The castles at Pendennis and St Mawes were built to protect the Carrick Roads and Falmouth in Cornwall. Both appear to have been completed by 1543. They formed part of a wider network of coastal castles, including Deal and Walmer, and the Solent. For further details of the programme of defence see here.
Both castles were placed in State Guardianship in 1920 (from the War Office), and they were requisitioned for military purposes in the Second World War. They were re-opened to the public in 1946.
1963 (5th impress. 1972)
A souvenir guide was produced in 1963, was continued into the 1970s under the Department of the Environment. This provides a guide to both castles as well as a historical introduction.
1999 (repr. 2002)
English Heritage produced a colour guide to both castles in 1999 by Richard Linzey. It includes tours of both castles, as well as a page on the National Trust property of St Anthony Head Battery.
2012 (2nd ed. 2018)
The latest guide by Paul Pattison has extended tours of both castles. There are special topics that include smuggling and piracy, the submarine minefield, as well as St Anthony Head. Foldout plans are printed inside the cover.
Tintagel Castle was placed in State Guardianship by the Duchy of Cornwall in 1930. C.A. Ralegh Radford prepared the first guide 1935, with a second edition in 1939. It is introduced with a summary, followed by a history, periods of construction of the castle, and then the description. A foldout plan is placed inside the back cover. The later MPBW guidebook had an additional plan of the island inside the back cover.
1939 (2nd ed., 10th impress. 1962)
1939 (2nd ed., 14th impress. 1969)
The English Heritage guidebook was written by Brian K. Davison. It contains three sections: Tour and Description; History of Tintagel; the Legend of King Arthur. A plan of the island is placed inside the back cover.
There is a double page foldout frontispiece providing an aerial photograph of the fort (taken in 1968). The sections are:
Fort George Ardersier
Building the fort
The guidebook is illustrated with black and white photographs along with some plans.
MacIvor’s guidebook was updated as a second edition in 1983.
1970 (2nd ed. 1983)
The second edition has an extended set of images. The text is similar. For example, the section on the Highland Garrisons comes under a general history section, introduced with the quotation, ‘A large sum of money spended in building’. The description is introduced with ‘Upon this barren, sandy point’.
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.
1950 (2nd ed.; 1966, 7th impress.)
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.
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.