Voyage à pied dans le nord du pays de Galles

Name of traveller

Adolphe Thiébault (1797-1875)

Reason for travel

  • landscape painting

Date of travel

11-28 September 1827

Cette magnifique chute d’eau, au milieu des bois, dans une solitude profonde, vaut, à elle seule le voyage. C’est la plus belle du pays de Galles – malgré le bruit sourd qu’on entend de loin et qui ressemble à celui de la mer, j’eus quelque peine à y arriver, mais enfin quelle ne fut pas ma surprise! avant d’essayer d’emporter son image dans mon album, je demeurai pendant quelques minutes immobile d’admiration. (Thiébault, vol2 25 Sep. 1827)


  • agriculture: cows are of small stature
  • architecture: shows interest in modern bridges and aqueducts and produces detailed ink drawings of the newly-built Menai Suspension Bridge
  • art:
    • production of detailed landscape sketches and maps in watercolour and inkwash during the journey; manuscript volumes are illustrated throughout
    • account contains lyrics and notation for some Welsh songs
  • clothing:
    • wears comparatively shappy travel attire
    • some references to the clothing of local people; brief description of women's costume and hats, no shoes
  • customs:
    • compliments Welsh hospitality
    • interested in Welsh folk tunes and harp music, notes employment of harpists in hotels
    • description of eisteddfodau as an assembley of bards
  • diet: inns in which he stays serve salmon, lamb, mutton and chicken
  • history:
    • contains some notes on Welsh history since Roman invasions
    • mentions Owain Glynd?r (1359-1416) sending letters to King of France to support the rebellion
  • industry: some notes on slate industry in north Wales and size of the workforce employed at Penrhyn Quarries
  • language:
    • account contains a brief Welsh-English glossary of elements in Welsh place names
    • few people speak English
    • faces occasional difficulties in communicating with local people
    • encounters a sign in Welsh and English forbidding trespassing
  • literature: contains a list of Anglophone travel literature and tours in Wales
  • people:
    • account contains a newspaper cutting announcing the death of Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1739-1829)
    • references Mme de Genlis (1746-1830) visiting the Ladies of Llangollen, Eleanor Charlotte Butler and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831)
    • occasionally travels in pleasant company with other tourists, some of whom speak French
    • believes to have briefly travelled in the company of William Wordsworth (1770-1850) according to a note in his own hand inserted into the manuscript years later
    • at one point is scared by an encounter with two men who seem to follow him and whom he presumes are beggars or Irishmen
  • recreation:
    • compliments the quality and relative density of inns and hotels
    • contains a list with the names of inns in which he stopped
    • occassionally hires local guides
  • terrain:
    • notes picturesque qualities of north Wales mountains; many notes on geographical features
    • charts intinerary on a map
    • predominant interest in waterfalls; many notes on the effect of heavy rain on the waterfalls and torrents
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: mostly on foot; boat; post chaise
    • walks along the road between Bangor and Conwy newly opened just a week earlier
    • frequent references to the realities of pedestrian travel across country and in all sorts of weather; often walks through streams and torrential rains
    • sometimes walks over 20 miles per day
  • to read the full account click on the following links: volume 1, volume 2

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication

French, English, Welsh

Gender of traveller


Type of publication

illustrated travelogue


Thiébault, Adolphe. Voyage à pied dans le nord du pays de Galles. Books 14.1-2. 1827. Thiébault Family mss., 1733-1872, bulk 1793-1872. Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington. MS.