Chesters Roman Fort: defences


Chesters Roman fort © David Gill

The Roman cavalry fort at Chesters is partially excavated and is now in the care of English Heritage. There are substantial remains of the south-east angle tower. An interval tower was placed between the angle and the south gate.


Chesters Roman fort © David Gill

Westminster Abbey: Guidebooks



Stuart Rigold (1919–80) joined the Ministry of Works as an Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments in 1948 under Bryan O’Neil. One of his first tasks was to write a short (paper) guidebook of the Pyx Chamber at Westminster Abbey and issued by the Ministry of Works (1949; 2 d.). It consists of four pages starting with the history, showing that this part of the abbey could be placed during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, followed by a description. Page 3 consists of a plan of the Pyx Chamber.


1953 (4th impress. with amendments 1965; 1st ed. 1935)

In 1953 Rigold revised John George Noppen’s guidebook (1935) to the Chapter House and Pyx Chamber at Westminster Abbey. Noppen (1887-1951) had earlier published Westminster Abbey and its Ancient Art (London, 1926) and A Guide to the Medieval Art of Westminster (London, 1927).

The Ministry guidebook consisted of a history, followed by an architectural description, then sections on the sculpture, the paintings, the tiled pavement, the windows, and the exhibits (including the Roman coffin of Valerius Amandinus, RIB 16). Rigold notes the recent damage to the windows during the air-raids of the Second World War.  There is a fold-out plan at the back (showing the relationship between the chapter house and the Pyx Chamber).

Access on Hadrian’s Wall


Hadrian’s Wall © David Gill

Hadrian’s Wall is now a popular walking route. But parts, or just the line, cross private land and walkers are diverted. This Ministry of Works sign, lurking in the undergrowth was placed to stop access north across the ditch that would link to the next section of the wall.

Out of Bounds at Berwick-upon-Tweed


Berwick-upon-Tweed © C. Gill

The fortified town of Berwick-upon-Tweed is well worth a visit (see English Heritage). A good place to start is the former military barracks where there is a rather unusual Ministry sign.

St Olave’s Priory: undercroft


St Olave’s Priory © David Gill

The refectory undercroft at St Olave’s Priory in Norfolk is in remarkable condition. The bricked in doorway led from the undercroft to the kitchen court.


St Olave’s Priory © David Gill

Slype at Thetford


Thetford Priory © David Gill

The slype, or corridor, in Thetford Priory is found at the south-east corner of the cloister, and to the south of the chapter house. It linked to the infirmary.


Slype, Thetford Priory © David Gill

See also the slype at the Cluniac foundation of Crossraguel.

Dundrennan Abbey: night-stairs and dorter


Dundrennan Abbey © David Gill

The site of the night stairs from the dorter at Dundrennan Abbey are located in the south transept.


Dundrennan Abbey © David Gill

The dorter was located above the chapter house, and remains of one of the windows can be seen in the upper section.


Dundrennan Abbey © David Gill


Dundrennan Abbey © David Gill


Dundrennan Abbey © David Gill

The reredorter was located at the southern end of the range.