Cardoness Castle: notice signs

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Cardoness Castle © David Gill

The top of Cardoness Castle provides views over the estuary. Visitors are discouraged from trying to get on top of the walls. One points out the danger, the other expressly forbids it.

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Cardoness Castle © David Gill

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Cardoness Castle © David Gill

The second reproduces the word ‘Notice’: surely redundant on a sign? And the clear indication that ‘visitors are not allowed on wall top’ is ‘by order’; underneath is an erased  line, ‘Ministry of Works’.

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Cardoness Castle © David Gill

Edinburgh Castle: guidebooks

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Fourth edition 1953 (2nd impression 1954)

One of the earliest Ministry guidebooks for properties in Scotland was prepared for Edinburgh Castle (1929). The description was by James S. Richardson, with an extended history (pp. 15–40) by Marguerite Wood.  It contains black and white photographs with a fouldout plan inside the back cover.

The second edition was published in 1939, and the third in 1948.

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1953 (4th ed.; 14th impress. 1973)

This guide continued as the Blue Guide. The plan was moved to the centre pages.

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1960

A souvenir guide was prepared for the Ministry of Works by the Central Office of Information in 1960. It has a subtitle, ‘An illustrated guide with the story of the castle through the centuries’. A small plan is placed on p. 3. At the end of the guide are sections on the Scottish United Services Museum; the Honours of Scotland; and the Scottish National War Memorial.

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2003 (repr. 2004)

The present Historic Scotland souvenir guide is by Chris Tabraham. It starts with a guided tour (Thirty steps to history), and then a history as ‘Symbol of Scotland’. There are ‘Did you know?’ boxes on each of the double page spreads. The guide also has the logo for the World Heritage Site.

Dumbarton Castle: Custodian’s Office

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Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

We may now think of staff at heritage sites being managers, but in the days of the Ministry they were clearly seen as Custodians (see also Sweetheart Abbey). Three signs at Dumbarton Castle on the north side of the Clyde retain the old terminology. Notice the omission of the apostrophe in one of the signs, as well as the different styles of arrow directing visitors to where they can obtain tickets. There is also the inclusion of the polite, ‘Please obtain …’.

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Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

Outside the present ticket office is a slightly more recent sign, reflecting the way that the custodian’s office is not only where tickets can be obtained, but where other items can now be purchased.

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Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

Lindisfarne Priory: pantry

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Lindisfarne Priory © David Gill

The ‘pantry’ is located in the west range of Lindisfarne Priory. The current English Heritage guidebook defines it on the plan as a cellar, and suggests that the three rooms were created in the middle of the 14th century.

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Lindisfarne Priory © David Gill