Journal de voyage en Grande Bretagne et en Irlande, 1784

Name of traveller

Marc de Bombelles (1744-1822)

Reason for travel

  • on return from Ireland

Date of travel


[Brecon] la Capitale du plus joli petit pays qu’il y ait peut-être sur la surface du globe. Les belles vallées de Suisse ne présentent pas une culture plus soignée. (de Bombelles 282)


  • agriculture: cows and horses in Wales smaller than in France
  • architecture:
    • peasant houses are cleanly and solidly built compared to Ireland
    • Chepstow castle ruins very beautiful
  • customs:
    • employment of harpists in inns; notes lack of pedals on harps
    • low cost of living and best of all England-dominated lands
  • diet: praises good quality of mutton
  • industry:
    • remarks on quality of south Wales coal
    • lead industry and tanneries
  • language:
    • notes that people speak no Welsh in former Flemish area of settlement, "little England beyond Wales"
    • Welsh language as Celtic, like Scotland and Ireland
  • politics: Wales as under-represented in the Union
  • terrain:
    • evaluates pretty landscape through his experience of landscape painting, works by Salvator Rosa (1615-1673)
    • Carmarthen as most substantial town in south Wales, some grand houses
    • praises Brecon; comparison with Switzerland
    • great variety of trees
    • river Wye deserving of praise in poetry
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: boat
    • poor conditions of roads, hence slow travelling, 56 hours of crossing through south Wales
    • regrets not being able to venture further into Wales

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

diary; travelogue


Bombelles, Marc de. Journal de voyage en Grande Bretagne et en Irlande, 1784. ed. Jacques Gury. Oxford, Voltaire Foundation, 1989. Print.