Inchcolm Abbey: guidebooks

Inchcolm_MW

1937 (2nd ed. 1950)

Inchcolm Abbey was placed in State Guardianship in 1924. The remains was conserved by J. Wilson Paterson, the architect in charge of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings in Scotland.  Paterson prepared the first guidebook in 1937; a second edition was published in 1950. It includes a fold-out plan of the abbey, as well as a series of evolving plans.

The foundation was Augustinian, and was probably linked to Scone or St Andrews. It became an abbey in 1235.

Inchcolm_HS_large

1989 (rev. ed. 1998)

A new guidebook (‘Official Souvenir Guide’) was prepared by Richard Fawcett, David McRoberts and Fiona Stewart in 1989 and revised for Historic Scotland in 1998. This starts with a guided tour, and followed by ‘The story of Inchcolm Abbey and Island’. The history is taken up to the Second World War with the defence of the First of Forth.

Inchcolm_HS

2011

A new format souvenir guide was prepared by Kirsty Owen.

Carisbrooke: “Please do not feed the donkey”

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Carisbrooke Castle © David Gill

The donkey-wheel is an unusual feature of Carisbrooke Castle. A donkey demonstrates for a limited time (c. 30 seconds) how water was drawn by this method. Each is named with a ‘J’: Jack and Jill feature here (see English Heritage).

A Pathé News clip shows the wheel in action. Notice that the Ministry sign has changed during the intervening period.

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Carisbrooke Castle © David Gill

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Carisbrooke Castle © David Gill

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Carisbrooke Castle © David Gill

Osborne: guidebooks

Osborne_MW

1955

Osborne House was opened to the public in 1954 and John Charlton, Inspector of Ancient Monuments, prepared the Ministry of Works ‘Official Guide’. There is a single narrative that effectively provides a tour of the house and grounds. There are numerous black and white illustrations.

Osborne_MPBW_1968

1960 (rev. 1968)

Osborne_MPBW

1960 (rev. 1974)

Charlton’s Guide was revised and the text continued to be used by both the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works and the Department of the Environment. While the text remained largely the same, the new souvenir guide format include colour images. These are in the format of souvenir guides written for other sites in State Guardianship.

Osborne_EH

1989 (9th ed. 2004)

The 1989 guidebook was by Michael Turner and was published in nine editions (to 2014) and has been replaced by the English Heritage ‘red’ guide. Essentially this was divided into two main sections: the tour (including the exterior) and the history.

The present English Heritage guidebook is written by Turner. It contains a tour of the house, tour of the gardens, followed by a history . There are seven special features explaining aspects life at Osborne.

Osborne_EH_red

2007 (2nd ed. 2014, rev. 2016)

 

 

Yarmouth Castle: safety first

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Yarmouth Castle © David Gill

Yarmouth Castle on the Isle of Wight retains a number of Ministry signs. One on the upper gun deck reminds visitors ‘to avoid accidents’.

For other types of Ministry warning signs:

For guidebooks to Yarmouth Castle see here.

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Yarmouth Castle © David Gill

Chesters Roman Fort: defences

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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.

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Chesters Roman fort © David Gill

Westminster Abbey: Guidebooks

Pyx_Office_of_Works

1949

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.

Westminster_chapter_blue

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

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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.