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There is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that women in rural Wales had taken to wearing Stovepipe or Top Hats manufactured for men, by the 1790s as this article on the ceredigion county council website attests.Quite why the women in this one corner of the British Isles chose to adopt this traditional male headgear is unknown but it has been suggested that they were imitating the tall riding hats they saw gentlewomen wear while out riding.
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Forget about flowers and chocolates, the traditional Welsh courting gift is the love spoon.
Typically carved from wood, the spoon features symbols of long-lasting love such as hearts and padlocks and is intended to demonstrate that the giver will always feed and provide for their lover.
Two main shapes of Welsh hat were made during the 19th century: those with drum shaped (vertical sided) crowns were worn in north-west Wales, and those with slightly tapering crowns were found in the rest of Wales.
The hat may have developed from a number of types of tall hat including the riding hat, which ladies wore during the early part of the 19th century, (as illustrated in the Llanover prints) but no evidence has been discovered which explains why, during the late 1830s, the tall hat with the stiff, flat brim, which is unique to the Welsh hat, replaced the other types of men’s hat worn by many rural women in Wales at the time.