Monday, 3 September 2012

Maentwrog's Poet

Love Maentwrog
Just a short hop and a skip from the Oakeley Arms Hotel in Snowdonia is the pretty village of Maentwrog; a place steeped in history and legend (you can find out more at some of our previous blog posts about Maentwrog and it's beautiful church).
One thing we didn't know about our lovely village of Maentwrog is that in the nineteenth century, it was host to one of the period's most famous writers and dandys.
Thomas Love Peacock was born in 1785 in Dorset - quite a way from Maentwrog! But, the poet and novelist was very fond of travelling. After completing a walking tour of Scotland in 1806, he travelled up to Wales from his mother's home in Surrey in 1810 and he settled for a time in Maentwrog.
Portrait of Thomas Love Peacock by Henry Wallis
Perhaps he was captivated by the pretty village,  grand stone built houses, the babbling streams, quiet woodland and the shadows of Snowdonian mountains. He was certainly captivated by a local girl, Jane Griffith, the parson's daughter.
Thomas stayed in Maentwrog for almost a year and courted Jane, although they didn't marry straight away. Thomas first of all walked back to southern England from Maentwrog; he left in 1811. His journey took him of Cadair Idris, through Towyn and Aberystwyth and over Devil's Bridge. We hope he had a good map!
Jane and Thomas did eventually marry in 1820 - it probably took him that long to walk home! They had three daughters and a son, but sadly only the son survived them. Jane died in 1865 and Thomas the following year in 1866.
We're not sure if Thomas and Jane ever made the long journey back to Maentwrog. And if they did, we certainly hope that he didn't make his young bride walk it!
You can find out more about Peacock's life and work at the Thomas Love Peacock Society

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