FAMILY FARMS

These abandoned farm buildings and house would be typical of the sort of place, that for hundreds of years, supported the livelihoods of countless farming families in Wales. 

Whilst the average size of farms has increased since the 1930s, this trend has accelerated since 2000 - the number of people employed in agriculture is now at an all time low. 

What would once have been considered a large farm, capable of supporting a family and possibly several workers is now uneconomic.

Whislt many family farms have disappeared, some have sought diversification as a way of remaining in business. The farm depicted in this painting was one of those. Just to the left of this scene was a large, modern barn hosting Cardigan Coastal Farm Park, including an adventure playgound, farm walks, animal petting, a restaurant and a shop.

Farming the general public has become a lot more profitable than farming the land.

CANALS

 

Construction of the various parts of what was to become the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal began in 1792 but was not completed until 1812. Traversing 52 miles from Brecon to Newport, in its heyday it was a major industrial artery of south east Wales. It also linked over 200 miles of horse-drawn tramways, from as far afield as Kington in Herefordshire, to the sea at Newport. At its peak, 150,000 tonnes of coal were transported on it per year, but it was also important for the carriage of iron ore, limestone, wool and timber.

 

By the 1850s however, the railways had begun to take over, and the early twentieth century saw canals, such as this one, fall into all but total dereliction.

 

Whilst restoration and regeneration projects have ensured that parts of the "Mon & Brec' have become popular for recreation and tourism, other stretches have been filled-in and built upon, including forming some of the A467! So these transportation gateways, that were once marvels of civil engineering, and opened up so many areas of the country for perhaps the first time, have now- along with their communities of bargemen and lock-keepers - had their day.