Pioneers of the Past: Antiquaries in Wales
The Society of Antiquaries of London is the oldest surviving independent learned society in north-west Europe concerned with the study of the past. Founded by three men in 1707, the Society was granted a Royal Charter by George II in 1751. Its 150 members became entitled to call themselves ‘Fellows’.
Today it has 2,500 elected Fellows (FSA).
To celebrate the Society’s 300th Anniversary, we are displaying for the first time in Wales some early records of its antiquities.
Antiquity Collected and Depicted
Before 1850, the Society of Antiquaries of London was one of the few ‘national’ organisations collecting British antiquity, including finds from Wales.
In the age before photography, the Society commissioned artists like William Blake to record objects, monuments and buildings. These were exhibited at meetings and published as prints.