Pendennis and St Mawes: guidebooks

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Pendennis Castle © David Gill

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.

Pendennis_DOE

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.

Pendennis_StM_EH

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.

Pendennis_StM_EH_red

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.

The Tin Coast and Poldark

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The Crowns Engine Houses at Botallack © David Gill

The BBC Drama Series ‘Poldark‘ is set in Cornwall in what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ‘Tin Coast‘ includes the Crowns Engine Houses at Botallack in the care of the National Trust.

Heritage locations used in the filming of the series have been listed by Visit Cornwall.

Signs of Chysauster

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Chysauster © David Gill

A single Ministry signpost continues to point the way to Chysauster Ancient Village through the network of small roads in Penwith. It even provides the distance: 2 1/4 miles.

Traces of the original green paint can still be seen against the post.

Chysauster and Carn Euny: guidebooks

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Chysauster © David Gill

Two late Iron Age village communities in Penwith are in the care of English Heritage. Chysauster was paced in State Guardianship in 1931, and Carn Euny was purchased in 1957.

Chysauster_MPBW

1960 (1968)

The first paper guidebook was Chysauster was prepared by P.K. Baillie Reynolds in 1960. There is a short history (including recent investigations) followed by a house by house description. There is a plan on the centre pages.

Chysauster_DOE

1971

The DOE produced a short card guide to the site in 1971. This provides a tour of the houses: “Ask the custodian to point out the path uphill to House 6 …”.

Chysauster_EH_white

1987

Patricia M.L. Christie, who excavated at Carn Euny, produced the English Heritage guide to Chysauster (1987). This has an introductory section on the site, history, the field system, dating, and environment and economy.  Most of the guide consists of a description and a tour of the houses. Christie also prepared a separate guide to Carn Euny (1983).

Chysauster_CE_EH_1993

1993

Chysauster_CE_EH_2000

1997, 2nd ed. (repr. 2000)

Christie’s two separate guides were combined in 1993, with a second edition, using colour images, in 1997; it continued to be printed in 2000.

Chysauster_CE_EH_red

2017

English Heritage has now produced a combined guide by Susan Greaney (2017). This contains two separate tours of the villages, followed by a combined history. There are seven special features including the use of the sites by Methodist preachers, Plans of both sites appear inside the foldout back cover.

St Breock Downs Monolith

st breock

© 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

Tintagel Castle: guidebooks

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Tintagel © David Gill

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.

Tintagel_MPBW

1939 (2nd ed., 10th impress. 1962)

Tintagel_MPBW_r

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.

Tintagel_EH

1999 (repr. 2002)