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Welsh outlook


Vol. 2, No. 11 Nov. 1915

Friendly Russia. Book review.

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Garstin calls "the Russian miracle," of the magic.
which in a single week transformed that vast empire
from a continent simmering with discontent into a
united nation of one purpose and one creed, singly
devoted to the successful prosecution of their holy
war. It is this spirit which has enabled the Russian
armies to maintain their morale through four of
the most trying months which any army has ever
survived. And although, now that the first impulse
has worn itself a little fainter and the pressure of a
long and arduous campaign begins to make itself
felt among the civil population, we can see signs
that the old discords are not wholly healed, we can
feel assured that the same spirit will carry our great
ally through to victory, and leave her at the end
not only victorious over the foreign aggressor, but
conqueror of herself, happily launched upon a new
era of progress which will enable her to realise, as
she has never done before, that great store of spiritual
treasure of which she has already given sluggish
Europe, so wonderful and exciting a foretaste.
Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society
Transactions and Archaeological Record, Vol. 2.
No. 1.
The Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society is to be
congratulated on the recently issued number of its
Transactions. It is a volume of most varied interest,
and the wealth of its illustrations is remarkable.
The Society is fortunate in its editors and its con-
tributors. Professor Tyrrell Green is an authority
on Church Architecture as well as a very capable
Draughtsman. His volume on Towers and Spires
is a standard work on that branch of architecture. He
is responsible for the great majority of the illustrations
and the most valuable piece of work in the volume
is his scholarly notes on the Fonts of the county,
and his admirable drawings thereof, which are both
accurate and artistic. A large proportion of the
Fonts are Norman, and Professor Green points out
the interesting fact that the ornamentation on some
of these fonts is of the Celtic type, introducing the
interlaced pattern seen in Strata Florida, and
especially found in the pre-Norman monuments of
Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire. One would wel-
come an extension of Professor Green's investigations
into Welsh Fonts so as to embrace other Welsh
counties. It would be a peculiarly interesting
study to trace the extent the so-called Celtic ornament
has been used in the decoration of Fonts and the
beautifying of churches in Wales, apart from its
more familiar use in the decoration of sepulchral
monuments. One font, at least, that in the Church
of Penmon, Anglesey, is entirely decorated with the
key-pattern, which, with the interlaced ropework
pattern, is the chief characteristic of the Celtic
ornamentation on the stones of Uantwit Major.
Margam, Carew, and Golden Grove.
An exceedingly suggestive note on the carved
woodwork on the rood beam at Uanina Church
calls attention to the extreme poverty of present day
Cardigan churches in carved wood screens, a poverty
the more lamentable in that at the beginning of last
century at least eight Cardigan churches are said
by Meyrick to possess rood screens. Though Welsh
churches as a rule cannot compare with those of
Somerset and Devon in the possession of these
magnificent relics of the carver's craft, yet in several
churches rood screens, and in some cases rood lofts.
can be found in excellent preservation, especially
in the churches of Patricio, and Llanfilo in Brecon-
shire Uanwnog, Montgomery, Newtown and
Pennant Melangell in Montgomeryshire Uanrwst
and Conway in Denbighshire; Uanegryn in Mer-
ioneth and all acquainted with these churches
will mourn the loss of the screens of Cardigan.
Cardiganshire cannot boast of many monuments
of antiquity of major importance, apart from Strata
Florida Abbey, the Priory in Cardigan Town, the
Castles of Aberystwyth, Cilgerran, and the very
scanty remains of the Roman Camp at Uanio
Still, the Society is doing most valuable work in
preserving the memory of less important aspects
of its past history, especially by publishing drawings
of so many bits of vanished and vanishing Cardigan.
Another enthusiastic and learned antiquary,
Mr. G. Eyre Evans, contributes a most interesting
account of the founding of a Royal Mint in Abery-
stwyth Castle by Thomas Bushell in the reign of
Charles I.
Nor is the Society unmindful of the County's
worthies. Photographs of the statues of Dr. Lewis
Edwards, Bala, by Sir Goscombe John, and of
Henry Richard, M.P.. by Mr. Albert Toft, are
accompanied by short but adequate accounts of
their life work.
Considerable space is devoted to reviews of books
of antiquarian interest. The four volumes published
of the inventory of ancient monuments in Wales
and Monmouth receives somewhat scathing criticism,
especially the architectural parts of the volume.
The reviewer, though he leaves upon us the impres-
sion that the patient and careful research of the
compilers has received somewhat less than justice,
has certainly justified his suggestion that an expert
in church architecture should be added to the
Commission on Ancient Monuments.
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