St. Catherine’s Rock

Unlike so many of the landscape images on Reusable Art, we actually know the subject of this one. St. Catherine’s Island, known by locals as St. Catherine’s Rock was once considered by the British to be a strategic coastline position against a French invasion. During low tide, you can walk to the island from Pembrokeshire, Wales. In 1870, the British completed a Palmerston fort, one of several forts named for the Prime Minister who had convinced Queen Victoria that a threat of French invasion was imminent. No invasion came and the forts became known as Palmertson’s Follies. The picture was accompanied by little information but I’m guessing that this drawing was either just before or while the fort was being built. The fort remains but the island has been abandoned to the birds. The Nursery, February 1877 is where I found this illustration.

St. Catherine's Rock

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.