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Carnarvon Castle
The Trustees of the British Museum
William Byrne (1743-1805) after Wilson
Carnarvon Castle
Published 17 July 1775
Etching and engraving
Plate: 400 x 538 mm
Plate: 15 3/4 x 21 3/16 in.
1860,0114.391
E27
View of a Norman castle with angled towers in the walls on the right, overlooking a river, with wooded banks opposite on the left and fields in the distance. On the far side of a broad stretch of water, a woman is milking a cow and two other figures are resting on the bank in the foreground.
Acquired 1860 at an unidentified sale at Southgate & Barrett through A. E. Evans & Sons, 403 Strand, London
Lettered below the image in English and French, continuing 'the Birth Place of Edward II, in South Wales' and 'Richd, Wilson Pinxt Willm, Byrne Sculpt'
Caernarvon Castle is located on the northern banks of the River Seiont on the Caernarvonshire coast in North Wales, across the Menai Straits from the Island of Anglesey. Its massive ruins offered the traveller in search of the picturesque an impressive reminder of Britain's heroic past. The castle was begun by Edward I in 1284 and his son Edward, the first English Prince of Wales, was born in the great Eagle Tower on 25 April that year.
See 'Links' tab.
Other impressions are at The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru (4609344 & PE194/b)
P12 Caernarvon Castle, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit
P12A Caernarvon Castle, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
P12C Caernarvon Castle with Anglesea in the Distance, Private Collection
P12D Caernarvon Castle, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
This print is one of the set, Six Views in North and South Wales, all after Wilson, published by John Boydell in 1775. The others are E22, E28, E29, E30 and E31. Solkin suggested that the present example and others from the series lacking Boydell's publication line may have been commissioned by Wilson before financial difficulties in the mid-1770s constrained him to sell the plates to Boydell.
Booth Notes Doc. 6; Booth Notes Doc. 7; R. Gough, Anecdotes of British Topography, London 1768, p. 603; Edwards 1808, p. 88; Pugh 2013, pp. 1, 21