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North Front of Margam House, Glamorgan. c.1700
Margam House was created out of the Cistercian abbey of Margam during the 16th and 17th centuries. This bird's eye view is typical of British topographical painting around 1700. Though naïve, it is full of incident and detail. Perhaps the painting was commissioned by Sir Edward Mansel, to commemorate the recent improvements he had made to the house. The artist may be Thomas Smith, who painted similar Welsh views for the 1st Duke of Beaufort.
The North side was the rear of the house. The family rooms are on the left, and the kitchens, stables and service quarters on the right. The ruined chapter house, overgrown with vegetation is at the centre, with the parish church nearby; unlike the house, both survive today. Beyond the house a tree-lined avenue leads the eye through the fields to Nottage and the sand dunes of Kenfig, with the Bristol Channel beyond.
Purchased with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund, 2012

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