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The River WyeThe River Wye The Wye Valley has long been renowned as one of the most beautiful areas of Britain. From the eighteenth century it has been painted by artists from Turner and Gilpin to Wilson Steer, while a trip by boat from Ross to the sea was considered an essential part of the Romantic, and later Gothic, tour. Wordsworth travelled its lower reaches writing famously about Tintern Abbey; more recently it was home to the Victorian diaryist Francis Kilvert and the contemporary playwright Dennis Potter. In one hundred beautiful colour images Barry Needle captures the essence of the river from its source high in the mountains of mid-Wales to it's entry into the sea under the towering medieival castle at Chepstow. Along the way he takes in the delights of charming market towns like Rhayader, Ross-on-Wye and 'town of books' Hay-on-Wye, the gorge at Symmonds Yat ,the cathedral at Hereford, the picturesque ruin of Tintern and the more imposing ruined castle at Chepstow. In between there are rolling mountains and woodland, meadows and fields, valleys and plains, ancient rural villages and riverside churches, and , towards the sea, a working river. The River Wye is a sumptuous record of an important and beautiful landscape to be treasured. Tour River Wye.

Four Castles of the Middle Reaches of the River WyeFour Castles of the Middle Reaches of the River Wye, 1066-1282 The Four Castles examines the castle sites along the River Wye from just west of Hay on Wye northwards to Builth Wells. The sparse and sketchy history of the land is first explored, before the four castle sites of Crickadarn, Waun Gunllwch, Llyswen and Twyn y Garth, are examined in detail. Finally a conclusion is reached which suggests that two of these castles may date from the time of the Braose war of 1208-10 and the battles at Aberduhonw and Builth Wells. Above, the River Wye from the ramparts of Twyn y Garth.

Observations on the River WyeObservations on the River Wye The work that launched the picturesque movement and changed our ways of looking at landscape forever. William Gilpin (1724-1804), cleric and educationalist, started travelling in search of picturesque scenes in the 1770's. His five books of journeys not only describe what he saw, but evaluate every prospect and every scene with critical rigour. Even a sight as famous, and to the uneducated eye, as beautiful, as Tintern, is shown to be needing some improvement (a tower demolished) before it can reach picturesque perfection. With these books Gilpin can be thought of not only as the father of the picturesque, but the father of modern tourism. The "Observations on the River Wye", was the first of Gilpin's books to be published, though not the first to be written, so that it represents not only a founding text of the romantic movement, but also a considered summation of Gilpin's attitudes. It was illustrated with seventeen aquatints that demonstrate the essentials of particular landscapes - essentially they are lessons in how to look. To read Gilpin today and to look at his prints is to enter an entirely eighteenth-century world, whose clear influence on the way we look and think today is uncanny. Unavailable for many years, this edition is entirely reset from the fifth, revised edition and includes all plates in what is considered to be their best state. The introduction by Richard Humphreys, Director of Education at the Tate and curator of "A Picture of Britain", assesses the contemporary impact and continuing legacy of Gilpin.

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