Crichton Castle: guidebooks

Crichton_blue

1957 (5th impress. 1971)

Crichton Castle, in Midlothian, was placed in State Guardianship in 1926. W. Douglas Simpson prepared the guidebook in 1957; contemporary with the one for Hermitage Castle. He made comparison with Craigmillar Castle that lies to the north-west: ‘The serious student of Scottish castles should compare Crichton with Craigmillar’.

The guide starts with a summary that serves as a statement of importance. It notes the link with Sir Walter Scott’s Marmion. This is followed by a description, and then the history. A series of black and white photographs were placed in the centre, and a fold-out plan inside the back cover.

Crichton_HS

1987 (2nd ed.; 2nd impress. 1990)

The Historic Scotland guide starts with an introduction, ‘On the steep of the green vale of the Tyne’. This was followed by the history, ‘A residence of Lordship’. The tour is provided next, ‘Remains of ride Magnificence’. Plans are provided inside the back card cover.

The text was prepared by Christopher J. Tabraham ‘from an original script by W. Douglas Simpson’. The history initially repeats Simpson’s text, but quickly parts company and expands on the background. The tour includes sections on the first castle; Chancellor Crichton’s lodging; Earl Bothwell’s work; and outbuildings.

Tantallon Castle: guidebooks

Tantallon_OoW

1937

Tantallon Castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1924. Its first official guidebook was prepared by J.S. Richardson, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland, and published in 1932 (and reissued in 1937). It was thus one of the earliest of the guides prepared for historic sites in Scotland. The guide starts with a description (pp. 3–11), followed by a history (pp. 12–31). A plan showing the outworks is printed opposite the title page, and a plan and cross-sections are printed on a fold-out sheet inside the back cover. The text is supported by black and white photographs.

Tantallon_MPBW

1950 (2nd ed.; 1966, 7th impress.)

Tantallon_blue

1950 (2nd ed.; 1972, 8th impress.)

Richardson’s guide continued into the 1970s as the blue guide. The format of description followed by history is the same. The fold-out plan continued to be placed inside the back cover. The side headings of the 1930s guide were turned into bold sub-headings.

Tantallon_HS

1994 (rev. ed. 2007)

Chris Tabraham revised the Historic Scotland ‘Official Souvenir Guide’. This contains a guided tour followed by a history. There is a section on the spectacular Bass Rock, home to gannets. There is no plan of the castle, but the guided tour has a number view from the air to help orientate the visitor.

Craigmillar Castle: guidebook

Craigmillar_blue

1954 (4th impress. 1970)

Craigmillar Castle, to the south-east of Edinburgh, was placed in State Guardianship in 1946. W. Douglas Simpson prepared the official guidebook in 1954. At the heart of the castle is the tower house, constructed after 1374 by Sir Simon Preston of Gorton. Queen Mary used the castle as her residence after the murder of Rizzio in 1566.

The guidebook is divided into description and (a short) history. A plan of the castle, and detail of the floors is provided in the centre pages.

Warkworth Castle: Beer Cellar

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Warkworth Castle © David Gill

The beer cellar is located in the western side of the Great Tower of Warkworth Castle (with the wine cellar on the east side). The stairway provides access to the first floor.

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Warkworth Castle © David Gill

Threave Castle: the visitor experience

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The ferry to Threave Castle © David Gill

Heritage sites need to be understood in their wider setting. And the visitor experience for those making their way to Threave Castle includes a walk along the river and then a ferry across to the island (included in the entrance fee).

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Peregrine near Threave Castle © David Gill

Peregrine falcons have been nesting in the castle, and HES staff were more than helpful in pointing out a female perching in a tree on the far bank.

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Ospreys on the Threave Estate © David Gill

The Threave estate (NTS) also has an osprey viewing platform.

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Threave Castle © David Gill

The ferryman helpfully pointed out a possible archaeological feature emerging from the waters due to the drought conditions. Is this a geological feature or perhaps traces of a ford across the river?

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Threave Castle © David Gill

The NTS and HES teams work together to make this a highly rewarding site.

Dirleton Castle: features in the Ruthven lodging

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Dirleton Castle © David Gill

The first floor of the Ruthven lodging at Dirleton Castle is accessed by a circular staircase. Immediately inside is a ‘Wall cupboard once fitted with shelves’.

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Dirleton Castle © David Gill

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Dirleton Castle © David Gill

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Dirleton Castle © David Gill

Kildrummy and Glenbuchat Castles

Kildrummy_blue

1957 (4th ed. 1978)

Kildrummy and Glenbuchat castles are close to each other in Aberdeenshire. The Ministry guidebook was prepared by W. Douglas Simpson in 1957. Simpson had prepared a series of studies on Kildrummy from 1923 to 1937. The guidebook is separated into two parts, leading with Kildrummy; each contains a section on the history and a description of the two castles. A set of black and white photographs of the two castles, and a plan of Kildrummy appear as a block in the centre of the guide; a fold-out plan of Glenbuchat appears at the end.