The inside of the curtain-wall at Tantallon Castle has a series of horizontal sockets. The Ministry sign helpfully explains them as the traces of likely lean-to buildings. The Historic Scotland guidebook by Chris Tabraham suggests the possibility that they are the remains of the ‘munition houss’ mentioned in 1566.
As a follow-up to David’s post on Smailholm Tower, in my own collection I have a couple of publications to fill in some gaps. Historic Scotland had moved to producing colour covers for its guides during the mid-1980s during it’s latter years as part of the Scottish Development Department when greater commercial expectations were being made of the Historic Buildings & Monuments department, and the Historic Scotland brand was emerging. (As an aside, the Scottish Development Department has it’s own interesting organisational history, explored in part by Ian Levitt in 1996 in a paper in Scottish Affairs).
The guide runs to 16 pages, comprising an Introduction, History, Tour, and Exhibition section on the costume figures collection which had been “presented by the Saltire Society to the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1983 for permanent display in Smailholm Tower.” [my italics] This guide also carries the logo of Gateway supermarkets as a supporter and sponsor (advertising considered in a previous post). A price code is noted on the back cover, as opposed to a set cost which would limit the ability to change the selling price of the guide without a full reprint.
Chris Tabraham (Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments, and author of a number of publications) is the author of the guide, first published in 1985, and in its second impression with amendments in 1989 (pictured). This version of the guide still forms the basis of another revision in 2007 into the modern Historic Scotland guidebook format considered in the previous post on Smailholm, but which still notes that it was first published by HMSO in 1985.
In 1993, Historic Scotland reprinted the Excavation Report for Smailholm which had been published in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 118 (1988), authored by Chris Tabraham and George Good. This was sold at the site (very reasonably, in comparison to many excavation reports) as an additional option to the guidebook. Whilst focusing on archaeological investigations carried out between 1979 and 1981, the publication provides further historical and architectural context for the Tower.
My earliest guide for Smailholm Tower was prepared by the Department of the Enviornment in 1969. The cost was 1p. It consists of four printed pages with a line drawing on the cover. The description consists of two and a half pages, and the history about a page. The description is ‘based on the Royal Commission Inventory of Ancient Monuments in the county of Roxburghshire’.
The Tower was placed in State Guardianship in 1950.The current Historic Scotland ‘Official Souvenir Guide’ was written by Chris Tabraham. It is fully illustrated (in colour) with simple plans. The guide is divided into a Guided Tour, followed by a History. It includes a section on Smailholm and Sir Walter Scott.
The neolithic mines at Grime’s Graves are in the care of English Heritage. Barbara Green prepared the Young People’s Guide to Grime’s Graves (1964), in parallel to the souvenir guide to the site. The cover is by Alan Sorrell, and the guide was printed by Brown Knight & Truscott Ltd., London and Tonbridge.
The guide poses a two questions before addressing wider questions:
- why were the mines dug?
- what was the flint used for?
- mining at Grime’s Graves
- Exploring the mines (‘… it is often necessary to wriggle on one’s stomach’).
There is little in the text to make it more accessible for the younger visitor.
Inside the cover is a note: ‘Visitors wishing to crawl along the galleries are advised to wear old clothes and take an electric torch’. Those galleries are now closed to the public.
My copy was a handwritten note of the opening times on the back cover. The site was open until 7.00 pm from May to September (5.30 pm, March, April, October; 4.00 pm, November – February).
In the late Anglo-Saxon period North Elmham was a focal point for the Bishops of East Anglia. The bishopric was moved to Thetford in 1071.
Bishop Herbert de Losinga [ODNB] founded a church, after 1091, on the site of the earlier Anglo-Saxon cathedral. At some point after 1388 Bishop Henry le Despencer turned the former chapel into a castle. Part of the walls within the inner moat can be seen to the right of the chapel’s apse.
The chapel is now in the care of English Heritage.
2017 marks the centenary of the first guidebooks to what can now be termed the National Heritage Collection. One of the first was written by Sir Charles Peers on St Botolph’s Priory in Colchester and now in the care of English Heritage. The guidebook was reissued as a ‘blue’ guide in 1964.
The 1917 guide include a fold-out plan of the priory inside the back cover. This was prepared by E. Dace Brown in July 1916. The guide was divided into three sections: The Augustinian Rule; History of St Botolph’s Priory; and The Priory Buildings.