Inchcolm Abbey: guidebooks

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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.

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

Hidden defences at St Helen’s Duver

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St Helen’s Duver © David Gill

The 13th century tower of old St Helen’s church stands above the beach at St Helen’s Duver on the Isle of Wight [National Trust]. It formed part of the Benedictine Priory, that was abandoned in the early 15th century. In the 18th century the tower was bricked up and served as a landmark.

Adjacent to the tower is a World War II pillbox intended to defend the entrance to Bembridge harbour [HER] [Citizan]. This was carefully disguised to look like part of the ruins.

 

Pevensey Castle: WW2 defences

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Pevensey Castle © David Gill

The fall of France in the spring of 1940 meant that Sussex became the front line. The ruins of Pevensey Castle—a Roman Saxon Shore fort as well as a medieval castle—were used to disguised strong points. Teams from the Ministry assisted with the construction of the defences so that they would blend into the ruins of the Roman and medieval walls.

This pill box was mounted on the wall of the medieval keep. Note the Ministry sign placed below it: ‘Gun Emplacement / 1939-1945’.

Pevensey Castle: signage

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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.

Sir Charles Peers and Pevensey Castle

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1952 (rev. with additions 1963)

Sir Charles Peers prepared the guidebooks for two of the Saxon Shore forts that had been reused  as medieval castles: Portchester Castle in Hampshire and Pevensey Castle in Sussex.

The guide is divided into two main sections: history and description. There is a foldout plan inside the back cover. Peers describes the nature of the Saxon Shore forts and some of their reuse. He continues with the granting of the site to the half-brother of William the Conqueror.

Peers notes the use of the fort during the Second World War including the insertion of pill-boxes and a blockhouse to protect against tanks: ‘By the grace of God these twentieth-century defences were never put to the test’.