Jack Davies

Four illustrations of Castell Coch

William Burges’ Plans for the Reconstruction of Castell Coch

It’s 150 years this month since Lord Bute instructed John McConnochie to excavate the site at Castell Coch. The results were investigated by William Burges, who was able to build on G. T. Clark’s 1850 report and present Bute with the option of either restoration or reconstruction. Burges submitted the “Castell Coch Report” to the …

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Illustration of an old Taff Trail leaflet

Castell Coch and the Taff Trail

I recently picked up a series of leaflets that describe the route of the Taff Trail from Cardiff to Brecon. They were produced by the Taff Trail with support from Mid Glamorgan County Council, Taff Ely Borough Council and the Welsh Office. This information helps me date the leaflet to between 1988, when the trail …

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Three illustrations of patterns in Castell Coch

Patterns of Castell Coch – Part 1

Castell Coch is famous for its spectacular interiors. I’ve decided to illustrate the stencils, murals and patterns that decorate Cardiff’s iconic Gothic Revival landmark. This first instalment includes designs from the banqueting hall and Lord Bute’s bedroom. The detailed stencilling in the banqueting hall was completed by the interior decorators Campbell, Smith & Co. under …

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Black and white photo of Castell Coch and vineyard

The Castell Coch Vineyard

There are 31 vineyards in Wales and 739 in England, according to WineGB’s 2020 report. In the late 19th century, however, wine was imported from Europe and there were no commercial vineyards in Britain. The Experiment Began This changed in 1873, when Lord Bute asked his head gardener, Mr Andrew Pettigrew, to plant a vineyard …

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Magic Lantern Slide photo of Castell Coch

Magic Lantern Slide

The magic lantern is an early version of the image projector and was invented in the 17th century. The original versions of the 35mm photo slide were painted glass or oiled paper. For these early lanterns, the light source was either sunlight, candles or oil lamps. Magic lanterns were used as entertainment, combining images with …

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Linocut print of Castell Coch by Ian Phillips

Castell Coch Linocut by Ian Phillips

Ian Phillips has been working as a print maker in Wales since 2001. His passion for relief printing was fired by a chance encounter with the work of Utagawa Hiroshige. Hiroshige was considered a master of ukiyo-e, the genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings, which were popular from the late 17th to late 19th …

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Postcard featuring pencil drawing of Castell Coch

Postcards of Castell Coch – Part 2

For this second instalment of “Postcards of Castell Coch”, I’ve chosen a trio of postcards featuring pencil drawings by Joyce Capon. Dating the cards is tricky because they haven’t been posted. They were printed by “William Lewis (Printers) Ltd., 43, Penarth Road, Cardiff.” Some quick research tells me that William Lewis died in 1918 but …

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