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
Weaver’s guide was updated in 1998.
Huntingtower © David Gill
Huntingtower, near Perth, was placed in State Guardianship in 1912. James S. Richardson prepared the first guidebook in 1931. A second edition appeared in 1950 and continued in print into the 1970s. The blue guide uses a detail from the ceiling inside the castle. Richardson’s guide starts with historical notes (pp. 1–5), followed by a description (pp. 6–9). Black and white photographs, as well as floor plans appear in the centre of the guide. He comments:
Viewed from any point, Huntingtower presents a picturesque appearance; the broken line of walling, the corbelled parapets with their subdued corner rounds and the corbie-stepped gables give the visitor an impression of a Scottish fortified-house of the 16th century, divested of its outer defensive works, garden and orchard.
1st ed. 1931; 2nd ed. 1950 (4th impress. 1972)
A third edition of Richardson’s guide was published in 1982. Historical notes have been replaced by history, and description by descriptive tour. Photographs and plans are incorporated in the text.
1982, 3rd edition
HMSO 1989 (Historic Scotland 1996, 2001)
Richardson’s guide was replaced in 1989 by a new guide by Denys Pringle. There are two main sections: the story of Huntingtower, and the architecture of Huntingtower. The centre pages provide a short tour of the castle. Floor plans are printed inside the back cover.
The cathedral church of St Kentigern is named after a 7th century saint. There is likely to have been a monastic site in the vicinity of the later cathedral. The cathedral itself was consecrated in 1197. It was rebuilt in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The guidebook was prepared by C.A. Ralegh Radford and contains a history (pp. 7–25) and a description (pp. 26–42). There is a foldout plan of the cathedral inside the back cover showing the layout of the altars. A series of black and white images appear in the centre of the guide.
A former colleague challenged me to Tweet seven book covers. The challenge did not allow me to comment or explain my choices, and here are my short explanations.
I was introduced to Hoskins’ classic study of the English landscape in my teens. It explained the layering and development of the countryside around me. I suspect the appeal was that it expanded on my love of maps. (I was very tempted to include The Making of the Cretan Landscape.) The book connects me with archaeological landscapes from field-surveys in Greece to walking in the Cheviots.
Northumberland is a county rich in heritage. One of the key features is Hadrian’s Wall and my companion on numerous occasions has been Collingwood Bruce’s Handbook (I have chosen the cover of the edition I had as a student). For a more recent waterproof edition see here.
My copy of Dilys Powell’s The Traveller’s Journey is Done which explores the life of Humfry Payne, Director of the British School at Athens, was purchased in a secondhand bookshop in York. This book captures Greece in the inter-war period. I was later invited to revise Payne’s memoir in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (See Payne’s grave at Mycenae.) This is probably one of the books that stands in the background of my own research into the history of archaeology in Greece.
Manning’s The Balkan Trilogy set in Bucharest and Athens is the only work of fiction in my list. I love the characterisation of the novels: Guy, Harriet, and Prince Yakimov. The fall of Greece connects with my study of Alan Wace who (like the Pringles) was evacuated to Egypt (The Levant Trilogy).
There are two guidebooks in my selection. The handbook by Sumner-Boyd and Freely prompted me to explore the more remote corners of this complex city.
To my surprise there is no Greek archaeological book on my list. But Zanker’s approach to material culture challenged my approach to the visual world of antiquity.
My last book is a much loved companion that continues to sit on my office desk (though I do have a more modern edition). It was a recommended purchase as a graduate student and has been a welcome addition to my working library.
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.
Dirleton Castle © David Gill
J.S. Richardson prepared the first guidebook for Dirleton Castle 1934. A second edition appeared in 1950, and this continued as a blue guide into the 1970s. This consisted of a histroy: Lands of the Barony; the De Vaux Family; the castle during the Wars of Independence; the Halyburtons; the Ruthvens; the raid of Ruthven; the Gowrie Conspiracy; Ruthven building; furnishings and gardens; the Dirleton witches; Cromwell and the Moss-troopers. This was followed by a description. A foldout plan and sections were placed inside the back cover.
1934 (2nd ed. 1950; 7th impress. 1973)
Chris Tabraham revised Richardson’s guidebook in 1982. A new guidebook, by Tabraham, was published in 1995. This consists of two main sections: Guided Tour and History.
1995 (rev. ed. 2007)
The Glastonbury Tribunal was placed in State Guardianship in 1932. C.A. Ralegh Radford prepared the first guidebook in 1953. This continued in print as a paper booklet until 1971. The format contains a History followed by a Description. Plans of the ground and first floors are printed in the centre.
It was then transformed into a foldout card guide (1973). This format was adopted for other sites: Hetty Pegler’s Tump, Reculver, Hardknott Roman Fort, and Y Gaer Roman Fort. For Glastonbury two pictures were added to enhance the guide.