Goodrich Castle: guidebooks

Goodrich_MPBW

1958 (5th impress. 1967)

Goodrich Castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1920. The first official guidebook was prepared by C.A. Ralegh Radford, with a new edition in 1958. It consists of a history, with a section on periods of construction, then a description. A plan of the castle was included inside the guidebook at the start of the description.

Goodrich_DOE

1958 (9th impress. 1975)

The revised DOE blue guide has the foldout plan inside the back cover.

Goodrich_EH

1993 (repr. 1999)

The English Heritage guidebook was prepared by Derek Renn (whose other guides included Framlingham Castle, Old Sarum and Shell Keeps). This starts with a tour of the castle, walks along the river Wye, and a history of Goodrich. A plan of the castle is placed in the centre of the guide.

Tintagel Castle: guidebooks

100-2252

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)

Free but not easy: raising money for the twilight portfolio of English Heritage sites in care

English Heritage has just launched The Once & Future Fund designed to build an endowment to support specifically the sites looked after by the organisation that don’t have admission charges, shops, cafes or custodians.  This group of free to access sites form the vast majority of the national portfolios of English Heritage (as well as Historic Scotland and Cadw), and therefore tend to be less in the public eye for recognition and visitation. The sites which vary in size from the very small (such as Dunster Butter Cross), through to the very large (like Maiden Castle) are theoretically no less important, though they do, unsurprisingly, fall much further down the pecking order when it comes to investment and maintenance.

The campaign by English Heritage is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, through its Heritage Endowments programme, with a HLF commitment to match fund donations up to £1 million. It will dedicate much needed funds and attention on this twilight group of sites which has never received the investment it should have, has never been made the most of within the broader national portfolio, and remains hugely under-interpreted for the visitor. Whilst the dedicated attention and matching commitment by the HLF is to be applauded, it does raise further broader questions about the original £88.5 million ‘endowment’ given to English Heritage / Historic England by Government as part of the English Heritage New Model organisational structure change, particularly around the state of play of reducing the long term conservation backlog for the unstaffed sites with complex needs, and the long-term viability of this part of the national collection which will have to increasingly rely on such fund-raising schemes.

Stonehenge, 100 years: ‘a gift to be held for the nation’

Stonehenge_6

Stonehenge © David Gill

Today is the centenary of Stonehenge being given to the nation by (Sir) Cecil and Mary Chubb (1876-1934). He had purchased the site in 1915 from the estate of Sir Edmund Antrobus for £6,600 (Knight, Frank, and Rutley, Salisbury, September 21, 1915, lot 15). The handover was made to Sir Alfred Mond on 26 October 1915.

The surrounding land was purchased in 1927.

Top 10 Heritage Sites for Suffolk

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Sutton Hoo © David Gill

I have been reviewing the summer and thinking about the key heritage sites in Suffolk. I have put the ten locations in a broadly chronological order.

Sutton Hoo. The Anglo-Saxon ship-burial site is one of the most important archaeological sites in the UK. The spectacular finds are displayed in the British Museum.

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The gatehouse to the Abbey, Bury St Edmunds © David Gill

The Abbey of St Edmund. The abbey precinct contains the ruined abbey as well as two impressive gatehouses. The present cathedral stands alongside the former abbey church.

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Blythburgh © David Gill

Blythburgh church. Suffolk has numerous medieval churches but Blythburgh is probably one of the most impressive. The setting with the marshes enhances the visit.

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Lavenham © David Gill

Lavenham, Guildhall. The Guildhall at Lavenham stood at the heart of the medieval community.

Clare Castle

Clare Castle © David Gill

Clare Castle. It is hard to beat a castle that has a (disused) railway station in its outer bailey. The castle provides good views over Clare with its splendid church.

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Orford Castle © David Gill

Orford Castle. The castle at Orford provides a wonderful platform to view part of the Suffolk coast including the twentieth century Cold War remains on Orford Ness.

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Ickworth © David Gill

Ickworth. The Rotunda at Ickworth dominates the landscape and can be viewed from the Italianate gardens.

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Museum of East Anglian Life © David Gill

Museum of East Anglian Life. This outdoor museum in Stowmarket brings together different elements of rural life in the region. The riverside walk provides a good opportunity to spot wildlife.

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East Anglia Transport Museum © David Gill

East Anglia Transport Museum. This gem of a museum provides train, tram and trolleybus rides, exhibits of signs, and displays from the now dismantled Southwold railway.

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Palace House, Newmarket © David Gill

Newmarket, Palace House. Newmarket is synonymous with horseracing and the exhibitions have everything from Greek pottery to modern art, physiological displays, and memorabilia. Visitors can even take an automated ride.

This is very much a personal list, and it reflects some of the key locations.

 

Ministry Guidebooks from 1955

Caernarvon Castle

(1961)

My study of Ministry Souvenir Guidebooks has appeared in the latest number of the Journal of Public Archaeology (2018).

Abstract
The first formal guidebooks for historic sites placed in state guardianship in the United Kingdom appeared in 1917. There was an expansion of the series in the 1930s and 1950s. However from the late 1950s the Ministry of Works, and later the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, started to produce an additional series of illustrated souvenir guides. One distinct group covered Royal Palaces: The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Queen Victoria’s residence of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. This was followed by guides for the archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, the Neolithic flint mines at Grime’s Graves, the Roman villa at Lullingstone, and Hadrian’s Wall. In 1961 a series of guides, with covers designed by Kyffin Williams, was produced for the English castles constructed in North Wales and that now form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ‘Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd’. These illustrated guides, some with colour, prepared the way for the fully designed guides now produced by English Heritage, Cadw, and History Scotland.

‘The Ministry of Works and the Development of Souvenir Guides from 1955’, Public Archaeology (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14655187.2017.1484584