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

The Centre will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9th July to the end of August between 2pm and 4pm. It is also open by appointment for visits.  For further information about how a visit can be arranged,  please  click here to contact us. 

 

Events -

AGM Monday 30th May  2pm  All welcome

Joseph Thomson Maasai Trust Auction and Talk Staurday 28th May 2pm

Please see our events page for more information about these events, recent visits and past events.

 

 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 - 2.45pm.

  

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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Become a Friend

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2. Donate/loan materials to our archives.

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