• A rare Herefordshire print - niftyatfifty

    As part of my recovery program I allow myself to make occasional browsings in the local charity shops. One never knows what will turn up next. This morning discovered a tatty little frame (modern) containing a small copper engraving of the Ruins of Clifford Castle (over 200 years old). Over the years I've seen many early engravings of Herefordshire landmarks - usually from the period 1820-50, but this is one I've never encountered before. After a little tootling back & forth on the Internet I discovered that the print comes from Duncomb's "History of Herefordshire", 1800. This appears to have been a view that was only made to accompany this text and unusually it doesn't bear any evidence of either the artist or the engraver.

    The castle isn't particularly well known even within the bounds of the county, although it touches on a very colourful event in history. The daughter of the 12th century Walter Clifford was one Rosamund - a woman of famed beauty who became the mistress of Henry II, however it was all doomed to end tragically when Henry's wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, interupted this daliance. See lots more about the history of the castle and its various Lords on the Completely-castles.co.uk website.

    Anyone taking the trouble to visit the castle today will find very little masonry left compared to this 1800 view. As with so many historic sites the stone was probably robbed to build new dwellings, farms and barns in the locale.

    Anyway, I think you'll agree - a rather splendid little find for 50p!

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