The Development of Guidebooks for Heritage Sites in England

StBotolph_OW
1917

These covers show the development from the first official guidebook (St Botolph’s) issued by the Office of Works through to English Heritage. These guides range from small booklets to concertina card guides.

For the development of guides in Scotland see here.

Pyx_Office_of_Works
1949
Scilly_green
1949 (repr. 1952)
Dartmouth_MW
1951 (repr. 1954)
corbridge_green_cov
1954
Osborne_MW
1955
Audley End
Audley End (1955)
Pevensey_green
1952 (repr. 1956)

 

Shap_MPBW
1963 (3rd impress. with amendments)
OldSarum_souv
1965
Goodrich_MPBW
1958 (5th impress. 1967)
Maison_Dieu_MPBW
1958 (3rd impress. with amendments 1967)
StantonDrew_MPBW
Revised 1969
Hetty_Pegler_DOE
1970
Aldborough_blue
1970
Helmsley_blue
1966 [3rd impress. 1971]
Saxtead_DOE_blue
1972
Glastonbury_DOE
(1973)
Egglestone_DOE
1958 (8th impress. 1976)
Totnes_DOE
1979
Stott_Park_DOE
1983
GrimesGraves_DOE_front
1984
Bayham_blue
1974 (1985)
Chysauster_EH_white
1987
EH_Orford_early
1964 (1982; English Heritage 1988; repr. 1975)
Middleham_EH_1993
1993
Portchester_EH
1990 (2000)
Tintagel_EH
1999 (repr. 2002)
Richborough_EH
(2012)
Furness_Piel_EH
1998 (rev. 2015)
Pendennis_StM_EH_red
2012 (2nd ed. 2018)

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).

Titchfield Abbey: guidebook

Titchfield_MPBW
1954 (repr. 1962)

The Premonstratensian abbey at Titchfield was founded from the foundation at Halesowen in Worcestershire after 1214. It was dissolved in 1537 and Thomas Wriothesley had the buildings adapted into a residence.

The ruins were acquired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries c. 1914–18, and their responsibility fell to the H.M. Office of Works in 1923. The site is now in the care of English Heritage.

The guidebook was written by Rose Graham (History) and S.E. Rigold (description). It consists of 12 pages, and the centre pages include a plan of the abbey.  The original price was 4 d. (1962).

Celebrating 100 Years of Guides to the National Heritage Collection

StBotolph_OW
1917

2017 marks the centenary of the first guidebooks to what can now be termed the National Heritage Collection. One of the first was written by Sir Charles Peers on St Botolph’s Priory in Colchester and now in the care of English Heritage. The guidebook was reissued as a ‘blue’ guide in 1964.

The 1917 guide include a fold-out plan of the priory inside the back cover. This was prepared by E. Dace Brown in July 1916. The guide was divided into three sections: The Augustinian Rule; History of St Botolph’s Priory; and The Priory Buildings.

Pevensey Castle: signage

pevensey_sign-edit
Pevensey Castle © David Gill

Pevensey Castle was given to the Office of Works by the Duke of Devonshire in 1925. It became one of the front line defences of Britain in 1940.

Pevensey Castle was one of the Saxon Shore forts and was later reused as a medieval castle.

For guidebooks to the fort and castle see here.

Rievaulx Abbey: Guidebooks

Rievaulx_blue_1974
1967 (4th impression 1974)

Rievaulx Abbey was placed in state guardianship in 1917 and the site cleared by Sir Charles Peers. Peers wrote the first official guidebook in 1928, and this became the blue guide that continued into the 1970s. This starts with a history (pp. 3-4), and then a guide (pp.5-15). There is a short paragraph on Rievaulx Terrace and Temples (cared for by the National Trust). There is a fold-out plan inside the back cover.

Rievaulx_blue_1983
1967 (8th printing 1983)

The 8th printing was made in 1983. Note the slightly darker blue cover and the change of font.

Rievaulx_EH
1986

This became the English Heritage Handbook to Rievaulx Abbey (1986), published by the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England. This is essentially the same as the 1983 guide.

Rievaulx_MPBW_pic
1967

In 1967 the MPBW produced a picture book of Rievaulx Abbey. This contains a series of black and white images, including an Alan Sorrell reconstruction, with short texts. At the back of the book is a ‘A tour of Rievaulx Abbey’ that starts at the ‘custodian’s hut’.

Rievaulx_EH_red
2006

The current English Heritage guide  is by Peter Fergusson, Glyn Coppack and Stuart Harrison (2006). This follows the present arrangement of a tour followed by a history. Plans appear in the foldout back cover.

monast_yorks
1962

Rievaulx features in A Look Round the Monasteries of North-East Yorkshire by Alan Phillips (1962). Phillips was the author of the souvenir guides for the Edwardian castles of north Wales (e.g. Caernarfon, Harlech, Beaumaris).

Guidebook Design and Caernarfon Castle

I have commented on the series of guidebooks for Caernarfon Castle elsewhere. This short video presents the sequence of guidebooks from Sir Charles Peers (for the Office of Works) to Arnold Taylor’s long-running contribution (from the Ministry of Works to Cadw). I have include the souvenir guidebooks with the two variations by Kyffin Williams.