Written in 1770 “Observations on the River Wye and Several Parts of South Wales, etc Relative Chiefly to Picturesque”, to give it it’s full title, was the first travel book and one of many by William Gilpin, author, artist, travel writer, Master in Arts Oxford, clergyman and headmaster of Cheam School for Boys.
Although first published 250 years ago in 1782 it was actually written in 1770, this publication is generally held to be the making the Wye tour, so popular at that time, and starting the new era of tourism in Britain.
Several books have been published about the man and his book and countless references made in tourist brochures, newspaper articles and on websites advertising holidays in the area of Ross on Wye to Chepstow. Not least in our society’s own recent and successful Tourism on the Wye exhibition. So many that it is rather pointless in my tying to reinvent the wheel to come up with new one here.
Perhaps the best recently is the local production Gilpin 2020.
And Gilpin the man.