Penryn Castle, are these Old Photos connected to the family?🤔🏰

UPDATE. Owners of these Albums now identified, please see new Blog.

During August and September, I have been sharing the old photos from two Victorian Albums on Twitter and Instagram daily. I bought the Albums way back in 2014. I thought it would be interesting for my followers to actually see the type of photos that were collected by one family.

Album no 1 is in fairly good condition although the clasp is missing.

Both of these newspaper clippings in the photos below, I found in the two Albums. So what connection do these OLD PHOTOS have to Penryn Castle? Did these Victorian Albums once belong to a member of the family living there or a friend or acquaintance of the family?

Could PENRYN CASTLE hold the key to solving this mystery?

Both of these newspaper clippings, above and below, I found in the Albums. So what connection do these OLD PHOTOS have to Penryn Castle? Did these Victorian Albums once belong to a member of the family living there or a friend or acquaintance of the family?
Both these articles above have some really interesting information about Penryn Castle and the families that lived there.

As with more recent family Albums pre the digital age, they obviously contain not just family but friends and acquaintances too. There are just a few that have clues written on the back of the CDV or written under the photo on the Album page, so those ones I have written in pencil on the CDV and photographed the pages now too. The Photographers who took the photos were operating mostly in Wales, North and South. But we do have other Photographers from Liverpool, Chester, Chelmsford, Freshwater on the Isle of Wight and London. So here below are the photos that we do have clues for. I have also included helpful information and comments from followers on certain photos. Huge thanks to everyone especially Jayne Shrimpton for all the extra information about the CDVs themselves and also to David Wilson, he really has had his thinking hat on!

‘Father of Miss ?????? Jones The Mill’
Nain and Taid are Welsh words for Grandmother and Grandfather.
Barnwell Ha?????????
More thoughts on names: Jane Hough says “One of my grandmothers was always known as ‘Granma Looe’ … because she lived in Looe in Cornwall.” Carole Steers also said: “We also had ‘Nana Under the Entry’, ‘Nana Shop’, ‘Little Nana’, and ‘Nana Rivers’ … if our photos are labelled up this way then our Descendents are going to have a hard time!!”
Nain and Taid are Welsh words for Grandmother and Grandfather. So whoever wrote these words had a Grandfather with the surname MORRIS who had a Twin Brother called John William MORRIS and this lady above is his wife Hendra.
Yr Ynys. Another CDV below mentions the same place. A John Williams, so likely related?

David Wilson (Twitter) says “Long shot but looking on the Census for 1901, there’s only one Edith that fits at Penmaen Mawr. She’s an Edith Mary Bate born 1863 Wilmslow. She’s niece to Elizabeth Rachael Bate born in 1840 Rugeley.”

Penmaenmawr is a town in Conwy

David Wilson’s research has found this: Cefn coch farm when it was for sale. Plenty of mentions of it in the old news archives but can’t see a mention of “Mrs Jones” For sale this charming and attractive small farm known as Fron Grian, Cefn Coch. Located in a most beautiful part of Montgomeryshire in 2018:

“This obit for a Mary Williams in 1967 mentions a Mr and Mrs Jones at “Nant Mawr Farm”, maybe connected?

David Wilson: “In 1871 there was 84-year-old Gabriel Roberts farmer and magistrate living at Cefn Coch. There was a servant called Jones there but she was unmarried. 1881 the farm was occupied by 59 y.o. William Lloyd and family. No mention of Jones.”

Mrs Jones. Cefn Coch Farm. ??? Nant Mawr. There is also a Farm of this name in MACHYNLLETH, Powys is it a possibility?
I cannot decipher what is written under John Williams? Any ideas?
Bonetar or could it be Boulter now I’m thinking?

Susan Lines (Twitter) research found: “It appears this photo was taken in London, in the 1901 census there is a Marie Benatar born 1874 married to Elias, they were living in Kensington and seemed quite well off, could this be her?” David Wilson followed up with this: “Can see a will for an Elias Benatar in 1904. He left £10,000 which in 1904 must have been been a tidy sum.” “Marie Benatar was 22 years younger than her hubby. The two children of theirs had the mothers maiden name of Solomon. She was born in London so wonder how Marie Solomon would be connected to the Welsh and Liverpool families?” “Marie Benatar was a furrier having a shop on Regent Street London ( she died in the 1950s). Maybe one of the Jones or Williams bought a fur coat from her, on a trip to London? Perhaps Marie handed out cdv’s to her customers?””An advert from 1906 for Marie Benatar’s furriers shop on Regent Street

Yr Ynys is a place in South Wales

Second Victorian Album below:

Both photos above and below are obviously the same man William Watkins, nice to see his wife. David Wilson’s research came up with this: ” There were a few but one William Watkins was a J.P. land agent and farmer of Murian, Criccieth. He died in 1895 aged about 72.”

Shame we don’t know who these young men were, but it’s nice to have a date.

David Wilson says: ” Thought we were onto something having a name but H A Wellington was the chemist and stationer at Freshwater, I.O.W.”

Below is a variety of some, not all, of the other CDV photos that are in the two Albums, including a couple and their two children photographed in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. So likely family or friends that had emigrated. No names on any of these below but they may hold clues from where they were photographed.

Jayne Shrimpton @JayneShrimpton (Twitter) kindly shared some of these photos: “More great carte de visite photographs shared by @LynnsWPics Images of males & females, old & young offer a broad insight into ‘Sunday best’ dress for the mid-Victorian middle classes & successful working people and their families”

Jayne Shrimpton @JayneShrimpton (Twitter) kindly shared more of these photos from these Albums saying: “Great mid-late Victorian studio portraits from @LynnsWPics Cartes de visite prints can be regarded as early fashion photographs, giving females an unprecedented opportunity to display their taste & style. Photographic evidence suggests many more women were photographed than men!”

Jayne Shrimpton is a professional dress historian, portrait specialist and ‘photo detective’and can be contacted via her website here:

Looking at the family DOUGLAS-PENNANT who lived at Penryn Castle in Victorian times I went to The Peerage website and below here are screenshots of some of the family details:

These are the details of Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant above and his two wives below.

Looking through the records for the family I haven’t found any matching names yet and it looks like at least four of the daughters mentioned above never married. The Peerage is a brilliant website if you are researching the aristocracy, it’s very easy to spend ages on there following leads and reading all the interesting details of who married who and had what children. Direct link here:

I also came across this super website while looking for information about the family: Douglas-Pennant Family: On this website are also details of a Victorian Album that belonged to Lt Col Hon Archibald Charles Douglas Pennant and his wife Hon Harriet Ella Gifford. These are a couple of screenshots of the old photos, no matches to my two Albums unfortunately!

The more I have read about Penryn Castle the more I believe these Albums may have belonged to a friend of the family, the people photographed in the Albums were obviously middle/upper class and carried an interest in what happened to Penryn Castle.

We visited Penryn Castle ourselves back in Spring of 2018, what a fabulous National Trust propery it is. Here’s a few of my photos taken at the time, imagine having breakfast at that table!

I took this photo of the photo taken at Penryn Castle when the Prince & Princess of Wales visited on 12th July 1894. Queen Victoria had actually visited here herself in 1859.

From the feedback I’ve had, everyone seems to have enjoyed seeing the photos in these Albums, so I shall share more of my Victorian Albums with you in the future. For now though, the old photos that I will be sharing through October are very different from these, do hope you all enjoy.

Till next time then………

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