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Augusta Llanover

Who was Augusta Llanover?

Augusta Hall, Lady Llanover (née Waddington) - known as the Bee of Gwent - was a 19th-century Welsh patron of the arts, folklorist, and supporter of Welsh culture. Born on May 21, 1802, in the Llanover estate in Monmouthshire, Wales, Augusta Llanover played a significant role in preserving and promoting Welsh traditions during a time when there was a growing concern about the decline of Welsh language and culture.

Augusta was the daughter of Benjamin Waddington, a wealthy landowner, and she grew up in a household that valued education and cultural pursuits.

Life and Work

In 1823, she married Benjamin Hall, a prominent politician who later became Baron Llanover. Together, they shared an interest in Welsh culture, and Augusta dedicated herself to the preservation and revitalization of traditional Welsh practices.

Lady Llanover was particularly passionate about Welsh folk music, language, and traditional costumes. She played a pivotal role in the eisteddfod movement, supporting and organizing cultural festivals that celebrated poetry, music, and literature in the Welsh language. Her efforts aimed to encourage a sense of national pride and identity among the Welsh people.

An accomplished artist, Augusta Llanover was also known for her support of Welsh art and craftsmanship. She commissioned and collected works from Welsh artists, helping to foster a revival of traditional artistic styles. Additionally, she played a crucial role in the popularization of the Welsh national costume, advocating for its use and ensuring that it became a symbol of Welsh identity.

Lady Llanover's contributions to Welsh culture extended beyond her advocacy for the arts. She actively promoted the Welsh language and established Welsh-speaking schools on her estate. Augusta also conducted research into Welsh folklore and traditions, publishing works that documented and preserved aspects of Welsh cultural heritage.

Despite her positive impact on Welsh culture, Augusta Llanover's attempts at cultural preservation were not universally embraced. Her strong opinions and forceful advocacy sometimes led to controversy, and she faced criticism from those who saw her as overly imposing in her efforts to shape Welsh cultural identity.

Augusta Hall, Lady Llanover, passed away on January 17, 1896, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the preservation and promotion of Welsh culture. Her contributions to the eisteddfod movement, support for Welsh art, and dedication to the revitalization of the Welsh language continue to be acknowledged and remembered in the cultural history of Wales.


  1. Jenkins, R. T. (1993). Lady Llanover, Patroness of the Arts in Wales. University of Wales Press.
  2. Ellis, M. (2002). Culture and the State: Responses to Lady Llanover’s Eisteddfod in the 1830s. The Welsh History Review, 21(3), 493-521.
  3. Evans, E. (2010). Augusta Hall, Lady Llanover: The Welsh Mecenas. National Library of Wales Journal, 32(1), 59-83.

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