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Neath Castle, Glamorganshire
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Thomas Hastings after Wilson
Neath Castle, Glamorganshire
Published 1821
Etching on India paper laid down on buff laid paper
394 x 521 mm (sheet size)
10 x 13 1/4 in. (sheet size)
NMW A 5989
E72/10A
View of the ruins of Neath Castle on a hilltop, with two figures standing on the hillside at the left; a stretch of water fills the foreground and the arch of a drain can be seen at the centre
Given by Major F. Treharne James, 1917
Lettered below the image with the title and above, 'The Original is in the Possession of Lady Ford.'; production details and publication line: 'Painted by R. Wilson.' 'Etched by T. Hastings.| published in London 1821'
[1] Upper edge, centre in pencil: 142/24
[2] Lower right corner, pencil: NMWA 5989
Neath Castle was one of the minor Norman castles in the lordship of Glamorgan. Like the Romans before them, the Normans chose this strategic spot, guarding the river crossing, for a stronghold. The main surviving feature of the castle is the great twin-towered gatehouse on its west side. This belongs to the latest phase in its 250 year history. The first castle was a ringwork known to have been built in the 12th century by Robert, Earl of Gloucester. It was much harried by the Welsh and was rebuilt sometime in the early 13th century, The castle was again severely damaged by enemies of the unpopular lord of Glamorgan, Hugh Despenser. It was the 14th-century rebuilding after this attack that gave it its magnificent gatehouse. Only the fronts of the great D-shaped towers and the arch between them survive. The district of Neath was a popular stop for the aspiring eighteenth-century traveller in South Wales since the two main routes from England - the coastal road from Chepstow to Newport and the Heads of the Valley Road from Ross to Abergavenny - converged there. However, evidence of advancing industrialisation can be seen in the smoke of the left background.
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P151 Neath Castle, Glamorganshire, Private Collection, England
17.157
1917.3
Hastings 1825; WGC, p. 182, under pl. 47b; Yule 2015, pp. 60 & 69
Discoloured and spotted with a repaired tear, upper right edge
12/12/2017