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.

EVENT! We are organising a nature and history walk around Keir on Sunday 23 July 2017, starting from the Village Hall at 1.20pm. This walk is being led by Hugh Buck, who is the secretary of the Group, ably supported by Sophia Harkness. The walk will go down to Courthill, along to Scaurbank and back to Keir along the river. If you want you can join the walk in Keir. There should be some interesting information. We will return to the Hall for afternoon tea and a look at some photos, old and new of Keir. Donations to assist in the running of the Local Heritage Centre will be gratefully received. Come along. If you want to book a place, please contact Sophia on 01848 330411, Hugh on 01848 330933 or Maureen on 01848 331529. You can contact us by e-mail by clicking here.

 

Group Bookings

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

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