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Description

Title: ‘Aberystwith’
Description: 4 women probably at Aberystwyth market. Two of the women have back packs, known as a basged mawn (peat basket) or cawell in Welsh and creel elsewhere. One is covered with a cloth. One woman is wearing a tall silk (Welsh) hat, the others are wearing shorter haps, probably of felt. The woman in the foreground are probably wearing long, open-fronted gowns, held in place with the apron. The woman on the right is wearing a cloak. Medium: picture, watercolour
Size: 18.3 x 24 cms.
Artist: Anon
Date: 27.6.1849
image number
Note: There are several illustrations of women carrying large baskets on their backs. These often contained peat which they carried from the bog where the peat had been cut and dried, to home or market. Women carried peat in this way from Borth, over Constitution Hill, to Aberystwyth market. Although the straps are sometimes shown around the head, it is unlikely that they would have done so around a delicate and expensive silk Welsh hat: this one may have been of felt.
Walter Davies wrote the following in 1805 ‘Peat carried by men, women and children 6 miles distant from Cors Vochno [near Borth] to Aberystwyth in panniers on their backs, load about 40-60 lbs, sold there from 4d-7d, what labour! What must the state of the lower classes be here.’ Davies, Walter, Journal of a Tour into south Wales, NLW MS 1762B, II, (Journal XYZ) f. 125v

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