history

Stephen W. Williams, engineer, architect, archaeologist

August 26, 2022 2 Comments
Stephen W. Williams, engineer, architect, archaeologist

His name’s been familiar to me for years, but it’s only in recent months that I’ve got to know him better.  In May this year I happened to stay the night in Penralley House, his home in Rhayader, and earlier in our walk up the Wye we passed Bryn Wern, a country house he designed […]

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Lasseter’s last ride

August 5, 2022 3 Comments
Lasseter’s last ride

Our school was just across the road.  I could have left our little brick house, Corton Cottage, at one minute to nine and still have been in time for lessons.  The school building was small, built of warm stone, and handsome in its modest way.  It dated back to the 1860s.  At first not much […]

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R.J. Derfel ar lyfrgelloedd

July 29, 2022 0 Comments
R.J. Derfel ar lyfrgelloedd

Cofir R.J. Derfel heddiw yn bennaf fel y dyn a fathodd y term ‘Brad y Llyfrau Gleision’, teitl ei ddrama a gyhoeddwyd yn 1854, saith mlynedd ar ôl yr adroddiad drwg-enwog gan y llywodraeth ar gyflwr addysg yng Nghymru.  Ond dylen ni ei gofio hefyd fel un o’r rhai cynharaf i ysgrifennu am sosialaeth trwy […]

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Mysteries of Paraclete

July 8, 2022 9 Comments
Mysteries of Paraclete

Five minutes’ walk away, where Summerland Lane reduces to a narrow neck of tarmac to meet Newton Road, is Paraclete Chapel.  In every respect it’s unremarkable, except for one thing, its highly unusual name.  Till recently I’ve not thought much about the word ‘paraclete’, beyond knowing that it was vaguely connected with the Holy Spirit. […]

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Heirloom

June 24, 2022 2 Comments
Heirloom

It’s made out of a single piece of oak and sits upright on the window sill, though its planed rear and central hole suggest it was originally intended to hang on a wall.  The head of an adult man or a woman.  The face framed by stylised hair locks, long, straight and deeply incised, and […]

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Tlodi, nawr a ddoe

June 17, 2022 0 Comments
Tlodi, nawr a ddoe

Beth yw tlodi?  Am flynyddoedd bellach fe’i diffinnir yn y wlad hon fel ‘tlodi cymharol’.  Hynny yw, dych chi’n dlawd os ydych chi’n derbyn incwm sy’n 60% yn is nag incwm cyfartal pobl eich cymuned.  Dyw hi ddim yn syndod clywed fod tlodi o’r math hwn yn cynyddu ers blynyddoedd, wrth i anghyfartaledd godi, a […]

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John Thelwall at Llyswen

April 29, 2022 0 Comments
John Thelwall at Llyswen

Next week we’ll be completing the Wye Valley Walk, and one of our stops will be the Griffin Inn in the village of Llyswen, on the banks of the Wye half way between Brecon and Builth.  Years ago, my colleague Jean Dane and I would often pause there for a coffee on our way from […]

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Can the British Museum change?

February 11, 2022 4 Comments
Can the British Museum change?

The recent return to Nigeria of some of the Benin bronzes from collections across Europe has heightened the debate about ‘repatriating’ museum objects to the places from which they were illegally seized. The finely made bronze plaques and sculptures once adorned the royal palace in Benin City and were made over a lengthy period, from […]

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Sir Boris Walpole and the cartoonists

January 29, 2022 0 Comments
Sir Boris Walpole and the cartoonists

It’s a commonplace that since George Osborne set in motion the immiseration of poor people, through his programme of austerity and big cuts in benefits, Britain has seemed to regress to the time of our Victorian ancestors.  ‘Poor laws’, and the nineteenth century distinction between deserving and undeserving poor, are back with us, and so […]

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William Blake, map-maker

January 22, 2022 0 Comments
William Blake, map-maker

You can’t wander far in south and mid-Wales in the early years of the nineteenth century without coming across the name of Benjamin Heath Malkin.  The second edition of his book The scenery, antiquities and biography of south Wales, published in two volumes in 1807, was described by the historian R.T. Jenkins as ‘by far […]

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