Fort George: guidebooks

FortGeorge_entrance

Fort George © David Gill

Fort George was constructed after Culloden to place a garrison near Inverness. It became the home of the the Seaforths and then the Queen’s Own Highlanders, followed by the Royal Highland Fusiliers. The Ministry of Defence placed it in the care of the Department of the Environment in 1964. Iain MacIvor prepared the first guidebook in 1970.

There is a double page foldout frontispiece providing an aerial photograph of the fort (taken in 1968). The sections are: 

  • Highland garrisons
  • Fort George Ardersier
  • Building the fort
  • Later history
  • Description

The guidebook is illustrated with black and white photographs along with some plans. 

FortGeorge_HMSO

1970

MacIvor’s guidebook was updated as a second edition in 1983. 

FortGeorge_HMSO_crown

1970 (2nd ed. 1983)

The second edition has an extended set of images. The text is similar. For example, the section on the Highland Garrisons comes under a general history section, introduced with the quotation, ‘A large sum of money spended in building’. The description is introduced with ‘Upon this barren, sandy point’.

fortgeorge_hs_large

1988 (rev. ed. 2006)

MacIvor’s text continues in the Historic Scotland Official Souvenir Guide, revised by Doreen Grove. This contains a guided tour and a history, supported by colour images.

St Andrews Castle: guidebooks

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St Andrews Castle © David Gill

St Andrews castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1911. Stewart Cruden, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland, prepared the official guide (1951; 2nd ed. 1958). This starts with a history followed by a description. A block of black and white photographs appear in the centre section. A fold-out plan is printed inside the stiff back cover.

The cover device is described as follows:

An imaginative composition consisting of a saltire cross (for St Andrew and St Andrews) surrounded by battlementing typifying castles generally. The cinque-foil in each corner is the armorial device of Archbishop John Hamilton who erected the south front and placed this badge upon the work he did, in four carved medallions over the entrance.

StAndrews_castle_blue

1951; 2nd ed. 1958 (5th impress. 1970)

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St Andrews Castle © David Gill

A third edition of Cruden’s guidebook was published in 1982. The text is the same as the blue guide, but integrates photographs and plans with the text.

St_Andrews_cast_HS

1982 (3rd ed.)

The Historic Scotland souvenir guide was prepared by Richard Fawcett in 1992, and revised by Chris Tabraham and Doreen Grove in 2001. This colour guide starts with a guided tour followed by the story (not history) of the castle. There is a bird’s eye drawing to help visitors around the site, with numbered locations that relate to sections in the text.

StAndrews_castle_HS

1992 (rev. ed. 2001, repr. 2007)

Guidebooks by W. Douglas Simpson

Scottish_castles_HMSO

1959 (6th impress. 1969)

W. Douglas Simpson (1896–1968) prepared a series of Ministry guidebook for sites in State Guardianship. He was lecturer in British History at the University of Aberdeen (by 1924), and then He served as Librarian and Registrar for the University of Aberdeen from 1926 through to 1966. He served as Chair of the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland. He was awarded OBE (1954) and CBE (1962).

In 1959 Simpson prepared Scottish Castles: An Introduction to the Castles of Scotland (HMSO, 1959). In the Foreword he wrote: ‘Those who read this little book will come to realise that, small and poor as it has always been, Scotland yet possesses a distinctive castellated architecture, and one of which any nation might be proud’. There are eight sections:

  • The earliest castles
  • Castles of enceinte
  • The early tower houses
  • Bastard feudalism and the later castles
  • The later tower houses
  • The royal palaces
  • Firearms and the later “House of Fence”
  • The Scottish baronial style

Portrait here.

Several of the castles and abbeys he studied were located around Aberdeen: Tolquhon Castle (1948), Huntly Castle (1954), Kildrummy and Glenbuchat (1957); the Abbey of Deer (1952).

Kirkcudbrightshire: Threave Castle (1948)

Angus: Edzell Castle (1952); Restenneth Priory (1952)

Isle of Bute: Rothesay Castle (1952)

Midlothian: Craigmillar (1954), Crichton (1957)

East Lothian: Hailes Castle

Inverness-shire: Urquhart (1964); Beauly Priory (1954)

Roxburghshire: Hermitage (1957)

Lanarkshire: Bothwell Castle (1958)

Orkney: Kirkwall (1965)

The guidebook for Dunstaffnage (1981) contains his draft.

Scotland_AM6

(1954)

He also prepared (with V. Gordon Childe) the Illustrated Guide to Ancient Monuments … vol 6: Scotland (1954).

He prepared one guidebook for the National Trust for Scotland: Craigievar Castle, the rock of Mar (1966) (NTS). This castle is located to the west of Aberdeen.

Simpson also prepared two guidebooks for castles in England: Brough Castle, Cumbria (1949; repr. 1969) (now English Heritage); Bodiam Castle (1965) for the National Trust.

 

Hall, A. (2004, September 23). Simpson, William Douglas (1896–1968), archaeologist and historian. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Retrieved 5 Aug. 2018, from http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-49530.

 

Kildrummy and Glenbuchat Castles

Kildrummy_blue

1957 (4th ed. 1978)

Kildrummy and Glenbuchat castles are close to each other in Aberdeenshire. The Ministry guidebook was prepared by W. Douglas Simpson in 1957. Simpson had prepared a series of studies on Kildrummy from 1923 to 1937. The guidebook is separated into two parts, leading with Kildrummy; each contains a section on the history and a description of the two castles. A set of black and white photographs of the two castles, and a plan of Kildrummy appear as a block in the centre of the guide; a fold-out plan of Glenbuchat appears at the end.

Guidebooks for Skara Brae

scara_brae_hmso

1983

I have noted before the official guidebook for Skara Brae on Orkney. The original edition by V. Gordon Childe dated to 1933, and the guide was revised in 1983 (D.V. Clarke with [the late] V. Gordon Childe). This 1983 edition was fully illustrated (in black and white), with sections on The site revealed; the best in northern Europe; the village and its inhabitants; a guided tour. This guide was published by HMSO.

scara_brae_hs

2012

David Clarke is the author of the Historic Scotland guide (2012). This is fully illustrated, in colour, and includes plans and reconstructions. There are three main sections: guided tour; life at Skara Brae; understanding Skara Brae. The guide includes a section on the local wildlife.

Heritage guide book advertisements 80 years on. #heritageguides

The 1937 Office of Works Official Guide for The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Abbey and Environs contained a number of advertisements which paint a picture of Edinburgh at the time.

Apart from the Motor Coach Tours and Edinburgh Rock confectionery already referred to in a previous post, a double page spread contains advertisements for Government Publications produced by His Majesty’s Stationery Office, Scotch oatmeal, and antiques.

holyroodabbeyguide1937-v

The most interesting advertisement is for James Gray & Son, Ironmonger, which features Battleship Teakwood garden seats for sale. These would have been sourced from specialist manufacturers which produced lines which effectively ‘upcycled’ materials from the military.  Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History provides the example of Hughes, Bolckow and Co. Battleship Breakers as a potential source for this heritage garden furniture.

HMSO, which for many years was the main provider of Government agency heritage site guides, used an advertising slot on this page, and also the inside back page (full page) to advertise its range of publications. The language of the advert is itself interesting, flagging the ‘authoritative’ credentials of the publisher.

holyroodabbeyguide1937-iii2

Urquhart Castle

1964

1964

Urquhart Castle stands on the shores of Loch Ness. It was placed in state guardianship in 1913. The 1964 MPBW Guide (1st edition) is by W. Douglas Simpson. It starts with a History (pp. 3-12) and followed by a Description (pp. 12-19) and a section on Relics (pp. 19-20). A fold out plan is placed inside the back cover. There are several black and white photographs, and a reconstruction of the 16th century castle by David Walker (1961).

Urquhart_HMSO

1964 (rev. 1983)

Simpson’s guide continued in print into the 1980s as the HMSO guide with revisions by Craig Lindsay and Nicholas Reynolds. A small plan is printed towards the beginning at the start of ‘a short tour’.

2002 [2009]

2002 [2009]

The Historic Scotland guide is by Chris Tabraham, Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments, and dates to 2002. This copiously illustrated guide includes illustrations, plans, and reconstructions. It starts with a Guided Tour (pp. 2-13), followed by The Story of Urquhart Castle (pp. 14-45). There is a page on the process of moving the castle into guardianship. The guide includes a helpful chart showing The Lord’s Household. For example the piper comes under the steward, or porters under the constable.