Appuldurcombe House: guidebooks

Appuld_EH

1986 (2nd ed.; repr. 2001)

Appuldurcombe is a major house on the Isle of Wight. The fragile structure was placed in State Guardianship in 1952. It had last been occupied in 1909.

Appuld_MPBW

1967

The Ministry guidebook was prepared by L.O.J. Boynton (1967). This takes a different format to other ‘blue’ guides. It starts with an introduction, and then presents a short essay on the Worsleys of Appuldurcombe. This is followed by a long section on the building of Appuldurcombe, with sections on Sir Robert Worsley (1701–13), Sir Richard Worsley (1773–82) and the Yarborough period (1805–55) and after. Finally there is a description of the house and grounds. The text is supported iwth a block of 32 endnotes.  There are 9 black and white plates, and a table showing the 18th century cost of the house. Inside the back cover are plans of the park and of the house itself.

Appuld_DOE

1967 (3rd impress. 1971)

The DOE guide (1971) is essentially the same as the earlier MPBW one except that it had integrated images. The English Heritage Guide (1986), that continues in print (most recently in 2009), is a revised and expanded version of Boynton’s 1967 text. It now starts with a tour and description, broken down into elements of the structure. This is followed by a history of Appuldurcombe starting in the Anglo-Saxon period. The final section is the building history. There are now 37 supporting endnotes.

This is one of several Ministry guides that continue to have a life under English Heritage.

Yarmouth Castle: guidebooks

Yarmouth_EH

2003 [1978]

Yarmouth Castle on the Isle of Wight was one of a series of defences for the Solent. It was constructed after a  French raid of 1545 during the reign of Henry VIII, and was nearly complete by the autumn of 1547. The castle continued to be used for coastal defence until 1885. The castle was placed in the care of the Office of Works in 1913.

Yarmouth_MPBW

1958 (repr. 1962)

S.E. Rigold wrote the first paper guide for the castle in 1958. It consisted of a detailed history (nearly five and a half pages) followed by a description. The centre page consists of a site plan along with plans of the ground, first and second floors. The price (in 1962) was 4d.

Yarmoth_EH_white

1985 (repr. 1987, 1990)

Rigold’s guide was reprinted in 1978, and formed the basis of the English Heritage ‘white’ guidebook (1985). This started wit ha description followed by the history.  It is illustrated with black and white photographs, and the centre pages use the 1958 plans though with updated typography. The text is also identical to the 1958 guide with the addition, ‘Since 1984 Yarmouth Castle has been in the care of English Heritage’.

The back cover of this guide bears the Gateway marketing.

Yarmouth_EH_rear

1985 (repr. 1987, 1990)

The present English Heritage guidebook is essentially the same as the 1985 publication except with a colour cover (most recently reprinted in 2012).

Defending the Solent

Hurst_EH

2001 [1985]

The Solent provides access to the major harbours of Portsmouth and Southampton. Given the naval sensitivities of the area this seaway was heavily defended by a series of fortifications. The western entrance was defended by Hurst Castle built on a spit of land projecting into the Solent. The earliest phase was a Tudor fort contemporary with Deal and Walmer Castles in Kent. The castle was adapted in the Napoleonic Wars, and expanded in the 1850s, 1860s and 1870s. The English Heritage guidebook is by J.G. Coad.

Yarmouth_EH

2003 [1978]

Yarmouth Castle is located opposite Hurst Castle on the Isle of Wight. This was also a Tudor foundation. The guidebook is by S.E. Rigold.

Calshot_EH

1986

Calshot Castle is located at the mouth of Southampton Water. This was also part of the Tudor defences of the Solent. During the First World War, Calshot became a seaplane base to protect against submarines. The guidebook is by J.G. Coad.

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: English Heritage

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Pendennis Castle © David Gill

The 2016 list of Leaving Visitor Attractions in the UK has been published. The top English Heritage site continues to be Stonehenge (at no. 23) with 1,381,855 visitors, with a modest 1.1 % increase on 2015 figures.

The remaining English Heritage properties are (with overall ranking):

  • Dover Castle (no. 98): 333,289
  • Osborne House (no. 116): 265,011
  • Tintagel Castle (no. 125): 229,809
  • Audley End House and Gardens (no. 149): 165,799
  • Whitby Abbey (no. 151): 151,810
  • Clifford’s Tower (no. 154): 146,703
  • Battle Abbey (no. 160): 137,771
  • Kenwood (no. 161): 134,416
  • Carisbrooke Castle (no. 164): 127,012
  • Wrest Park (no. 166): 124,305
  • Kenilworth Castle (no. 169): 107,993
  • Housesteads Roman Fort (no. 172): 102,004
  • Eltham Palace and Gardens (no. 176): 94,635
  • Bolsover Castle (no. 179): 91,880
  • Walmer Castle and Gardens (no. 180): 91,752
  • Pendennis Castle (no. 191): 73,907

The major increase in visitors were seen at Osborne House, Tintagel Castle, Audley End House and Gardens, Battle Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle, Wrest Park, Walmer Castle and Gardens. There was a significant downturn in visitors for Kenwood.

IMG_5771.jpg

Walmer Castle and Gardens © David Gill

Newport Roman Villa

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Newport Roman villa © David Gill

The Roman villa at Newport on the Isle of Wight was discovered in 1926 (and noted in AJA [1930] JSTOR). Among the excavated remains are the bath-complex.

Notice the explanatory signs (from 1975).

Guidebooks to Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke_blue

1933 (2nd ed. 1948; 10th impress. 1964)

The first official guidebook to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight was by Sir Charles Peers. This was one of the earliest of Peers’ guidebooks, and was reissued as a second edition in 1948. It is divided into two main sections: description and history. There are two foldout plans at the back, one showing the castle, and the other the earthworks surrounding it. There are also a series of black and white illustrations.

Carisbrooke_MPBW

1956 (7th impress. 1967)

An illustrated guide appeared in 1956, and was prepared by the Central Office of Information. The format consists of small black and white photographs with a short text adjacent to each. (The style is similar to that adopted for Holyroodhouse.) The second half has a longer text (‘A short history’), and there is a short section on the donkey wheel.

Carisbrooke_EH_red

2010 (rev. 2013)

The present English Heritage (red) guide is by Christopher Young. This now starts with a tour, followed by a history. There is a foldout plan inside the back cover.

Peers identified ‘the stone-walled fort which underlies the Norman earthworks is probably of late Roman construction’. Elsewhere he notes, ‘The rounded angles and the type of masonry suggest a Roman origin for this walled enclosure … The plan of the gateway and the small turret are, however, quite different from anything in any of the Roman coast fortresses …’ The illustrated guide also asserts that ‘beneath the Norman earthworks … there are traces of a Roman fort, but there is no recorded history of the Castle in Roman times’. The English Heritage guide identifies these putative Roman features as the walls of a Saxon fort dating to c. 1000. It states, ‘there is no secure evidence of Roman occupation on the castle hilltop itself’.

Donkeys at Carisbrooke Castle

This is one of the more unusual features of Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. This comes from a British Pathe news bulletin of 1963. The castle was placed under state guardianship and is now part of English Heritage.

The well was dug after 1136, and is some 49 m deep. The first recorded mention of the use of donkeys to turn the wheel dates to 1696.

A more recent video from the BBC shows the revised conditions in 2011, although some of the older Ministry signage can still be spotted.