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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Gibbs

Speed's Map of Brecknockshire and Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks' Views

Updated: May 28, 2018

Breknoke both Shyre and Town by John Speed

John Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine was published in 1611 and 1612 and contained this map of Breconshire. Robert Johnson's map had been for private use only but this was printed and sold in large numbers providing for the first time a visual representation of the landscape to which people could relate.

John Speed's Map showing the rivers

Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Hay Castle Engraving by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Crickhowel Castle by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Brunllis (Bronlys)Castle by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Tretwr Castle (Tretower) by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Blaen-Lleveny Castle (near Bwlch) by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Penkelly Castle by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Llanthew Castle by Samuel ans Nathaniel Buck

Brecknock Priory by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

Brecknock Castle by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck - original drawing in NMW

This fine view of the ruined castle at Brecon shows at the bottom of the drawing the parapet of the Usk Bridge on which the artist is standing , then above this is the lowest bridge over the Honddu with the mill beside.

Brecknock Castle (detail) with Honddu Bridges

Above this is the Castle Bridge over the stream and the artist has marked the Ely Tower (1) and the top of St John'd Priory Church (2) just showing above the trees (from the original Buck drawing in the collection of the National Museum of Wales). Bucks engravings may seem rather lifeless records of ruined buildings but they provided a record for many artists to follow in the coming century.

Detailed Town Map of Brecon from Speed's map of Breknoke 1612

These bridges over the Honddu,which give thee name to the town (Aberhonddu), Castle and Priory Church can be seen in Speed's map.

Detail showing the Tenterhooks outsidethe town wall.

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