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 Morton Academy, Thornhill. 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.

 Recently, Javier Yanes, a Spanish science journalist has had an article published  on Joseph Thomson on 2nd August, the anniversary of Joseph's Death. 

 

 

 

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General

General

Due to COVID restrictions, the Centre has been closed to the public since March 2020. The Committee has continued its work online - participating in the 2020 Doors Open Days, holding an AGM and sending a Report and Accounts to OSCR in December. For further information about future opening plans and events,  please  click here to contact us. 

 

Forthcoming Events -

No events are planned at present.  

Please see our events page for further information.

 

 

PENPONT POST OFFICE 

You can find the Post Office in the Joseph Thomson Room within the Centre on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons between 2.00 - 4.00pm.

  

INFORMATION

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

 

Group Bookings

Usually we would welcome individuals, groups and school parties. Unfortunately, at present, COVID restrictions mean that this is not possible. Please contact us discuss possible future bookings. 

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2. Donate/loan materials to our archives.

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