Dirleton: Gazebo


Dirleton Gardens © David Gill

The gardens at Dirleton are a delight. In the corner of the 1860s and 1920s garden is a gazebo, suitably signed.

Dirleton is in the care of Historic Scotland.


Dirleton Gardens © David Gill

Spring at Ickworth


Ickworth © David Gill

Spring has arrived at NT Ickworth. New-born lambs abound, and there are stunning lines of tulips in the walled garden, and swathes of daffodils in front of the rotunda. The woodpeckers were active and added to the atmosphere.

Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership


Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

Earlier this week the ‘Abbey of St Edmund Heritage Partnership’ was launched. Heritage Futures will be taking an active role in the interpretation of the abbey ruins at Bury St Edmunds. The partnership is led by St Edmundsbury Cathedral and St Edmundsbury Borough Council. The 12 partner organisations include Suffolk County Council, Historic England, English Heritage, the Bury Society, UEA (CEAS), and the University of Suffolk.

The Reverend Canon Matthew Vernon, chairman of the partnership, said: “The new Heritage Partnership aims to deepen public understanding of the life and times of St Edmund and the Medieval Abbey and to encourage people to experience the spiritual, historical and archaeological significance of the Abbey of St Edmund in the modern world.

“The launch of the Heritage Partnership today marks the culmination of a year’s careful preparation by the Cathedral, the Borough Council and a growing number of partners.

“I am delighted to announce that we have just been awarded a Heritage at Risk Project Development Grant of £40,000 by Historic England to help us carry out some essential heritage research and conservation planning for the future.”

In addition, St Edmundsbury Borough Council has awarded the partnership £10,000.

Big Butterfly Count and Heritage Sites


Small tortoiseshell at Castle Acre © David Gill

The UK Big Butterfly Count started on 15 July and runs until 7 August. On Thursday evening the pits at Grime’s Graves were alive with Meadow Browns.


Meadow Brown at Grime’s Graves © David Gill

On Saturday there was a particularly fine Small Tortoiseshell in the reconstructed herb garden at Castle Acre.


Medicinal herb garden at Castle Acre © David Gill

In previous years I spotted a Small White on the lavender in the gardens of Bolsover Castle.


Small White at Bolsover Castle © David Gill

Why not take a pen and paper (form available) or download the app, and record how many butterflies you spot when you next visit a heritage site? Then upload it to the Big Butterfly Count.

Heritage Trayle in Bury St Edmunds


Bury St Edmunds Abbey © David Gill

I was in Bury St Edmunds this afternoon and took a walk around the Abbey remains that are in state guardianship [English Heritage]. I spotted this Ministry sign and found the meaning in the DOE ‘blue guide‘.

Tretower Court

Tretower Court © David Gill

Tretower Court © David Gill

I was exploring C.A. Ralegh Radford’s contribution to guidebooks for heritage sites in Wales (as well as in England and in Scotland) today. One of the series of guides I explored was on Tretower Court that was placed in state guardianship in 1930. One of the attractions is the replanting of the gardens (see the guide).

Tretower Court # David Gill

Tretower Court © David Gill

The courtyard had to undergo substantial restoration that was completed in the 1960s.

Aberdour Castle


Aberdour Castle (2010) © David Gill

Aberdour Castle is located on the north side of the Firth of Forth. The earliest parts date back to the 12th century. The terraced garden forms one of the stunning features with views of the main part of the residence. The house became the main residence of William Douglas, 8th Earl of Morton, who was closely linked to James VI of Scotland.

The 2009 Historic Scotland Guidebook was prepared by Kirsty Owen. There is a helpful double page ‘Aberdour Castle at a glance’ that points the visitor to keep features. The guided tour is split into two: a short tour (pp. 4-5), and then a more detailed looks at the individual elements of the castle. It includes the parish church of St Fillan. The guide is followed by a short history designed as a series of double-page spreads.


Aberdour Castle (2009)