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The Caerwent Iron Age Head  

This Celtic head was found in Caerwent in what was then the Romanised civitas capital of the Silures Tribe, Venta Silurum. The head was made of yellow quartz sandstone and was carved in a simple native Iron Age style. It was found in a shrine discovered in the garden area of a 4th century Roman style dwelling, House 8. 


Copyright Newport Museum and Art Gallery
Stone Heads
This head may have already been very old in the 4th century and may have represented a local Iron Age deity. It was never attached to a torso. It is known from ancient literary sources that the native Iron Age peoples, who originally occupied most of northern Europe from Hungary to the British Isles, represented human heads in their art. Possibly the human head represented the seat of mankind’s magical energy. Stone heads similar to this one have survived in large numbers, especially in the upland regions of northern England (the Pennines, the Peak District, and Cumbria). Such stone heads were…

Objects in Focus June 2020

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Objects in Focus for June 2020


Self-portrait (1987) by Harry Holland
Harry Holland’s reputation stretches well beyond his home city of Cardiff, where he has lived since 1973. A figurative artist with extraordinary technical ability, Harry has exhibited widely and has work in international collections including the: Tate, Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Portrait Museum of Canada. Throughout his career, Harry has focused on the often unfashionable formal and technical aspects of painting, drawing inspiration from classical themes, which he applies to the modern world. This highly accomplished self-portrait was acquired by Newport Museum and Art Gallery in the early 1990s. It shows Harry in a reflective and confident moment in his career.


Self-portrait (1987) by Sara Rossberg
Sara Rossberg is recognised for her striking figurative paintings and drawings. Her work features both groups and individuals, with a strong emphasis on the head and face. This sombre yet moving self-portrait …

The Crumlin Branch of the Monmouthshire Canal

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The Crumlin Branch of the Monmouthshire Canal

Many people have been using the canal system to carry out lockdown walks and the Crumlin branch of the canal is a favourite for people in and around Newport. Anne Dunton has sent some photographs of her daily walk during lockdown. She usually walks up to the top of Ridgeway in Newport and then takes the path down through the woods of Allt-yr-yn Nature Reserve to the canal. The reserve occupies the 32 acre site of the former Allt-yr-yn House and lido, and an old stone quarry. The lido has been turned into one of the ponds and only a few stones of the house remain.Thus Anne iswalking through the grounds of Allt-yr -yn house. lt was situated to the west of Newport and was surrounded by woodland and fields.  She remembers swimming in Allt-yr-yn lido and this link is to a page from Newport Past. The lido was opened by the Deputy-Mayor in 1934 and closed in the mid 1960s.Now the remains are overgrown and obscured from view. Anne then arrives close…