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The Iron Age in the Abergavenny Area: a brief overview  By Gill Wakley

What strikes anyone viewing the landscape around Abergavenny is the number of hills. If you look at the sketch map from Gwent County History (GCH page 141) there is a lack of hillforts close to Abergavenny and the hillforts on the map tend to overlook the coast and river valleys which were major routes of transportation. Surprisingly this map does not show many iron age settlements in the Abergavenny area which is situated on the Usk between Twyn y Gaer Hillfort to the north and Coed y Bwnydd hillfort to the south. In Wales there were over 1000 monuments that could be termed Iron Agehillforts.
This is a map in an article by Ray Howell and Joshua Pollard, 'The Iron Age Settlement and Material Culture' in The Gwent County History, Vol. I, p.141.



As Ray Howell and Joshua Pollard have stated, there has been little excavation and what has taken place targets larger sites predominantly hillforts. (GCH. p.140.) Howeve…

Octavius Morgan, an Antiquarian with a passion for Collection and Curation

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Octavius Morgan, an Antiquarian with a passion for Collection and Curation.  By Mary Evans In early February before lockdown would radically affect our way of life I joined a group of National Trust volunteers from Tredegar House on a visit to the British Museum. The morning was given over to a guided tour of the Horological Collection with one of its curators Oliver Cooke. We were accorded this privilege because of the connection between Tredegar House and one of the Collection’s most significant benefactors, Charles Octavius Swinnerton Morgan.
Charles Octavius Swinnerton Morgan (1803-1888)






Known as Octavius Morgan he was the fourth son of Sir Charles Morgan 2nd Baronet (1760-1846) and Mary (née Stoney). This rare picture of him is featured in a profile by David H.Williams. Until 1839 he lived at Tredegar House, for over 500 years the home of the powerful Morgan family later Lords Tredegar. Octavius’s eldest brother Charles Morgan Robinson Morgan became the first Lord Tredegar, in 1859…

‘Black, white and amber’: Newport in the cartoons of J. M. Staniforth

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‘Black, white and amber’: Newport in the cartoons of J. M. Staniforth I have been working on the career of Joseph Morewood Staniforth (‘JMS’) (1863-1921) for some years, and have published a number of journal articles and book chapters on him and his cartoons, including an Oxford Dictionary National Biography entry. Staniforth was, essentially, a Cardiffian, born in Gloucester in 1863 but growing up from a young age in Cardiff, and living there until his move to Devon in 1919. Leaving school aged fifteen, he became a printer’s apprentice with the Western Mail before going on to a highly successful career as an illustrator and a cartoonist. His cartoons appeared in the Evening Express, Western Mail, and in the British Sunday newspaper the News of the World, and he drew many series of picture postcards, as well as contributing illustrations for a variety of political pamphlets, magazines, and memoirs (including The Wit and Wisdom of Lord Tredegar (1911)




In this short blog I explore some …

A Virtual Visit to Sudbrook with Dr Mark Lewis

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From its foundation in 1847, one of the important activities of the Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association has been its visits to sites of archaeological, historical and architectural interest.Spring 2020 has seen an historical ‘lockdown’, preventing travel beyond the absolute necessary and preventing meetings as groups.Not surprisingly, virtual solutions have been rapidly mastered and, for many, are now mainstream ways of keeping in touch with the wider world.In this spirit, Association member, Mark Lewis, has suggested a ‘virtual visit’ option for the Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association as a stopgap until better times return. Mark has chosen Sudbrook for his ‘virtual visit’, scanning images of Holy Trinity Chapel that he took in the mid-1980s; before its bell-cote fell to the ground.The use of historical images makes this ‘visit’ virtual temporally as well as physically, and we invite other members to trawl their own photographic archives and forward their own ‘virtual visits’ for…