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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

From Wales to New Zealand and Back Again!

Llanelltyd Bridge (NPRN 95424) c.1830 watercolour, DI2015_0070

The generosity of the public in donating records to the National Monuments Record of Wales is always inspiring, but items seldom travel from the other side of the world to find a home in our archive collections. In the case of this charming watercolour of Llanelltyd Bridge however, the painting has made the trip both ways. Due to the incredibly kind donation by Avril Stott and David Haigh of Auckland, New Zealand, we are very pleased to add the work to our collections and make it available to the public. How the painting came to make its way to New Zealand in the first place is unknown, but the watercolour appears to be of early nineteenth-century date, and is typical of the sort of images painted by genteel tourists to Wales during this period.

The bridge, near Dolgellau, consists of five elliptical arches and is thought to date from the second quarter of the eighteenth century, possibly replacing an earlier bridge of medieval date.The painting views the crossing from the south and clearly depicts the village of Llanelltyd in the background, with the tower of St Illtyd’s Church prominent amongst the trees. A new concrete bridge was constructed in the 1980s to carry motor traffic, though the bridge continues to be used as a footbridge.

Llanelltyd Bridge from the southwest, 2008, DS2008_004_003

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