‘Long-lost’ painting to be showcased at renovated Maesteg Town Hall

A long-lost painting by a renowned Maesteg artist is set to be displayed in the town’s redeveloped town hall.

Christopher Williams’ artworks have been on display in Maesteg Town Hall since 1934 and are now set to be joined by another artwork which was thought to be long lost.

The painting, which depicts the Llynfi Ironworks – his only known landscape of his beloved Maesteg – had been kept in storage since 1971 and was tracked down by a relative of the artist.

Once restored to its original glory, the rediscovered landscape will be displayed at Maesteg Town Hall in its original frame for all to see once the £8m redevelopment of the historic building is completed.

Born in 1873, Christopher Williams studied at London’s Royal College of Art. He is credited with several notable works of art including depictions of characters from The Mabinogion – ancient Welsh tales of myths and legends – as well as portraits of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George who described Williams as ‘one of the most gifted artists Wales has produced’.

Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “It is fantastic to hear that this long-lost artwork by one of Wales’ finest artists has been rediscovered and will take pride of place in the redeveloped Maesteg Town Hall.

“We are looking forward to being able to open the doors to the public so that they can enjoy the transformation of the building as well as the artwork.

“Construction on this much-loved venue is a historic occasion for Maesteg. Much work has been done to get to this stage where an ageing building can be transformed into a beautiful venue fit for generations to come.

The redevelopment of Maesteg Town Hall will see the Grade II listed building restored back to its former glory and extended on one side with a new glass atrium, studio theatre and cinema space, a café and mezzanine bar, and a modern library.

Bridgend County Borough Council is working in partnership with Awen Cultural Trust and a number of key funders on the project which is one of the biggest investments in Maesteg in decades.

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, added: “We are grateful to the family of Christopher Williams for this long-term loan of the Llynfi Ironworks painting to the Town Hall, so that we can ‘bring it home’ to the people of Maesteg and surrounding communities to see and appreciate.

“We believe it is the only landscape painting that Christopher Williams made of his hometown, and given that the miners of the valley originally levied a day’s wages towards the cost of Maesteg Town Hall, it is particularly poignant that this important piece of local cultural heritage will be showcased at the venue when it reopens.”

The project is being funded by Bridgend County Borough Council, Welsh Government regeneration funding, the Valleys Task Force, the European Regional Development Fund, Awen Cultural Trust, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Maesteg Town Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Davies Trust.

You can follow the progress of the re-development on the Maesteg Town Hall website or Facebook page.

Image Credit: Maesteg Town Hall website