history

The Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association

October 13, 2018 2 Comments
The Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association

1   Origins and foundations The first local archaeological society in Wales, the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, was founded on 28th October 1847.  It owed its existence largely to the efforts of one man, John Edward Lee (1). Born in Hull in 1808, Lee worked from the age of sixteen in his uncles’ shipping office, but […]

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Mr Deas

October 6, 2018 2 Comments
Mr Deas

Another birthday, and I’m celebrating by throwing out yet more paper hoarded over the years. This time it includes a dark red ring-file containing notes and essays from my first-year university course in Classics. They’re written in handwriting it’s still quite easy to make out. (By contrast, my handwriting today, disabled by decades of keyboard […]

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In search of 100 objects

September 30, 2018 0 Comments
In search of 100 objects

September 2018 has turned out to be a month of personal endings. Three weeks ago, after five and a half years of sporadic legwork, we finished the last mile of the Wales Coast Path. This week saw the publication of two books I’ve been working on for what seems almost as long, Wales in 100 […]

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What the bishop said to the queen

September 4, 2018 0 Comments
What the bishop said to the queen

I suspect most people visit Llangathen, in the Tywi valley, to see the wonderful restored gardens at Aberglasne (Aberglasney in its Anglicised form). But the village has other things to offer: a surprisingly bright and roomy neo-Tudor ‘Temperance Hall’, and the large church of St Cathen. (The village used to be more populous than it […]

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Lloyd George a’r bachgen yn y llun

August 26, 2018 0 Comments
Lloyd George a’r bachgen yn y llun

Cricieth, 1890: David Lloyd George, cyfreithiwr a gwleidydd, 27 mlwydd oed, a John Thomas, ffotograffydd, 52 mlwydd oed. Lloyd George: Ydych chi’n siŵr am y lle hwn, Mr Thomas? John Thomas: Dewis perffaith, dywedwn i, Mr Lloyd George. LlG: David, plîs, Mr Thomas.  Dim angen ichi fod yn ffurfiol.  Dyn y werin bobl ydw i, […]

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Ar enwau lleoedd

June 22, 2018 0 Comments
Ar enwau lleoedd

Y profiad a adawodd yr argraff fwya arna i yn ystod yr wythnos ddiwethaf oedd gwylio ffilm fer, fel rhan o raglen deledu Wales Live, oedd yn dangos y digrifwr Tudur Owen yn cerdded ar draws bae ar Ynys Môn – fel mae’n digwydd, bae yr ymwelais i ag e’n ddiweddar iawn.  Nid y cerdded […]

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The Powysland Club: its origin and early development

May 13, 2018 0 Comments
The Powysland Club: its origin and early development

1   Foundation The first county archaeological society in Wales was the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, founded in 1847 and renamed the Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association in 1857. It was twenty years before a second local archaeological society in Wales was founded, in 1867.  The gap is puzzling, especially when one considers that this period […]

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‘Civilisations’ and museums

May 7, 2018 0 Comments
‘Civilisations’ and museums

The big BBC series Civilisations has come to an end.  It was designed as a remake of – and a challenge to – the famous Kenneth Clark series Civilisation, first shown in 1969.  The challenge was directly reflected in the plural form of the new title.  While Clarke was concerned almost exclusively with ‘Western civilisation’ […]

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Frank Brangwyn’s British Empire Panels

March 9, 2018 9 Comments
Frank Brangwyn’s British Empire Panels

1          Introduction Most Swansea people are familiar with the British Empire Panels.  Many sitting through a dull patch in a concert in the Brangwyn Hall will have turned to ponder Frank Brangwyn’s enormous work.  In a few months’ time the Panels will get more exposure, as Marc Rees’s performance piece Nawr yr arwr / Now […]

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Catherine Blake’s vision

February 23, 2018 0 Comments
Catherine Blake’s vision

Of all the astonishing visual images William Blake created, between the mid-1770s and his death in 1827, one of the most intriguing is a small sepia wash drawing (244 x 211mm) on a sheet of paper now in the Tate Gallery.  It’s usually known by the title A vision: the inspiration of the poet.  Since […]

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