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St Donat's Castle

St Donat's Castle

Artist: John Buckler

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1815

Shelfmark: Additional MS 36397

Item number: f.75

Length: 25.5

Width: 35.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

St Donat's Castle with its massive towers and walls stands on a cliff 150ft above Nash Point between Llantwit and Bridgend on the Welsh coast. This site has been an important defensive position for nearly 2000 years. Caradoc (Caractacus) built a fort here to defend himself and his people against the invading Romans. In 51 AD he was captured and taken with his family to Rome, where he was presented to the Emperor Claudius as a prize prisoner. Claudius, impressed by the vanquished Briton's humble manner, astonishingly pardoned Caradoc and his family. He remained in Rome for the next seven years and was treated with the utmost esteem. He then returned home bringing with him the Christian gospels, which at that time were just beginning to be preached in Rome. He thus became one of the first Britons to introduce the new religion of Christianity to these islands.

Over the next 1200 years the region was ruled and fought over by many feuding factions. Parts of the castle seen in this view and still standing date back to the 12th century when the Stradling family came to be the feudal lords of the area. They remained in the castle until the beginning of the 20th century when unfortunately the upkeep became too costly and it had to be sold. It is now an American college.

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