Penpont Heritage Centre

Joseph Thomson

JOSEPH THOMSON

Joseph ThomsonJoseph Thomson was born in this house on 14th February 1858.  He and his family lived here until 1868 when they moved to Gatelawbridge where Joseph’s father, a stonemason, had leased a farm with a freestone (Sandstone) quarry.  

Educated locally at Penpont Village School and then at Wallace Hall Academy, Closeburn, Joseph was initially apprenticed into his father’s stonemasonry and quarrying business before deciding to enrol at Edinburgh University to study geology, mineralogy and natural history.  He graduated in 1878.

Crichope Linn

Joseph’s early influences were undoubtedly his parents.  From his father he inherited a love of books, especially enjoying the stories of the early African Explorers.  From his mother he inherited his love of nature, spending much of his time exploring the local countryside, developing an amateur interest in geology and botany.

This interest was further stimulated under the guidance of Dr Grierson, a local GP and antiquarian who had established a museum to which Joseph contributed items from his travels.   In 1872, Joseph had the good fortune to meet Professor Sir Archibald Geikie, Director of the Geographical Survey.   He was the man responsible for persuading Joseph to go to University and, later, for encouraging him to apply to join the Royal Geographical Society’s proposed expedition to East Africa, under the leadership of Keith Johnson. (See ‘Joseph Thomson and the Exploration of Africa’.)

Joseph Thomson MemorialJoseph Thomson is buried in Morton Cemetery, Thornhill.   A nearby memorial was erected to him in 1897.

 

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General

General

The Centre will open for the 2017 season at East weekend, Saturday 15 April and will be open Saturdays and Sundays thereafter until the end of September. If you wish to come to the centre at other times, we are very happy to arrange a suitable time. Click here to contact us.

 

Information

 If you are looking for any heritage information please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

 

Volunteers

We are currently on a volunteer drive to make sure the history of Joseph Thomson and the heritage of Penpont, Keir and Tynron continues well into the future.

We are planning a training package for volunteers and a buddy system for the first year. This means new guides will have support from the beginning to help their knowledge and confidence to grow.

If you are interested in becoming a guide and/or a member or the management group, please click here to contact us. 

 

Group Bookings

We welcome individuals, groups and school parties. Please contact us to arrange your booking.

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Become a Friend

Become a Friend

Would you like to help this Centre continue and flourish?

If YES you could:

1. Become a member.

2. Donate/loan materials to our archives.

3. Help fund running costs by becoming a friend.

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