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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Dr Kate Mees

Mees, K. (2013). From the sublime to the Druidical: changing perceptions of prehistoric monuments in southern Anglesey in the post-medieval period. Post-Medieval Archaeology 47(1): 222-246.

Author(s) from Durham


The prehistoric monuments of southern Anglesey have been interpreted in various ways over the past three centuries, as an examination of the work of antiquarians, artists, landscape designers and other contemporary commentators reveals. During the post-medieval period, the meanings of these monuments shifted, as perceptions of the pre-Roman era changed. As embodiments of the past, megalithic monuments were embraced by Welsh historians, antiquarians and artists in the movement to formulate a Welsh national identity. Moreover, their incorporation into landscape gardens was indicative of the extent to which they captured the contemporary imagination. Local communities, meanwhile, reacted in differing ways to the megaliths, influenced concurrently by superstition and agrarian pragmatism.