“Walked this morning to Plas Newydd…”

kimbrough picIn the 1950s Emily Kimborough wrote about her travels to Wales in the book And A Right Good Crew. Emily & Co. were in good company, for the Ladies of Llangollen had many, many visitors at their home Plas Newydd.

The main impetus for establishing this web presence for the ladies was to winnow out fact from fiction, and how better to do that than present actual words from people who met them…

I’m still building back the site since the old website was turned into this blog, so it’s with great applause that I welcome Michael and Liz as contributors! A new, ongoing “series” of comments will be making their appearance. Tonight I unveil the 1780s and half of the 1790s — the earliest comments about Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler. Some are from published sources, others have been transcribed from manuscript sources. Further additions are always welcome!


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. roseatoakwood
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:36:56

    Hello Kelly;

    I have scans of the watercolours Lady Mary Leighton, a friend and frequent visitor of The Ladies’, made of, mainly, their grounds and gardens.

    I was wondering whether you would like to include them on this site?

    Yours in Ladiesness

    Curator of PLasNewydd 1990-2008


    • Janeite Kelly
      Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:40:25

      Hi, Rose — Happy to share anything with our readers that you wish to see posted. I can start an “images” page!



      • roseatoakwood
        Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:43:55

        Would an images page involve uploading files?

        You asked on another occasion whether I had any pictures of The Ladies’ monument in the churchyard. I think there is a picture of it amongst the Lady Leighton sketches.

      • Janeite Kelly
        Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:49:29

        You could just send image files (assuming something already scanned or digitally photographed) to my email and I’d upload them to the blog: smithandgosling [at] gmail [dot] com


      • roseatoakwood
        Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:51:32

        I will happily do that. I believe very strongly in sharing information.

    • Liz Cook
      Jan 02, 2013 @ 16:05:42

      Hi Rose – I have an email drafted to send to you today but it came back as undeliverable using the email address I was able to find for you with the D.H.S. – would you mind sending me your new address so that I can send it to you? I was hoping you might be able to help me with a small bit of research I would like to do in the area. Thank you!

      Warmest Winter Regards from Ohio –

      Liz Cook


  2. Liz Cook
    Jan 01, 2013 @ 19:19:48

    Hi Janeite! I just found your website and I must say it and all of the information I have read so far are fascinating!

    I have “been” to Plas Newydd twice in my life, closed, both times. Once, we arrived too late after closing on a Sunday and the other time it happened to be in January. Still, it was wonderful to br there, with my copy of Mavor’s “Life with the Ladies of Llangollen” clutched in my hand. It was also wonderful to stay a night or two at the wonderful Hand Hotel. I have the most vivid wonderful memories of Llangollen even though it has been since the early 1990’s since I last visited.

    I live in Columbus, Ohio and it has been many years since I have been back to the UK . . . however, I do have many several pictures of The Ladies’ monument in the churchyard, the wall plaque IN the church, the exterior of the house and the grounds, Valle Crucis Abbey and even, the churchyard at Llantysilio. I would love to dig out the pictures, scan them digitally and send them to you for your own personal use and use on the website if you would like. I would also like to share my own personal story someday of how I found The Ladies, soon after graduating from college, and also what my visit to Plas Newydd was like – the twist of fate that was, looking for Eleanor and Sarah and finding Amelia Lolley and Charlotte Andrew instead!!! In fact, looking for those two is how I found you today . . . I hopped on ancestry.com today and after a simple search found their names in several records, such as the 1841 and 1851 Wales Census, an index of wills and the death index as well. Do you have any interesting information on The Lollies and the Trollies? Their efforts to keep the memory of The Ladies “alive” by living their own lives in the same manner and in the same house fascinate me. Sometimes I feel like they have been given a bad rap by those who allude to their being imposters…but I digress.

    I’ll dig out and scan the pictures that I have and send them to you soon.

    Again, so glad to find you and all of your wealth of information!!! Thank you for your contribution to their memory!


    • Janeite Kelly
      Jan 02, 2013 @ 09:08:21

      Ah! what a shame, Elizabeth, that Plas Newydd was closed — twice! Ah, I remember walking by the Hand. They’re right on the Dee, yes? with a wonderful sloping green? (We had lived on board our narrowboat, when my father & I visited).

      You are very kind to offer images! Happy to share with our audience any that you care to see online.

      I think I’ve come across the same “Lollies and Trollies” stories that you have, but other readers may know more about them.

      I want to say the story I recall the most comes from the Blue Guide, but I may have a newspaper article that mentions them (not looked over for some years).

      You can send files — and anything “personal history-wise” you’d like posted, to my email: smithandgosling [at] gmail [dot] com



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