There is a double page foldout frontispiece providing an aerial photograph of the fort (taken in 1968). The sections are:
Fort George Ardersier
Building the fort
The guidebook is illustrated with black and white photographs along with some plans.
MacIvor’s guidebook was updated as a second edition in 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’.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The guidebooks is sponsored and supported by Gateway supermarkets.
This was replaced by the Historic Scotland Guide prepared by David Clarke and Patrick Maguire. It is subtitled ‘Northern Europe’s Best Preserved Prehistoric Village’. It starts with a ‘Guided Tour’ and then a series of sections on the settlement: ‘The preservation of Skara Brae’, ‘About the houses’, ‘In the midden’, ‘The workshop’, ‘The way of life at Skara Brae’, and completes with ‘How the story came to light’. There is a note ‘About this booklet’ that explains the difference between ‘undoubted fact’ and ‘speculation’. The guide is completed with ‘Some commonly asked questions’.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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’.
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.
I have been thinking about the development of Heritage guidebooks in the UK. One of the moves away from the ‘blue guides’ was the new guide to Stonehenge and Avebury from the late 1950s. In 1962 a new guide was published for monastic sites in the care of the Ministry of Works: Alan Phillips, A look round the monasteries of north-east Yorkshire (London: HMSO, 1962) [2 shillings]. The guide is intended for tourers. The sites selected ‘are strung out … in the following pages, presented as to a motorist on a zigzag course from York’. A distinction is made between the detailed guides and this booklet: ‘This book is designed to be only an illustrated souvenir; the visitor in search of fuller information is advised to consult Abbeys, a Ministry of Works official publication’.
The sites covered are:
Kirkham Priory (pp. 6-11)
Byland Abbey (pp. 12-17)
Rievaulx Abbey (pp. 18-27)
Mount Grace Priory (pp. 28-33)
Gisborough Priory (pp. 34-37)
Whitby Abbey (pp. 38-45)
Each site has a simple plan, and there are a number of black and white photographs. There is a single reconstruction of Rievaulx Abbey by Alan Sorrell.
Phillips was also responsible for new castle guides in Wales.
My copy formed part of the Ministry of Works library and has now been withdrawn from the English Heritage library.
This ‘blue’ guide is the eleventh edition (1977) of the third edition (1950) written by the prehistorian V. Gordon Childe. The guide was printed in Edinburgh by HMSO (30p) and it follows the standard blue format for sites ‘held in trust for the nation by the Secretary of State for Scotland and cared for on his behalf by the Department of the Environment’. The subtitle, used since 1950 was Ancient dwellings at Skara Brae.
The ‘Preparatory note’ informs us, ‘This guide is intended to simplify a visit to Skara Brae’.
The guide is divided into two separate sections, history and description. The history considers:
Discovery and excavation of the site
The ‘history’ of the village [and note the use of ‘history’]
General character of the ruins
There is a foldout-plan along with sections through the settlement.
The Department of the Environment (DOE) also published an interim report, The Neolithic Village at Skara Brae, Orkney. 1972-73 Excavations (Edinburgh: HMSO) by D.V. Clarke. The landscape format (and size) is identical to the DOE guide to the Saxon Shore.
O.E. Craster published a Ministry of Works guide to the Ancient Monuments of Anglesey in 1953. My 1972 copy is a 9th impression (with amendments). Price 17 1/2 p. Although the cover is in English the title page has a parallel title, Cyfarwyddyd I Henebion Mon. There is also a three page summary in Welsh at the end (pp. 42-44). The guide has is “Prepared by the Department of the Environment on behalf of the Welsh Office”.
The guide is organised by period:
The Early Iron Age and Roman Occupation
The Early Christian Period
The Middle Ages and Later Period
In all, 23 sites are listed. Many have sites plans.
The 10th impression (1977; cost, 60 p) is very similar although the summary in Welsh is appropriately entitled Crynodeb (pp. 44-46). There is also a short list of further reading including three DOE pamphlets for Beaumaris Castle, Barclodiad y Gawres, and Bryn Celli Ddu. Notice the sublte change of title to Ancient Monuments in anglesey.A
The ‘blue guide’ was replaced by a yellow CADW guide (small format) in 1989 (revised edition 1994; cost £2.25) by Lesley Macinnes. This has an introductory section on the historical and archaeological background, and then groups the monuments on three ‘tours’: Eastern Anglesey, Western Anglesey, and Holyhead. There is further reading, as well as a fold out map of Anglesey. The sub-title of the volume is A Guide to Ancient and Historic Sites on the Isle of Anglesey.
The replacement CADW guide is by M.J. Yates and David Longley (3rd ed. 2001). It has the sub-title A Guide to Ancient Monuments on the Isle of Anglesey.