Chamber Tomb of Pentre Ifan near Newport, Pembrokeshire and The Tolmen of Constantine, Cornwall

Richard Tongue was committed to his role as a recorder of megaliths, which are large stones that form historic monuments. Often located in sites not easily accessed, Tongue wished to increase the awareness of those who would have no opportunity to visit them and the importance of recognising the need for preservation and protection. One can understand Tongue’s motivations in light of the fact that the Tolem, a natural phenomenon no longer in existence, was dislodged by workers in 1869 and rolled into the 40-foot quarry below. The public outcry that followed this led to the Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882. The Chamber Tomb of Pentre Ifan, however, does still stand as is the largest Neolithic burial chamber in Wales. Presented by Tongue to the Society in 1835 these two paintings resonate with the history and politics of recoding, preserving, and protecting artefacts.

Artist / Maker
Richard Tongue (fl. 1835-1838)
Both oil on canvas
51 x 71cm
Burlington House