Egglestone Abbey © David Gill
Egglestone Abbey was a Premonstratensian foundation dating back to 1195. It was founded from Easby Abbey just outside Richmond. There are substantial remains of the abbey church, and the eastern range.
The remains of the abbey were place in State Guardianship in 1925. At the time it formed part of the county of Yorkshire, but with boundary changes it now lies within Co. Durham.
1958 (8th impress. 1976)
The original ‘blue guide’ was by Rose Graham (history) and P.K. Baillie Reynolds (description). There is a full tour of the remains, with a fold-out plan inside the back cover.
The abbey is now included in a combined guide (by Katy Kenyon) with nearby Barnard Castle and Bowes Castle.
I have noted before the Young People’s Guide to Grime’s Graves by Barbara Green (MPBW, 1964). This was adapted in 1984 by the Department of the Environment with a rather striking cover (designed by William Brouard). Note that Grime’s Graves has now become Grimes Graves, and the young people’s guide has been dropped.
Additions include a map inside the front cover along with a revised version of ‘how to get there’. The Alan Sorrell reconstructions have also been dropped. The plan of Pit no. 1 has been re-orientated so that north is at the top. The general plan of the site shows that the custodian’s hut was moved from the site of the car-park to a point closer to Pit 1.
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.
Carisbrooke Castle Guidebooks © David Gill
I was delighted to see that a range of guidebooks for Carsibrooke were displayed in an exhibition relating to the castle. They are an important record of how the castle was interpreted and presented to the visiting public.
The cap worn by the castle’s custodian is also included as part of the castle’s heritage.
Custodian’s Hat, DOE © David Gill
Osborne House was opened to the public in 1954 and John Charlton, Inspector of Ancient Monuments, prepared the Ministry of Works ‘Official Guide’. There is a single narrative that effectively provides a tour of the house and grounds. There are numerous black and white illustrations.
1960 (rev. 1968)
1960 (rev. 1974)
Charlton’s Guide was revised and the text continued to be used by both the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works and the Department of the Environment. While the text remained largely the same, the new souvenir guide format include colour images. These are in the format of souvenir guides written for other sites in State Guardianship.
1989 (9th ed. 2004)
The 1989 guidebook was by Michael Turner and was published in nine editions (to 2014) and has been replaced by the English Heritage ‘red’ guide. Essentially this was divided into two main sections: the tour (including the exterior) and the history.
The present English Heritage guidebook is written by Turner. It contains a tour of the house, tour of the gardens, followed by a history . There are seven special features explaining aspects life at Osborne.
2007 (2nd ed. 2014, rev. 2016)
Reculver © David Gill
The Saxon Shore fort of Reculver in Kent is in the care of English Heritage. Parts of the Roman fort has been eroded into the sea. In the 7th century the fort became the site for the foundation of an Anglo-Saxon minster. The site was placed in Site Guardianship in 1950.
Stuart E. Rigold wrote a short guide to the site in 1971. This followed the format of the DOE concertina card guides (see also Hardknott Roman fort; Hetty Pegler’s Tump). There are 6 columns of text (the fort, the minster) on one side (with a small plan of the fort and church), a series of images including a plan of the 7th-15th century ecclesiastical structures.
The present English Heritage guide by Tony Wilmott covers the two Saxon Shore forts in Kent, Reculver and Richborough.
1986 (2nd ed.; repr. 2001)
Appuldurcombe is a major house on the Isle of Wight. The fragile structure was placed in State Guardianship in 1952. It had last been occupied in 1909.
The Ministry guidebook was prepared by L.O.J. Boynton (1967). This takes a different format to other ‘blue’ guides. It starts with an introduction, and then presents a short essay on the Worsleys of Appuldurcombe. This is followed by a long section on the building of Appuldurcombe, with sections on Sir Robert Worsley (1701–13), Sir Richard Worsley (1773–82) and the Yarborough period (1805–55) and after. Finally there is a description of the house and grounds. The text is supported iwth a block of 32 endnotes. There are 9 black and white plates, and a table showing the 18th century cost of the house. Inside the back cover are plans of the park and of the house itself.
1967 (3rd impress. 1971)
The DOE guide (1971) is essentially the same as the earlier MPBW one except that it had integrated images. The English Heritage Guide (1986), that continues in print (most recently in 2009), is a revised and expanded version of Boynton’s 1967 text. It now starts with a tour and description, broken down into elements of the structure. This is followed by a history of Appuldurcombe starting in the Anglo-Saxon period. The final section is the building history. There are now 37 supporting endnotes.
This is one of several Ministry guides that continue to have a life under English Heritage.