Hermitage Castle: guidebooks

Hermitage_cas_blue

1957 (5th impress. 1974)

Hermitage Castle and the adjacent chapel were placed in State Guardianship in 1930. The ‘blue’ guide was prepared by W. Douglas Simpson. There is a short history indicating that the castle was founded by 1300. It was captured by Sir William Douglas in 1338. There is then a description with a series of black and white photographs, and a ground floor plan.

A short description of Hermitage Chapel, settled by brother William from Kelso. The guide closes with a section on Ballad Lore, and the account of Lord Soulis.

Hermitage_cas_HS

1982 (3rd ed. 1987)

Simpson’s blue guide continued into the period of Historic Scotland. The text is almost identical. The introduction becomes ‘Renouned among Border fortresses’. The history is turned into ‘The strength of Liddesdale’; the seal of William Douglas that served on the cover of the blue guide is inserted in the text.  The description became ‘Grim indeed’. Among the photographs is one from the air derived from the Royal Commission. The plan that appears in the double pages of the blue guide appears inside the back cover, although the scale is reproduced in metres. The section on Ballad Lore is included along with a portrait of Sir Walter Scott with Hermitage Castle in the background.

The section on the chapel includes photographs as well as a plan and restoration made in 1900.

This guide included a family tree of the Douglases (and points to other family castles, namely Threave, Tantallon, and Aberdour) and one of Hepburn (with other castles, Crichton, Hailes, Huntly; Spynie Palace; St Andrews Cathedral). There are portraits of James Hepburn, 4th Early of Bothwell, and his second wife, Mary Queen of Scots. (The portrait of Mary in the HS guide uses the portrait in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.)

Note the different colours used for ‘Hermitage’ and ‘Castle’.

Hermitage_ca_HS_new

A new Historic Scotland ‘Official Souvenir Guide’ was prepared by Chris Tabraham. This starts with a Guided Tour, followed by the History. There is mention of a possible deer park. No plan is included although a drawing of the castle from the air helps to orientate the visitor.

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

Dirleton: Gazebo

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Dirleton Gardens © David Gill

The gardens at Dirleton are a delight. In the corner of the 1860s and 1920s garden is a gazebo, suitably signed.

Dirleton is in the care of Historic Scotland.

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Dirleton Gardens © David Gill

Pevensey Castle: WW2 defences

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Pevensey Castle © David Gill

The fall of France in the spring of 1940 meant that Sussex became the front line. The ruins of Pevensey Castle—a Roman Saxon Shore fort as well as a medieval castle—were used to disguised strong points. Teams from the Ministry assisted with the construction of the defences so that they would blend into the ruins of the Roman and medieval walls.

This pill box was mounted on the wall of the medieval keep. Note the Ministry sign placed below it: ‘Gun Emplacement / 1939-1945’.

Pevensey Castle: signage

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Pevensey Castle © David Gill

Pevensey Castle was given to the Office of Works by the Duke of Devonshire in 1925. It became one of the front line defences of Britain in 1940.

Pevensey Castle was one of the Saxon Shore forts and was later reused as a medieval castle.

For guidebooks to the fort and castle see here.

Castle Rising: Guidebooks

castlerising_doe

1978

Castle Rising was placed in state care in 1958. Prior to this it had been in the estate of the Hoard family. During this phase William Taylor wrote his History and Antiquities of Castle Rising, Norfolk (c. 1850).

castlerising_1929

1929

Harry Lawrence Bradfer-Lawrence prepared Castle Rising: A Short History and Description of the Castle with Illustrations (1929). This continued in print until 1954.

R. Allen Brown produced the Department of the Environment guide in 1978. This was reprinted in 1984, and then issued by by English Heritage in 1987, with reprints as late as 1996. R. Allen Brown also wrote the guides to Dover Castle, Orford Castle, and Rochester Castle.

castlerising_eh

1987 (1992)

Dartmouth Castle: Guidebooks

Dartmouth_MW

1951 (repr. 1954)

Dartmouth Castle was placed in the care of the Office of Works in 1909, although the War Office retained the right to use the structure. It was finally placed in State Guardianship in 1970.

Dartmouth_MPBW

1965

B.H. St. John O’Neil wrote the first guide to the castle in 1934, followed by a paper guide in 1951. It was followed by a Ministry of Public Buildings and Works souvenir guide in 1965. This was written by A.D. Saunders. The printer was W.S. Cowell of the Butter Market, Ipswich. This guide took the format: Introduction; Early Defences; The Building of the Castle; Kingswear Castle; Bayard’s Cove; Sixteenth-Century Repairs and Additions; The Civil War; Later History; Description.

eh_dartmouth_2nd_rear

1988 (2nd ed.)

Saunders’ guide continued into the period of English Heritage. It was reprinted in 1983, with a second edition in 1988. This carried the branding of Gateway supermarkets. The format was altered, starting with a description and then the history. An expanded third edition appeared in 1991.

dartmouth_eh_3rd

1991 (1993)