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Sketch of King Arthurs Round Table or Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre before it was excavated.
King Arthur's Round Table (Site of Roman Amphitheatre), Caerleon
Sketched in the early 1890s by William Henry Greene

This view of the Roman Amphitheatre, Caerleon - or King Arthur's Round Table as it has been known for centuries - comes from the 'Scrapbook' of William Henry Greene. It is one of around 100 views of Newport and South East Wales sketched by William Henry Greene in the 1880s and 1890s. The volume is now in the collection of Pontypool Museum. Sponsorship has enabled us to photograph the sketches by arrangement with Torfaen Museum Trust. Most of the sketches, including the one above, have never before been published and some may well be the only views of scenes long gone. The book is not on public display as it has to be stored in a low light environment, so we are pleased to be able to present the 'secrets' it holds here. Over the next few months, thanks to the sponsorship of Steve Thomas Financial Services, we will be displaying several other views of the Caerleon area as sketched by William Henry Greene. If you would like to explore the scrapbook more fully you will find most of the sketches displayed on the NEWPORT PAST website.

A little information about the man and his work:

The Scrapbook of William Henry Greene
in his own words

'Some of my Old Favourites - A Treasure House of Especial Sweets
with some of my very own verses and sketches with pen and pencil.'

We are fortunate that William Henry Greene gathered together his 'treasures' in this volume. Pasted into the pages we find newspaper articles, poetry and sketches - the results of William's rambles in Monmouthshire and South West Gloucestershire.

William was born in Ross in 1832. In his early 20s he became a reporter for the 'Monmouthshire Beacon'; from 1867 to 1874 he worked for the 'Pontypool Free Press and Herald of the Hills'; and at other times he worked for journals as far afield as Bristol, Chard, Exeter, Gloucester and Guildford. He continued his work after retirement and contributed articles and illustrations to 'The Graphic' and 'The Illustrated London News'.

Towards the end of his life, William lived in Chepstow and he died in Newport at 109 Alma Street on March 31st 1894. The 'South Wales Daily Star' reported: "Death was due to general decay of the system, the end being hastened by an attack of apoplexy."

We are keen to bring more old views of Caerleon to public view by this means, if you are interested in sponsoring a similar project please contact us. There are many sketches and watercolours tucked away from the light in museum basements, many of which show scenes long since disappeared. On a recent visit to the National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff we found no antiquarian watercolours on display at all.

Excavation of the Amphitheatre

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