Llawhaden Castle: guidebook

Llawhaden_MPBW

Repr. 1969

Llawhaden Castle was constructed in the 12th century to protect the lands owned by the bishops of St Davids in Pembrokeshire. The castle was destroyed in 1192, but rebuilt in the late 13th century.

The guidebook by C.A. Ralegh Radford contains a standard history, followed by a description divided into sub-sections. A plan of the castle was placed on the centre pages.

Margam Stones Museum: guidebook

Margam_MPBW

1949 (2nd impress. 1967)

The guidebook presents the collection of a Roman milestone, early Christian inscriptions, and later monastic material that were moved into the old School House at Margam in 1932.

The guidebook by C.A. Ralegh Radford starts with a history of the area that allows the material in the museum to be placed in context: The Silures and Glamorgan in the Roman period; the restoration of native rile and the introduction of Christianity; the early Christian memorial stones; the formation of Glamorgan; the Celtic monastery at Margam; the pre-Romanesque crosses; the later history of the kingdom of Morgannwg; the Norman conquest of Glamorgan; the Cistercian abbey of Margam.

The second half includes a description of the pieces, starting with the early 4th century Roman milestone from Port Talbot (RIB 2254).

The guidebook includes a plan of the museum showing how the stone were displayed.

Grosmont Castle: guidebook

Grosmont_MPBW

1946 (repr. 1968)

Grosmont Castle was given to Hubert de Burgh by King John in July 1201, though its origins lies in the Norman annexation of the area. On Hubert’s death the castle reverted to the crown, becoming the property of the future king Edward I in 1254, and in 1267 to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.

Grosmont Castle remained the property of the Duchy of Lancaster until 1825, and it was placed in State Guardianship in 1923.

C.A. Ralegh Radford’s paper guide consists of a history followed by a description. A plan was printed on p. 3.

Three_Castles_Cadw

1991 (2nd ed. rev. 2000)

Grosmont Castle is included in the Cadw guide for the Three Castles (Grosmont, Skenfrith, and White Castles) written by Jeremy K. Knight. This starts with a combined history for the three castles, followed by individual tours. There is also a short entry on Hen Gwrt Medieval Moated Site.

Monmouth Castle: guidebook

Monmouth_MPBW

1951 (5th impress. 1969)

Monmouth Castle was established in the late 1060s by William Fitz Osbern. It was here that the future King Henry V was born in 1387,

The Office of Works took over responsibility for Monmouth Castle in 1906. A.J. Taylor prepared the official Ministry guide for Monmouth Castle and Great Castle House in 1951. The 1969 edition was prepared by MPBW on behalf of the Welsh Office. The guide is divided into two parts: history and description (The medieval town and its defences; the castle; Great Castle House). There are three plans: one of Monmouth; the second for the Great Tower; and the third, on a foldout plan inside the back cover, of the castle.

Ministry Guidebooks from 1955

Caernarvon Castle

(1961)

My study of Ministry Souvenir Guidebooks has appeared in the latest number of the Journal of Public Archaeology (2018).

Abstract
The first formal guidebooks for historic sites placed in state guardianship in the United Kingdom appeared in 1917. There was an expansion of the series in the 1930s and 1950s. However from the late 1950s the Ministry of Works, and later the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, started to produce an additional series of illustrated souvenir guides. One distinct group covered Royal Palaces: The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Queen Victoria’s residence of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. This was followed by guides for the archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, the Neolithic flint mines at Grime’s Graves, the Roman villa at Lullingstone, and Hadrian’s Wall. In 1961 a series of guides, with covers designed by Kyffin Williams, was produced for the English castles constructed in North Wales and that now form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ‘Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd’. These illustrated guides, some with colour, prepared the way for the fully designed guides now produced by English Heritage, Cadw, and History Scotland.

‘The Ministry of Works and the Development of Souvenir Guides from 1955’, Public Archaeology (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14655187.2017.1484584

Y Gaer (Brecon Gaer): guides

Brecon_Gaer_card

1973

The Roman fort of Brecon Gaer lies to the west of Brecon. It is probably to be identified with the Cicucium (Cicutium) from the Ravenna list. The fort was excavated by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1924 and 1925, and the remains placed in State Guardianship in 1953. He suggested that the fort was constructed c. AD 75.

A funerary inscription, dating to c. AD 100, belonged to a trooper in the Cavalry Regiment of Vettonian Spaniards (RIB 403). Another tombstone for a trooper from another cavalry regiment is also known from the site (RIB 405). The same cavalry unit was based in Binchester in Co. Durham in the 190s (RIB 730; 1032; 1035). (The guide suggests that the unit was based at Bowes [see guidebook] but the confusion comes from a dedication made at Bowes.)

Oswin E. Craster prepared the short guide (1954). This consisted of a history followed by a description of the remains.

The later DOE guide is an updated version of the paper guide. The concertina card guide was also used for other Roman forts such as Hardknott, and the Saxon Shore Fort at Reculver.

Brecon_Gaer_MPBW

1954 (1969)

Tantallon Castle: guidebooks

Tantallon_OoW

1937

Tantallon Castle was placed in State Guardianship in 1924. Its first official guidebook was prepared by J.S. Richardson, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland, and published in 1932 (and reissued in 1937). It was thus one of the earliest of the guides prepared for historic sites in Scotland. The guide starts with a description (pp. 3–11), followed by a history (pp. 12–31). A plan showing the outworks is printed opposite the title page, and a plan and cross-sections are printed on a fold-out sheet inside the back cover. The text is supported by black and white photographs.

Tantallon_MPBW

1950 (2nd ed.; 1966, 7th impress.)

Tantallon_blue

1950 (2nd ed.; 1972, 8th impress.)

Richardson’s guide continued into the 1970s as the blue guide. The format of description followed by history is the same. The fold-out plan continued to be placed inside the back cover. The side headings of the 1930s guide were turned into bold sub-headings.

Tantallon_HS

1994 (rev. ed. 2007)

Chris Tabraham revised the Historic Scotland ‘Official Souvenir Guide’. This contains a guided tour followed by a history. There is a section on the spectacular Bass Rock, home to gannets. There is no plan of the castle, but the guided tour has a number view from the air to help orientate the visitor.