"Chez Taffy: Quinze jours dans la Galles du sud"

Name of traveller

Charles Le Goffic (1863-1932)

Reason for travel

  • visit to the Cardiff Eisteddfod 1899 as part of the Breton delegation

Date of travel

August 1899


  • architecture:
    • detailed description of Cardiff castle; splendour reflects the wealth of the Bute family
    • inspection of the Roman remains in Caerleon
  • clothing:
    • mocks the pageantry of the Gorsedd, particularly the costumes; reference to national costumes worn at the Eisteddfod; examples from Brittany, Wales, Ireland and Scotland
    • the Welsh national costume has generally disappeared from everyday life in south Wales; finds women elegantly and fashionably dressed
    • description of the Welsh costume worn by the resident harper of Llanover House
  • customs:
    • detailed description of the celebrations and competitions at the Cardiff Eisteddfod; importance of music and bardic tradition; notes on the cost of the Eisteddfod
    • finds Cardiff a poor choice of setting for the National Eisteddfod owing to its English character
    • notes on Christianity in Wales; detailed discussion of Welsh graveyards; Celtic traditions watered down by Protestantism; discussion of salary of the Anglican clergy and Nonconformist opposition to tithes, particularly the Welsh Tithe War; recognises the role of dissenting ministers on community life in conjunction with temperance
    • detailed discussion of folk beliefs and superstitions, such as 'pooka' (pwca), hauntings and fairies; superstitions are driven out by Protestantism
    • description of the Welsh harp; traces history of harp music in Wales
  • industry:
    • importance of coal in south Wales; best coal in the world comes from here
    • visits the Albion Colliery; detailed description of the production methods, size of production and profit; horses used underground in mines; good housing provided for the workers attached to the colliery
    • destructive impact of industry on ecological system; pollution of rivers
    • discusses the threats of unions and strikes
  • language:
    • compares Welsh place names with Breton place names
    • notes on Welsh surnames
    • farmers working on the Llanover estate are obliged to speak Welsh; reference to the Welsh schools on the estate
    • discusses bilbingualism and English schools in Caerleon; comparison with state schools in Brittany
  • literature:
  • people:
  • politics:
    • refers to the Home Rule movement in Wales and general loyalty to the English Crown
    • Celtic politics strive for peace; reflected in the Gorsedd
    • discusses Welsh respect for the law
  • territory:
    • decides that Celtic land begins at Stonehenge
    • identifies Cardiff as capital of Wales; rapid urban growth of a better quality than in France owing to respect for the past
    • refers to bleakness of industrial landscapes in south Wales
    • occasional comparison of towns and landscape with Brittany
    • frequent references to the damp weather
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: boat; mine cart; train
    • French delegation not used to loading their own baggage on the trains; finds train carriages luxurious
    • description of canals and Cardiff docks as important transport routes for modern trade
  • compare with another description of this excursion published a year later
  • click here to read the full account: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication



Le Goffic, Charles. "Chez Taffy: Quinze jours dans la Galles du sud." La Revue hebdomadaire 5.6-7 (May-June 1901) : 448-68, 22-50, 229-50, 369-395, 520-47. Print.