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Sir Gardner Wilkinson in Gower by Jason Thompson and Robert Lucas Sir (John) Gardner Wilkinson (1797-1875) is a figure well-known in the history of Egyptology.1 First travelling to Egypt in 1821, he spent the following twelve years in an active programme of scholarship that took him to most of Egypt's major archaeological sites, which he sketched and described in detail in his notebooks. After returning to England he published Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians (1837), in the nineteenth century the most widely-read book about ancient Egypt, and a number of other books and articles. He has been justly credited with being "the real founder of Egyptology in Great Britain. It is less well known that for the last twenty years of his life Wilkinson was deeply involved with Gower, marrying a Gower woman, studying the antiquities of the peninsula, and making his home there. During the 1850s Wilkinson, knighted by Queen Victoria and at the height of his fame as a savant and Egyptologist, was a frequent guest of Lord and Lady Llanover at their mansion near Abergavenny. It was here that he met Lady Llanover's friend Caroline Lucas, daughter of Henry Lucas of Uplands Villa, Swansea, and a member of the well-known Gower family of Lucas of Stouthall.3 Sir Gardner found in Caroline someone who could share his intellectual and antiquarian tastes and his enthusiasm for botany-she was then engaged in writing her Weeds and Wildflowers, published in 1858-and an attachment soon developed between them. They were married in the parish church of Llanover on the 16th October 1856. He was aged fifty-nine to Caroline's thirty-four, but despite the difference in age the marriage was a devotedly happy one. Caroline lost no time in introducing Sir Gardner to her brother John Ponsonby Lucas, Rector of Rhossili and Llangennith, then a bachelor living with his aunt Harriet in the remote and lonely parsonage at the foot of Rhossili Down. Sir Gardner at once felt at home with the Rector, who shared his lively sense of fun, and with Aunt Harriet who was a gardening enthusiast. Over the next few years the visits to Rhossili parsonage were regular and prolonged. Wilkinson began happily exploring the Gower villages, cliffs, and commons, busy with notebook and sketch pad. During that period Wilkinson produced a remarkable contribution to the study of Gower antiquities, a detailed manuscript map entitled "Map of Gower, Western Extremity, from actual Survey, J. Gardner Wilkinson, 1 860-1 86 1".4 This map is beautifully drawn to a scale of two inches to one mile, and surveyed with surprising accuracy considering the limited