE guide, published on behalf of the Welsh Office. On the title page (but not the cover) the Welsh title is provided: Llys  yr Esgob Tyddewi. It included a reconstruction by Alan Sorrell. A summary in Welsh is provided at the back of the guide.

St_Davids_palace

1953 (2nd ed.; 11th impress. with amendments, 1971)

The Cadw guide changed the title with the emphasis on St Davids (and note the dropping of the apostrophe). The author was by J. Wyn Evans, Dean of the neighbouring cathedral. It starts with ‘A Palace for Prelates: Historical Background’, and is followed by ‘A Tour of the Bishop’s Palace’. At the back is a section on ‘Bishops as Builders: a Summary of the Building History’ by Rick Turner. There is a plan of the palace inside the card rear cover. One page summarises the guide in Welsh.

The guide includes a section on St Non’s Chapel.

StDavids_palace_Cadw

1991

A revised version of the Wyn Evans and Turner guide was reissued in the larger Cadw format.

StDavids_palace_Cadw_large

1991 (rev. 1999)

 

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

Kirkwall: guidebook to the palaces

Kirkwall_palace_MPBW

1965 (1969)

The combined guidebook to the Bishop’s Palace and the Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall, Orkney, was prepared by W. Douglas Simpson. Both palaces had been placed in State Guardianship in 1920.

The older Bishop’s Palace was linked to St Magnus’ Cathedral in Orkney. It was constructed in the 12th century.  The Earl’s Palace was constructed by Earl Patrick from 1601; he incorporated the remains of the former Bishop’s Palace that had passed to his father, Earl Robert Stewart in 1568.

The guide contains an Introduction, followed by sections on the Bishop’s Palace and the Earl’s Palace (each with a history followed by a description), then a short bibliography and a glossary. A double-sided fold-out plan inside the back cover provides details for both palaces.

Both palaces now feature in the Historic Scotland guide to the monuments of Orkney by Caroline Wickham-Jones.

Orkney_HS

2012

Farnham Castle Keep

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Farnham Castle © David Gill

The Bishop of Winchester was granted lands in the vicinity of Farnham in 688. The castle at Farnham was created by Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester (1129-71) and Abbot of Glastonbury (1126-71). Henry was a grandson of William I, and brother of Stephen. This castle was demolished in 1155 during the reign of Henry II (who had been crowned in December 1154).

The present shell keep, surrounding the original castle on its mound, dates to the late 12th century. Remains of the original square tower can be seen at the centre of the motte. The castle then became home of the bishops of Winchester, including William of Wykeham (in 1368), and Thomas Wolsey (in 1529).

The castle was captured by parliamentary troops under Sir William Waller in December 1642, and then became a garrison.

The Church of England Diocese of Guildford was formed in 1927, and the castle continued to be an official residence until 1955. The castle keep was placed in state care in 1933, and is now a property of English Heritage. Sir Charles Peers had hoped to acquire the keep in 1912.

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Farnham Castle © David Gill

The official blue guide was written by Michael Welman Thompson, who served as Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Wales. Thompson conducted excavations at the castle from 1958-60.

Thompson also wrote the official Ministry guidebooks for Pickering Castle (1958), and Conisborough Castle (1959), Kenilworth Castle (1977), as well as the National Trust guide for Tattershall Castle (1974). For Thompson’s Yorkshire guidebooks see here.

Farnham Castle

1961 (7th impress. 1978)

The present English Heritage guidebook, containing colour illustrations, is by John Wareham. In spite of its title (Three Palaces of the Bishops of Winchester) it covers four palaces in the care of English Heritage:

Guide to Bishops of Winchester: Wolvesey, Bishop's Waltham, Farnham

2000