Dudley Castle c. 1686 (M Burghers)
This is the earliest surviving print of Dudley Castle. An engraving on copper, it was produced by the Dutch engraver, M Burghers and included in Plot’s Natural History of Staffordshire (1686). It shows the castle, the seat of the Ward family, barons of Dudley, set upon a richly wooded hill where deer graze in a clearing. In the foreground is a pastoral scene with cattle. The woodland did not last long. Views of the Castle by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck (c. 1731) and Thomas Sanders (c. 1777) show a hillside progressively shorn of trees. The Wards were keen to exploit the economic potential of their estates and the wood was cut down for fuel.
Robert Plot, The Natural History of Staffordshire (Oxford, 1686).
Image from: Local Studies and History, Birmingham Central Library« Previous in this sectionNext in this section »