4. St. Germans Priory now Port Elliot
Antiquities of England and Wales is a compendium of historical monuments, written and illustrated by Francis Grose. It is considered one of the most important antiquarian publications of the 18th century and was released in just over one hundred parts from 1772 to 1787. It was republished in an eight-volume set in 1809. In the introduction to Antiquities Grose stated that he hoped to popularise English and Welsh historical monuments by producing a readable and general introduction to the subject.
About the author (from the website of the British Library):
Francis Grose (1731–91) published the 18th century’s most extensive series of illustrations of ancient monuments. A thousand plates with accompanying descriptions, based on his and others’ views and researches, appeared in the 10 volumes of The Antiquities of England and Wales (1772–76, Supplement, 1777–87), of Scotland (1789–91) and of Ireland (1791–95).
Undecided what profession to follow, Grose in his early years had the makings of the dilettante antiquary. At the age of 40, however, he was inspired to respond to widening interest in British antiquities and to make the remains of the past more intelligible and accessible to his lay readers. Financial necessity later drove him harder. While he may not have advanced the scholarly projects of learned antiquaries, he had an uncommon breadth of conception of what antiquarian studies should embrace. Well equipped by an amiable personality, Grose was as able to collect dialect among the rank and file of the Army, as to examine the curios of the gentry. By doing so, he contributed significantly to the study of slang and folklore and of military antiquities, as well as to popular appreciation of the medieval monuments of Britain.
When The Antiquities started to appear in 1772, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck’s Views of the Ruins of Castles and Abbeys in England and Wales (428 plates, 1726–42) was the only sizeable collection of its sort in print. The dedication to a grand patron took precedence over any description of the ruin in the narrow space on the engraved plate beneath the view, never more than 200 words and usually fewer. Grose’s views, though much smaller, were similar in character, as panoramas of medieval structures to convey the maximum information, rather than interesting compositions or illustrations of details. Grose’s novelty was to publish text with the views, typically about 600 words.