Guidebook: Stanton Drew Circles


Revised 1969

The series of stone circles at Stanton Drew in Bath and Avon (formerly Somerset) were placed under the protection of the Ancient Monuments Protection Act (1882). For an overview of the site see English Heritage.

The guide was prepared by L.V. Grinsell (who also wrote the guide for Hetty Pegler’s Tump). It consists of 7 pages (the back page is blank) and contains a plan of the three circles in the centre pages. There is a short history of the site (noting the date to between 2000 and 1400 BC) and then descriptions of the Great Circle and Avenue, the North-eastern Circle, the South-western Circle, the Cove, and Hautville’s Quoit. In addition there is a section on Stanton Drew in Folk Tradition, and a review of the literature from John Aubrey (1664) and William Stukeley (1776).

Shap Abbey: guidebook


1963 (3rd impress. with amendments)

The Premonstratensian abbey at Shap was founded in the 12th century. The remains were placed in State Guardianship by the Lowther Estates in 1948.

The MPBW guide was first published in 1963. It was divided into two sections, each by separate authors (a pattern found for other sites, e.g. guides prepared by James S. Richardson). The history was prepared by H.M. Colvin of St John’s College, Oxford (pp. 3–5), followed by the Architectural History (pp. 5–6) and Description (pp. 6–15) by R. Gilyard-Beer. A fold-out plan of the abbey was placed inside the back cover. There are four black and white plates, including a pen drawing of 1859 and a Buck engraving of 1739.

Middleham Castle: guidebooks


Middleham Castle, looking north from the keep © David Gill

Middleham Castle was placed in state guardianship in 1925. The first guidebook was prepared by (Sir) Charles Peers in 1933; a second edition appeared in 1965. The guide would be followed by other Yorkshire castles: Richmond (1934) and Helmsley (1946).

This remained in print until 1984 when it was replaced by a new English Heritage guide by Beric Morley.


This paper guide consists of six pages, i.e. each side with three pages. A plan was printed in the centre. It consisted of a short history followed by a description.



Morley’s guide was replaced in 1993 by a new guide prepared by John Weaver. This contains a tour and description, followed by a history. There are numerous colour images and plans


1998 [2014]

Weaver’s guide was updated in 1998.

Helmsley Castle: guidebooks


1966 [3rd impress. 1971]

Helmsley Castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1923. The first official guidebook was prepared by Sir Charles Peers in 1946. This consisted of a history followed by a description. A fold-out map was placed inside the back cover.



Glyn Coppack prepared a new English Heritage guide in 1990. It starts with a description and is followed by the history of the castle. A colour reconstruction of the castle by Alan Sorrell is placed in the centre. A double page plan is placed inside the back cover.


2004 (repr. 2012)

Jonathan Clark prepared the 2004 English Heritage guide. The description has been replaced by a tour. It is then followed by a history. A coloured plan showing the different phases is placed sinde the back cover.



John R. Kenyon prepared the English Heritage ‘red’ guide. This consists of a tour and a history. A plan is placed inside the back card cover.

Leading Visitor Attractions 2018: English Heritage


The figures for Leading Visitor Attractions in 2018 have been published. The top English Heritage sites are:

  • Stonehenge [20]: 1,555,868 [-1.7%]. 2017: 1,582,532 [+14.5%]
  • Dover Castle [95]: 365,462 [-3.8%]. 2017: 379,740 [+13.9%]
  • Osborne [112]: 304,927 [-1.3%]. 2017: 308,861 [+16.1%]
  • Tintagel Castle [135]: 230,584 [-6.3%]. 2017: 246,039 [+7.1%]
  • Carlisle Castle [158]: 177,247 [+285.4%]
  • Audley End House and Gardens [160]: 170,042 [-5.1%]. 2017: 179,167 [+8.1%]
  • Clifford’s Tower, York [163]: 154,701 [+0.4%]. 2017: 154,135 [+5.1%]
  • Whitby Abbey [165]: 147,566 [-11.3%]. 2017: 166,362 [+9.6%]
  • Kenwood [171]: 131,126 [-8.6%]. 2017: 143,490 [+6.8%]
  • Wrest Park [172]: 128,980 [-5.9%]. 2017: 137,131 [+10.3%]
  • Carisbrooke Castle [174]: 125,664 [-0.7%]. 2017: 126,584 [-0.3%]
  • 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield [176]: 123,870 [+0.5%]. 2017: 123,220 [-10.6%]
  • Eltham Palace and Gardens [180]: 110,034 [+0.5%]. 2017: 109,501 [+12.5%]
  • Kenilworth Castle [181]: 110,012 [-6.8%]. 2017: 118,090 [+9.3%]
  • Housesteads Roman Fort [182]: 109,675 [+0.9%]. 2017: 108,660 [+6.5%]
  • Walmer Castle and Gardens [184]: 103,905 [-4.7%]. 2017: 109,005 [+18.8%]

Overall English Heritage seems to have been attracting fewer visitors during 2018.


Eltham Palace © David Gill

Binham Priory: church


Binham Priory from the west © David Gill

The nave of the priory church at Binham remains in use.


Binham Priory, nave © David Gill

Parts of the south aisle lie outside the present parish church.


Binham Priory, south aisle and northern part of cloister © David Gill


Binham Priory © David Gill

The choir and presbytery lie to the east of the present parish church and are now in a ruinous state.


Binham Priory © David Gill

The north and south transepts are clearly marked.


Binham Priory, south transept © David Gill


Binham Priory © David Gill


Binham Priory © David Gill


Binham Priory, night stairs in south transept © David Gill

The night stairs are located in the south transept. These led to the dorter.


Binham Priory © David Gill


Binham Priory © David Gill

The foundations of the late 11th century building are marked out in the north aisle.

The Lady Chapel may have been located on the north side.


Binham Priory © David Gill