This site contains classified extracts from over 1,200 published and manuscript accounts of tours of Wales, 1700-1900.
It is being created by Michael Freeman, curator of Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth, 1991-2012
It was originally designed to create very detailed evidence for my article ‘Perceptions of Welshness: tourists’ impressions of the material and traditional culture of Wales, 1750 – 1850’ published in ‘Folk Life’ Vol. 53, No. 1, (May 2015), pp. 57–71 but will contain much more than that article covers.
This site will include many fully referenced quotations on over 200 different subjects about which the tourists wrote and illustrated.
Some of the data on this site was first uploaded in May, 2015. It is anticipated that it will take 12 months to upload the bulk of the relevant material. Pages on a variety of subjects have been uploaded initially to illustrate the range of material available.
The site will be constantly under review.
Any comments, corrections, additions or questions, will be very welcome. Please contact me.
‘I digress too much, but it is my wicked way and I cannot help it. I wish to arrest floating ideas as they come in my way.’
Edward Williams, (Iolo Morganwg), Agricultural observations, Made in a Journey thro some Parts of Glamorganshire and Carmarthenshire In June 1796, NLW MS 13115B, f. 51
‘I have explored every old account I could lay hold upon … find amusement and recreation as well as utility and instruction in this seemingly barren and dry pursuit far above anything I ever anticipated.’
Ebenezer Thomas, (Eben Fardd, 1802 – 1863) diary, 7th August 1843
‘I have been so busy about my garden and orchard this fine weather … that I could not spare an hour … to mope over antiquities or to write letters.
Lewis Morris, Penbryn, April, 1760
ment for M
[and, I hope, women too]
Sign on a public house 6 miles from Beddgelert on the Dolgellau road, 1825
Jadis, Henry Fenton, Journal of a pedestrian tour in North Wales: through the counties of Montgomery, Merioneth, Caernarvon, and part of Denbigh, (London, 1826), p. 87
I warn the reader not complain of a disappointment if he does not trace me in every part of the kingdom; and if I request to content himself in many cases with the researches of others, though I will not offer such an insult to his discernment, as to intrude on him the rude observations of every rambler, now the rage of travelling about Britain is become so contagious, that every man that can write or read makes a pocket Britannia.
Camden’s Britannia, Gough Edition, (1789), vol. 1, preface, p. vi