Pendennis and St Mawes: guidebooks

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Pendennis Castle © David Gill

The castles at Pendennis and St Mawes were built to protect the Carrick Roads and Falmouth in Cornwall. Both appear to have been completed by 1543. They formed part of a wider network of coastal castles, including Deal and Walmer, and the Solent. For further details of the programme of defence see here.

Both castles were placed in State Guardianship in 1920 (from the War Office), and they were requisitioned for military purposes in the Second World War. They were re-opened to the public in 1946.

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1963 (5th impress. 1972)

A souvenir guide was produced in 1963, was continued into the 1970s under the Department of the Environment. This provides a guide to both castles as well as a historical introduction.

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1999 (repr. 2002)

English Heritage produced a colour guide to both castles in 1999 by Richard Linzey. It includes tours of both castles, as well as a page on the National Trust property of St Anthony Head Battery.

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2012 (2nd ed. 2018)

The latest guide by Paul Pattison has extended tours of both castles. There are special topics that include smuggling and piracy, the submarine minefield, as well as St Anthony Head. Foldout plans are printed inside the cover.

Carisbrooke Castle: Tudor defences

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Carisbrooke Castle, south-west bastion © David Gill

The castle at Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight had strategic importance in the face of a possible Spanish invasion. Modifications were made to the inner bailey in 1587, and more extensive bastions and outer works were constructed between 1597 and 1602 to the design of the Italian FederigoGiainibelli. These included the creation of arrow-headed bastions.

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Carisbrooke Castle, south-west bastion © David Gill

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Carisbrooke Castle, east bastion © David Gill

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

Hurst Castle

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Hurst Castle © David Gill

Hurst Castle was built to guard the western approach to the Solent. At the centre lies the Tudor artillery fort constructed between 1541 and 1544.

The coastal defences were strengthened during the 1850s, and the west and east wings at Hurst were added in the 1860s and 1870s. It served as a coastal battery in World War II.

Opposite Hurst Castle was Fort Albert (on the right of the picture below).

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Hurst Castle from Needles Point © David Gill

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Hurst Castle and east wing © David Gill

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Fort Albert, the Needles, and Hurst Castle © David Gill

Deal and Walmer Castles

Deal and Walmer Castles

(1963)

Deal, Walmer and Sandown Castles were constructed by Henry VIII to protect The Downs off the coast of Kent. The guidebook to Deal and Walmer Castles was prepared by A.D. Saunders in 1963 for the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works. (See earlier post on Deal Castle.) This guide has a section discussing the castles, and then separate descriptions of the two.

This is one of the new types of illustrated guidebooks emerging from the late 1950s to replace the older ‘blue’ guides. Other examples include: Stonehenge and Avebury (1959), Beaumaris Castle (1961), Monasteries in North Yorkshire (1962), Caernarfon Castle (1963), Grimes Graves (1963), Lullingstone Roman Villa (1963).

The Department of the Environment later produced an illustrated guidebook on Henry’s forts.

Tudor Heritage, Wolf Hall and Ipswich

Wolsey's Gate, Ipswich

Wolsey’s Gate, Ipswich © David Gill

The Ipswich Star asked the question, “How can Ipswich make the most of the Tudor revival brought about by BBC series Wolf Hall?” (28 January 2015). Visitors to Ipswich can see ‘Wolsey’s Gate’ in College Street, part of the planned ‘Cardinal College’ founded by Thomas Wolsey. Local MP Ben Gummer was interviewed:

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, who is also a respected historian, said it was important for Ipswich to make the most of its Tudor history, but that did not mean it should recreate a “Disneyland” style area.

He said: “There are many ways to show off the town’s history with the use of apps on smart phones and tablets and virtual descriptions.”

A digital heritage ‘game’ is in fact under development for Ipswich.

Ipswich is also home to Christchurch Mansion that houses part of the town’s art collections.