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Lyn Tegid lake, Bala. This is the location of the rare Gwyniad fish, trapped in the lake at the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago. Pennant's name is included in its scientific name - Coregonus pennantii.



20.10.22 Thomas Pennant Lecture - October 20th

Plays, Poetry and Thomas Pennant:

Dr Rhys Kaminski-Jones:

University of Aberystwyth

Holywell Library, Wednesday October 18, at 7.30pm

Tickets: £3 from the library (at the Leisure Centre)

Phone: 01352 703850

More Information about the Thomas Pennant Lecture 2022



30.09.22 An Autumnal Review & Bulletin: Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant: Sept/Oct/Medi/ Hydref 2022.

Dear Colleagues/Annwyl Gyfeillion

General: Many thanks to all members who have renewed their subs for 2022, this really helps the Cymdeithas in its activities. Also members who change their e-mail addresses, or come on to e-mail, could they let me know. Following Data Protection Regulations, with members’ permission, we are permitted to keep records of e-mails. Further, on Sept/Medi 2nd we had a very successful Social at Carmel Cricket Club and we made a small profit! Thanks/diolch to all participants.

Activities: Our next major event is the Annual Pennant Lecture on Thursday/Iau 20th October/Hydref at 7.30pm in Holywell Library.Our speaker will be Dr. Rhys Kaminski-Jones of The University of Wales, Aberystwyth and who will lecture on:’ Plays, Poetry & Thomas Pennant’Tickets will cost £3.00 per person and will,be available shortly, on a ‘First Come, First Served Basis’.In the Library there is room for 70 participants

Following the Pennant Lecture on Saturday/Sadwrn,1st Oct/Hydref the Cymdeithas will participate in a Northop History Day, from 10.00am-4.45pm.We will be in the Edith Bankes Hall in Northop and members are most welcome to attend tha days’s events, including talks and lectures.

Our next Pennant talk will be held on Saturday/Sadwrn, 29th October/Hydref, at 2.00pm in Penbryn Chapel/Capel Penbryn, Whitford St/Stryd Chwitffordd, Holywell/Treffynnon. The talk will be given by Brian Bennett on the topic of Deltiology/Postcards of the lcal area. After the talk refreshments will be served

The A.G.M.this year will be held on Friday/Gwener 18th Novembr/Tachwedd at 2.00pm in the meeting Centre at Gorsedd Church. Gorsedd, is, of course in Pennant Country. The the ‘Parliament’ of the Cymdeithas and members are urged to attend.
Thanks to the efforts of our Chair, Norman Closs Parry, this year, there is a real possibility of a Christmas Lunch/Nadolig on Friday/Gwener 16th December/Rhagfyr, 12.30pm for 1.00pm. The lunch will be provided by ‘On Tne Corner’of Carewys and menus and prices will be available at the A.G.M.

2023: We are already in the planning stage for our activities in 2023. We already have a speaker booked for our Annual, Pennant Lecture on October/Hydref and the speaker will be Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd-Jones, Head of The Advanced Centre FGor Welsh & Celtic Sties ( CAWCS ), Aberystwyth.

We are also thrilled to announce that on Tuesday/Mawrth 21st March/Mawrth, thanks to the organisation of our President, Dr.Goronwy Wynne and supported by our Chair Norman Closs Parry, that a lecture will be given by the distinguished naturalist and Environmentalist and YV presenter, Iolo Williams. The event will be held in Holywell/Treffynnon Library at 7.30pm.The lecture will be given in Welsh and possibly with translation facilities and will reflect the bi-lingual commitment of Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant.

Later in the year, we also, hope to arrange a planned talk on ‘Cynefin’ ( Habitat ), as well as arranging our A.G.M. and so forth. We do sincerely hope to see many of our members and interested people at the events that we have outlined for 2022-23. Hwyl (Paul Brighton (Sec/YSG )


04.07.17 Thomas Pennant Lecture - October 18


'Thomas Pennant Lecture

Plays, Poetry and Thomas Pennant:

Dr Rhys Kaminski-Jones:

University of Aberystwyth

Holywell Library

Thursday October 20th

At 7.30p.m.

Tickets: £3.00 from the library (at the Leisure Centre)
Phone 01352 703850


02.08.16 Letter - Walk in Downing Woods - click here

10.06.16 Report on the 2016 Annual Pennant Tour to the North Yorkshire Coast

We set off a little later this year than usual, on 10th.June, for a tour of the north Yorkshire coastal area, based in Scarborough.
After quite a long haul, our first port of call was Hull Suspension Bridge, where we crossed from the northern shore off the motorway, and then returned to the Country Park Hotel for lunch, with views over the river and bridge.

Click here for the full report


Click here to see the list


Present: Norman Closs Parry (Chair); Ryan Jenner (Co-ordinator of I/C;
Paul Brighton (Secretary) and Ian Bancroft FCC

(i) Transfer of Holywell Library to Leisure Centre, scheduled for 1st. October 2016.
But Cymdeithas WILL be accommodated for Pennant Lecture on 20th. October.
(ii) Transfer of library will be in stages; Ian Bancroft will give up-dates.
(iii) Pennant lecture will still be most likely in the Holywell Library building, even if library moved to Leisure Centre.

(i) Clarification of accommodation of Pennant artefacts (currently in Holywell Library)
PLUS a possible bequest of Pennant books.
(ii) Issues of a) security of valuable books plus b) space in library/ additional space in
Leisure Centre.
(iii) Ian Bancroft will talk to Kate Leonard, incoming Head of Library Service ( Penny Corbett, the current head, retires at the end of May 2016) 
(iv) It was agreed that Cymdeithas, the Library Service and Ian Bancroft will meet onsite at Holywell Library on Thursday, 7th. July at 10.00 a.m. 

3) a) Pennant Lecture 2016: Thursday, 20th October : Flintshire County Council WILL
 THE LECTURE FEE OF £75.00 for 2016.

b) Lecture 2017: The chairman reported that he had invited as guest speaker
Professor Nigel Leask of Glasgow University for the Pennant Lecture 2017.
Cymdeithas will discuss funding with Ian Bancroft in 2017.

(Paul Brighton: for Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant)

16.11.15 Curious Travellers


The University of Wales and Glasgow University are currently running a four-year research project on Thomas Pennant and the Welsh and Scottish Tour 1760 – 1820.

For information and upcoming events go to






06.07.15 Visit to the National Library of Wales:   2nd September/Medi 2015:

Click here for details of the visit

06.07.15 Summer Newsletter

My apologies for not being in touch recently, but now there are some important developments in the Cymdeithas’ programme which you should be informed about.

Click here to read the full newsletter.


We are delighted that our lecturer for the 2015 ‘ Silver Jubilee’  lecture will be Dr. Mary-Ann Constantine, Senior Researcher at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth. Dr. Constantine has launched a project, based on a study of Pennant’s Scottish and Welsh tours and we hope that our Pennant scholars will be able to make an input to this project.

More generally, the Cymdeithas has continued to be involved in other projects, such as the proposal for North Flintshire to be designated as ‘ Pennant Country ‘ and we continue to be associated with Whitford Church and the ‘ Sacred Doors ‘ project which includes items in the church about Thomas Pennant. We also, as individuals, give support to Holywell’s ‘Town Partnership’ Scheme and, as is well known, Thomas Pennant was active in the town and in writing about The Greenfield Valley. Our website remains very active with a considerable number of  monthly ‘hits’ and our thanks go to our IT Co-ordinator, Ryan Jenner and our website provider, Delwedd, of Caerarnfon, for all their efforts. Our website remains:

Finally, when you read this piece, the society will have held it’s A.G.M. and sadly, at this gathering, we said farewell to our excellent treasurer, Jim Maxwell who is retiring. Jim is a stalwart of the Cymdeithas and we are so grateful and appreciative for all his hard work and efforts on our behalf over the years. We are delighted to report that Sally Chinery has agreed to be Jim’s replacement as treasurer.

Naturally, we are grateful for all the interest that is and may be shown in our society and we are always happy to welcome anybody who may care to join us and contribute their knowledge and ideas.
Thank you: Diolch yn Fawr: Paul Brighton: Secretary/Ysgrifennydd.

12.11.14 Annual Pennant Lecture Report Winter 2014

Since the Summer of 2014, Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant has continued with a range of activities. However, the highlight of our early autumn programme, was the 18th Annual Pennant Lecture, held in Holywell Library on Thursday, 16th October.


Click here for the full report


Left: Jim Perrin pointing at the message ‘The Literary Squire of Downing’ on the society’s commemorative stone in Whitford village’.

05.09.14 18th Annual Lecture Pennant ar Dydd Iau 16 Hydref 2014, 7:30yh


More information - click here

11.08.14 New Project : Curious Travellers

More information - click here

07.02.14 Pennant Annual Spring Tour 2014

Tour Details - click here

Additional Notes - click here

Plan to name north Flintshire ‘Pennant Country’ to boost tourism

PART of Flintshire could be named ‘Pennant Country’ in a bid to rival popular tourist destinations including Brontë Country - click here









Click on the poster for more information






26.07.13 Pennant Annual Spring Tour 2014

The Pennant Annual Tour for 2014 will be centred around Harrogate. The provisional dates are Friday 9th. to Sunday 11th. May.

As usual, all are welcome. More details will follow but please note the dates.

W. J. Maxwell

19:07:13 - 17th Annual Lecture

05:07:13 - Gweithdy Thomas Pennant Workshop
This was the second of two British Academy/University of Glasgow/Prifysgol Cymru/The Learned Society of Wales and National Library of Wales - sponsored ‘Thomas Pennant Week-ends.’ It was held in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. The first was held in Glasgow in February last, when the participants read papers and shared recent research into the Scottish Tours aspect of the life of Pennant and his fellow travellers. June 7th-8th was the turn of Wales to play host to a conference/workshop on Thomas Pennant and his ‘Tour in Wales’.

It was a wonderful week-end weather-wise. The journey from Carmel/Holywell , Bala, Dolgellau , 
Tal-y-Llyn, Machynlleth and on to Aberystwyth was a joy to undertake. The sun shone, Wales was in bloom, and the various locations on the journey had their particular beauty.

There were approximately fifty members in the Council Chamber of the Library of Wales for registration and coffee at 1.30 p.m. Those of us who had been north in February were pleased to see fellow Pennant enthusiasts from that workshop.

It was the joint course directors, Mary-Ann Constantine of the Centre for Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth and Prof. Nigel Leask of the English Dept. at Glasgow, who welcomed every-one and gave a brief preview of the programme.

The following three papers were introduced before tea at 4.15 and a chance to look round the National Library’s current and permanent exhibition – a very good display.

Prof. Dafydd Johnston (Celtic Centre) spoke about ‘ Thomas Pennant and Owain Glyndwr’. (When he spoke, the members of Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant present realised how lucky they were to have Prof. Johnston to deliver the Annual Pennant Lecture in the Autumn!) Dr. Paul Evans ( one of our own founder members) gave the next paper – ‘Pennant’s extra-illustrated Tour in Wales and his artists Moses Griffith and John Ingleby’, which was followed by a joint presentation by Dr. Paul Joyner [ who has given a Pennant Lecture in the past] and Martin Crampin, who discussed the extra-illustrated ‘Tours’ and other Pennant holdings at the N.L.W.

The venue of the Keynote Lecture was his well-known Drwm in the Library Complex, and the guest lecturer was the famous author and travel writer-cum-environmentalist and Guardian Country Diary writer Jim Perrin. Many of the course participants had brought their copies of his most recent publication about Snowdon, which actually formed the basis of his excellent lecture ‘Pennant on Snowdon’. During the Wine Reception which followed, as the Chairman of Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant, I invited Mr. Perrin to give the 2014 Annual Pennant lecture, which he was very pleased to accept.

On Saturday, another glorious Aberystwyth day!, in a prompt start at 9.30 a.m., Gareth Griffith gave a powerpoint-assisted lecture on ‘Biological connections: Hugh Davies and Thomas Pennant’. Gareth, (like Dr. Goronwy Wynne and myself later), made use of the simultaneous translation service for all papers delivered in Welsh. This was followed by Dr. Christopher Donaldson’s paper on Pennant and the ‘discovery’ of the Lake District.

Between 10.45/11.15 coffe break and 1.00 p.m., Dr. Goronwy Wynne read his paper on ‘Thomas Pennant the Naturalist’, Caroline Kirkham presented ‘A Pennant Legacy of botanical touring and observation for 19th. Century Wales’ and I spoke on ‘Pennant and the Queen of the Lakes’.

After a wonderful buffet lunch, and before Professor Prys Morgan’s Response at 5.00 p.m., there were excellent papers by Stephen Briggs - ‘Thomas Pennant: antiquary and archeologist’; Jane Hawks - ‘Constructing identities in the eighteen century: Thomas Pennant and the early medieval sculpture of Scotland and England’; John Barrell - ‘A nasty piece of work: Pennant in the 1790’s ‘
(quite controversial!!); and finally Elizabeth Edwards’ ‘Pennant’s afterlives: poetry, quotation, history and authority’.

Professor Prys Morgan did not sum up for long, but he was both entertaining and learned….thus he appeared to me the ideal person to sum up the procedure. It only remains now for the two departments – Glasgow and Aberystwyth – to work together and hopefully to produce a transaction document from both courses which will be of benefit to present and future Pennant scholars and enthusiasts alike!

Norman Closs Parry

June 28th. , 2013

31:05:13 Report on the 2013 Thomas Pennant Tour

This year the tour took us to two main centres, Lincoln and Spalding.

We set off on the morning of Friday, 3rd. May, heading for Lincoln via Buxton and Chesterfield, travelling through the beautiful Peak District.

Our first port of call in Buxton was the Crescent, one of the first purpose-built hotel buildings in Britain, modelled on the Crescent in Bath. We then visited the Dome; this was originally built to house the grooms and horses of the gentry staying in the Crescent. It later became a hospital for the poor and is now part of the campus of the University.

The next stop was Chesterfield, where we saw the crooked spire, wandered through the market and had lunch. We reached Lincoln in time for an afternoon tour of the Cathedral. When Pennant visited it, Moses Griffith made illustrations of several of its features. Our guides had prepared well and, apart from their usual interesting information, enlightened us on the skills and tricks of Moses Griffiths and the other illustrators of the time.

On Saturday morning, we headed for Spalding. We first called in at the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, where Pennant, accompanied by Sir Joseph Banks, a local botanist and explorer, had become country members. Here we saw the ledger with their names written in the margin, and a fantastic array of memorabilia donated by local people. We didn’t really have enough time to do it justice; nevertheless, every-one enjoyed it.

We then set off for Springfields Shopping Centre, a few miles outside Spalding, to witness the Annual Spalding Flower Show and Parade. The parade consisted of bands, jugglers, early cycle riders, and other entertainers plus a massive number of huge floats. Because of the bad winter, the usual abundance of tulips was not available, so many of the displays were created using tissue, but nevertheless the colours and designs were magnificent. The tour members enjoyed the parade plus the opportunity to shop in the many outlets at Springfield.

Sunday morning saw us heading for Horncastle, east of Lincoln, where we called in 
at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre. We were made very welcome by members and shown over their displays of Banks memorabilia, local crafts and a courtyard garden of plants directly linked to Banks, either by his voyage with Captain Cook or by collectors sponsored by him. We exchanged views on our societies and agreed to share ideas and experiences for mutual benefit. The Society was presented with a copy of ‘Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment’ by John Gascoigne.

From Horncastle, we crossed to Southwell, where we toured the Minster. Its many fine features included a display of ancient books, one of which was a Welsh bible.
After lunch in the refectory, we set off for home via the Peaks and Derbyshire Dales, calling in at Bakewell for tea and a sample of Bakewell Pudding.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the tour and I’d like to make a personal vote of thanks
to all the tourers, members and guests, for their co-operation and promptness, which helped a great deal.

Special thanks are due to Paul Brighton our secretary for all his assistance, both on and off the coach, Ann Williams, for her excellent raffle, which raised a tidy sum for the society, to Ian Thomas, our courier/driver, with his excellent driving and route planning, and also to Voel Motors, for their assistance with entrance tickets for events and for a handsome cheque which we will ensure will be spent on a specific item for the Society.

Ryan Jenner

Click here for more photos


flintshire chronicle

25:02:13 - Plan to name north Flintshire ‘Pennant Country’ to boost tourism - report from The Flintshire Chronicle - click here

17:01:13 - 'Mostyns of Mostyn Hall’ meeting postponed because of adverse weather conditions

14:01:13 - Thomas Pennant’s Tours of Wales and Scotland
University of Glasgow, 1-2 February 2013


The first of Two multi-disciplinary workshops hosted by the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and the University of Glasgow.

Click here for more information

14:01:13 News from Paul Brighton, Secretary - click here

23.11.2012 - Kites, Sloes and Celtic Studies

You don’t have to take my word for it – you can ask anyone of the fellow travellers who were on the Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant Autumn mission to the Centre of Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies on Thursday October 25 to Aberystwyth – it was a marvellous trip!

Professor Dafydd Johnson [monoglot English, born in Hull – learnt Welsh during his Cambridge years and after – to such a degree he has been in his time the Chair for Welsh at Swansea – and now head of this Centre!] and Dr Marie – Ann Constantine extended an invitation to our society to visit their Centre – an annexe of the National Library of Wales – but independent of it. In exchange, they wanted to test our views about two public meetings, with exhibits and speakers, on the life and influence of Thomas Pennant...working in tandem with Glasgow University who are going to run parallel meeting(s). These, the two pronged attack so to speak will have as their themes “Pennant and the Tours in Wales”, and Pennant and the Tours in Scotland. Interesting!

It was as cold as death at 8am in Carmel when the coach picked us up in the Chapel Car Park...but as we made our way to Denbigh and towards Ruthin, we could see strips of blue and broken clouds over the Clwydian Hills...this was hopeful!

Bala was to be our comfort stop. We had travelled through Edeyrnion viewing and appreciating the autumn colours – especially the beech trees in the Rhug Estate... (They have built a brand new top market Farm Shop and complex there now!) It was fortunate that we arrived in the old town on Bala Fair day of ancient links...every car/bus park and street was full – so full speed ahead and a lovely stop at the Leisure Centre on the bank of Llyn Tegid...none of your Bala Lake with us!

When I travel this way either to Aberystwyth or to Tal y Llyn and Llyn Mwyngil for the fishing, I go along the Bala/Dolgellau geological fault gap – turn up to Brithdir, to the Cross and down the V shaped valley towards Tal y Llyn – then to Corris and over the bridge to Machynlleth. Not our driver! He did not fancy that quick way – why? The sat nav told him otherwise! I am glad. I had not been down the pass to Dinas Mawddwy and through the lovely picturesque villages Llan y Mawddwy to Penegoes for a long time. I had been quiet for most of the journey – it makes a pleasant change to sit high up and look – instead of glimpsing whilst driving along those narrow country roads! It was at the valley bottom, and everybody looking and commenting on the beauty of autumn in the beeches, oaks and ash groves[for how long? now that the continental fungus has started on one of our native ash trees? Do you remember the 70’s and the Dutch Elm??] Even the Japanese Larch was beautiful in its autumnal amber .

Look”...commanded trip master – Ryan Jenner! There was no time, and no need to enquire “what” – “The kingly Welsh Kite – Y Barcud Coch floated with its russet body, slate grey head and swallow like tail in all its majesty from the copse to the left to the sheep pasture on the right. This was turning out to be some trip!

The sun broke through – and as we came to Penegoes I asked - (tongue in cheek) – “What is the connection between here and Mold?”

Very ambiguous question – but a very interesting answer. The artist Richard Wilson – one of the all time landscape artist greats was born in this valley – died in poverty in Loggerheads and remembered in Mold Church!

All at once, most people noticed ‘pink’. Pink ribbons on fences, trees, door knobs – everyone thought “April”! Whatever is the stuff of prayers – I felt we said one in silence! A month of mystery and agony is a long time. From Machynlleth to Tal – y – Bont (of flood fame) and Bow Street (of funny name in such a Welsh – Ceredigion country)...looking at the acres of pegged out experiments belonging to the Welsh Agricultural College...and then, and then another kite before we dropped down to Aber, and left turn on the hill and to the glorious National Library of Wales grounds.

The whole place, the whole vista was bathed in sunshine – it was shirt sleeve warm, and the deadly cold of Carmel forgotten!

I doubt if there is a better view, indeed a more imposing National Library in the whole of Western Europe than ours? We gathered on the “balcony” – looked out over the town – the Hen Goleg (Old College) and Bae Ceredigion – absolutely glorious! There were lots of camera clicks.

In no time at all we were entertained for lunch in the Pendinas Restaurant before viewing the Pennant manuscripts and memorabilia that were laid out for us in the Summers Room [of Flintshire connection].
I freely admit to being near to tears when pursuing some of them – two hundred years was as naught – but for the pane of glass, between me and Thomas...especially the small manuscript notebook full of jotted observations on North Wales...A description of a walk up Snowdon...”The last the highest on this side of the mountain [Llyn Coch] on whose margins (in fairy days) those diminutive beings were said to keep their revels...walk along a green track afterwards, another story steep; then a second green space, near which is a fine spring of the coolest and best water I ever tasted”... I know exactly where you were Thomas! And this book was in your pocket up Snowdon?!”

Then...and funnily enough I thought of our Met Man in the 5 Villages – Prof Roberts Moore, he would like to see Downing [5 Villages?!] Meteorological records...this was open for us on July 1787...”This day the inside of a house on Denbigh Green was torn to pieces by lightning, five people in it were stunned but received no material injury, three cows were killed in an adjoining field”.”Thomas, - in the early 70’s I saw a cow being electrocuted – just a zzzzdddd of blue in Tyddyn Farm Field...Rhes - y – Cae!”

Time flew...and all too soon it was time to go. Ryan had arranged another mini trip up Constitution Hill in the Cliff Cable Car...The sun still shone, the late afternoon was warm, and the views from the top – stunning! I walked and looked, looked and walked before returning to the cable car was there and then – on top of the Constitution Hill I saw them! It has generally been a bad year for fruit, this is primarily because the winds and frosts of March when the blackthorn was in bloom, and when the orchards started blooming and the holly male and female trees hang their flowers in expectation.

Everyone is commenting and the lack of apples, plums, pears and holly berries – but in the middle of this great dearth, here at the very top of this western sea facing cliff, the sloes were “pingo”- which is a Cardigan Welsh word for abounding! As the car moved down – and I said “too late” to collect – even for one little bottle of sloe gin for Christmas...I pondered as to why they were as plentiful there.

I though along the lines of the prevailing westerlies here [ hence the crooked bend in the hedges] and since they are warmer and “saltier” here than in our North East – the frost did not last long, if at all?
The drive, in the eve of the day, towards the 5 Villages was full of shades and shadows of the low western setting sun...then, I saw him...My eye caught site of a cloud of seagulls over the edge of Cors Fochno, and there in all his majesty, the red and blue feathers made magnificent by the setting sun...a red kite...our eighth of the trip, and our best and most beautiful! Like the daffodil is our national flower, is the red kite our national bird?

The journey home was just checking views and impressions and working overtime as to work to be done to foster Pennant projects...and being grateful for such a glorious day, thanking Ryan for organising the whole trip and all because we want to keep the name of the ‘Literary Squire of Downing’ where it should be – in the forefront of Welsh people of “memorable honour,” and the academic world of Celtic Studies!

Norman Closs - Parry


Annual Pennant Lecture - Press Release

Holywell Library and Learners' Centre will be hosting the Annual Pennant Lecture on Wednesday 17 October, at 7.30pm.

Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant has invited Professor Robin Jarvis to deliver this year's lecture entitled 'Thomas Pennant, Eighteenth Century Tourist’.

Professor Robin Jarvis is Professor of English Literature at University of the West of England in Bristol. During his academic career he has lectured in English at UWE, Bristol, King Alfred’s College, Winchester, University of Lancaster, North East Surrey College of Technology, University of Tunis, Tunisia and University of Southampton.

Professor Jarvis is the author of the following publications:

Wordsworth, Milton and the Theory of Poetic Relations. London: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.

Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel. Basingstoke: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997.

The Romantic Period: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1789-1830. Longman Literature in English Series. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2004.

Romantic Readers and Transatlantic Travel: Expeditions and Tours in North America, 1760-1840. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012.

Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) was a world renowned naturalist and traveller of his day. He lived at Downing, Whitford near Holywell. The Pennant group exists to celebrate his achievements and promote further study of his life.

Councillor Chris Bithell, Cabinet Member for Education, said:

"The 16th Annual Pennant Lecture will be an interesting and stimulating evening, continuing an established tradition of engaging expert speakers to add to the body of knowledge about Thomas Pennant. Pennant Lectures are always well attended, so I would urge those wishing to attend to book in advance."

Tickets are available at Holywell Library, priced at £3 (concessions £2). Places are strictly limited, so advance purchase is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment on the night.

For further details phone the library on 01352 713157.

concert advert

Annual Pennant Lecture

October 17 2012

Click on the poster for more information

Latest news from the Secretary

Information about the AGM 21:09:12 - click here

An addition to the Walks section - an abbreviated Walk Three for families

This walk might prove popular with families as it’s shorter, mostly downhill and has refreshment stops and activities for the kids. Visit the Walk 3 page or click here

The 2012 Thomas Pennant Tour from Downing to Alston Moor

This years Tour was designed to follow as nearly as possible in the footsteps of Thomas Pennant; but only where practical. Hence the official tour did not really start until we reached the outskirts of Clitheroe.

Here we visited Standen Hall, the home of the Aspinall family, whom Pennant praised for their hospitality when he stayed. We were greeted by John, the present occupier of the hall and Martin, the heir to the estate. They opened the house to our members, provided excellent refreshments and answered questions on many topics.

From here we progressed via the Ribblehead Viaduct to Kirkby Lonsdale, where we caught a glimpse of the famous Devil’s Bridge and had lunch. Then on to Appleby, where a guide showed us around the town, opened the 11th Century Moot Hall and gave us a short history of the town in Pennant’s time. We then entered Scotland to stay at the Gretna Hall hotel; very pleasant with excellent food.

On Saturday, we set off for Alston Moor. Here we enjoyed a steam train ride and visited Killhope Lead Mine, which despite it’s worrying name was interesting; we think possibly the lead mines were the reason Pennant went to Alston. After lunch we visited Penrith and had some free time to wander and shop before returning to the hotel.

Our last day started with a most enjoyable cruise down Ullswater followed by a slight hiccup at Ingleton, where the café where we had booked lunch denied any knowledge of us! Despite this, the staff did their best to cater for everyone. Then many of us went to Ingleton Pottery, where we were instructed and entertained by the owner.

On our way home we found Clitheroe completely closed so made do with a Service station for a quick drink before arriving back at about 7.30 p.m.

All in all it was a pleasant journey; the great bonus was the varied and beautiful scenery, much enjoyed by Pennant and colleagues, we are sure, and the highlight was the initial welcome at Standen Hall; a special thanks to Martin and John Aspinall and staff.

Where to in 2013?


Gwyl Pennant Festival Concert - 16th June - Whitford Church

The concert was very well received and reports since have been highly complimentary. The church was pretty full and included a substantial number of parents from Cor Glanaethwy. All the artistes were brilliant; Aled Wyn Davies,Ceri Haf Roberts and Tom Blomfield. They were splendidly accompanied by Dafydd Lloyd Jones.

The Cor Glanaethwy were amazing and the audience, which included experienced musicians, commented how professional and brilliant they were. Some of the Junior choir were very young indeed and their conductor, Rhian Roberts, told the audience that both the Senior and Junior Choirs have won through to the finals of a major forthcoming competition. They were also very well accompanied.

Next Meeting 
The next meeting of the Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant is on Friday, 29th June at 7.00pm in Lloc Chapel, where David Richards will talk to us on 'Hooded Tombs'.

concert advert
press release

Click on the posters for more information

Events in 2012

Fri 20 Jan


Penbryn Chapel

Dewi Roberts on Gerard Manley Hopkins

Fri 20 April


Whitford Church

General Meeting

Fri 18 - Sun 20 May

SPRING TOUR - Alston Moor

Mon 11 – Sat 16 June

FESTIVAL WEEK - Saturday Concert, Whitford Church

Fri 29 June


Capel Sion Lloc

David Richards on ‘Local Curiosities’

Fri 21 Sept


Whitford Church

General Meeting

Wed 17 Oct


Holywell Library

– Prof. Robin Jarvis

Fri 9 Nov


Whitford Church

A. G. M.

Fri 14 Dec



Fri 25 Jan 2013


Sion Capel Lloc


Gŵyl Pennant Festival June 2012:

In a statement issued today, Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant ( Thomas Pennant Society) indicated the Society's intention to hold a Gŵyl Pennant Festival in June 2012.

The plan is to hold a concert in Whitford Church on Saturday, 16th June 2012, involving distinguished local choirs and artistes. In the preceding days of the festival ( llth-15th June ), it is hoped to run literary and artistic activities involving local schools.

Commented Cymdeithas Thomas Pennant/Society Chair, Norman
Closs Parry:
"This is an exciting project and we are very enthusiastic to see it come to fruition. But it will involve a great deal of planning and preparation, fund-raising and commitment of our Society...

"But we are determined to succeed and to make a contribution to our community and to the memory and promotion of Thomas Pennant and Pennant Country …

For further information: Contact:
Norman CIoss Parry: 01352 711036/Paul Brighton:01352 712588




Photos: Norman Closs-Parry

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