24th Annual Colloquium Programme


Friday 26th-Sunday 28th April 2019    BRECON CASTLE HOTEL

The Twenty-fourth Vaughan Association Colloquium will be held at The Castle of Brecon Hotel from teatime on Friday, April 26th to lunchtime on Sunday, April 28th, 2018. The first ‘modern’ hotel of its kind in Brecon and among the earliest in Wales, ‘The Castle’, standing on a prominent hill in the Georgian centre of the town, is a late Regency rebuilding (begun in 1809) of an existing house within the ivy-clad Norman fortress site, and abutts directly on its Great Hall. Nearby stands the ancient Priory (now Cathedral) and the Priory Grove dear to Henry Vaughan; and before it a view over Brecon and the river Usk towards the Brecon Beacons. In a land of ruined castles, monasteries and mountains, the scene is still an epitome of the Romantic ‘Sublime and Picturesque’.

Brecon has for us the added attraction of the Vaughan connection. Henry (and very likely Thomas) enjoyed its congenial inns; here in the Priory Grove, whose owner Sir Herbert Price was her relative by marriage, he courted his first wife, Catherine; and here in the Civil War the twins joined Colonel Price’s Royalist regiment. Henry may even have met Charles I in the Priory when the King came rallying support in 1645; and he certainly looked on indignant as the townsmen demolished Brecon’s defences to forestall a damaging siege, effectively capitulating to Parliament.  Beyond the town, not far down the Usk Valley, lie the Vaughans’ birthplace and Henry’s main home at Newton Farm near Scethrog from which most of his publications are dated; a mile on in Llansantffraed churchyard is Henry’s grave with its famous tombstone; across the tiver at Talybont-on-Usk is the new Vaughan Walk; and downstream stands recently refurbished Tretower Court, home of the twins’ paternal grandparents, and one of the finest medieval manor houses in Wales.


The privately owned Hotel has 43 well-equipped en-suite bedrooms, a bar, restaurant, private dining facilities for conferences, free wi-fi in downstairs areas, and ample free off-street parking.

Speakers for 2019 include:

  • Prof Donald Dickson. ‘Henry Vaughan as a Scholarly Editor’.
  • Tony Brown. ‘The Creative Relationship of RS Thomas and Mildred Eldridge (Mrs RST)’.
  • Prof Takashi Yoshinaka. ‘Henry Vaughan and William Wordsworth’.
  • Prof Jerry Hooker. ‘Under the Quarry Woods’.
  • Prof Holly Nelson. ‘The influence of Henry Vaughan on 19th century US literature.’
  • Revd Dr Peter Pike. ‘Rending the veil of the usual. Grace portrayed through the poetry of Henry Vaughan’.


Arrival Friday tea at 4pm, if possible. Dinner at 7.00pm followed by first talk. Saturday 3 talks before lunch; afternoon free with launch of the new OUP Works of Henry Vaughan at Y Gaer, Brecon at 4pm. Dinner at 7.00pm followed by poetry readings. Sunday two talks, after breakfast; followed (after coffee) by the Association AGM to which all are invited. Memorial Evensong at Llansantffraed Church at 3pm concludes the weekend.

Meal Times:

Breakfast from 7.30 am Lunch 1.00pm Tea 4.00pm Dinner 7.00pm


PLEASE NOTE: We have shortly to put down a Deposit of £25 pp (for Resident Participants) to confirm our Booking and Numbers, and would be grateful for cheques a.s.a.p. Final Full Payment will be required in advance, by April 1st 2019. Places may have to be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

I wish to book ____ place/s. Charges (VAT incl), please tick all that are appropriate:

2 nights (incl. breakfast and dinner, coffee/tea and biscuits; excluding lunches)

Double/Twin Room £200 per person [ ]

Single Room £235 per person [ ]

1 night (incl. breakfast and dinner, coffee/tea and biscuits; excluding lunches):

Double/Twin Room £100 per person [ ] Single Room £117.50 per person [ ]

Day Attendance £40 (incl. coffee/tea). [ ] Dinner £25 extra [ ]

Non-resident attendance at the Saturday after-dinner Poetry Session, no charge. [ ]

Total included: £_________ Dietary Requirements


I enclose my cheque (payable to ‘The Vaughan Association’) for £_______ Deposit / Full Payment for the 24th Colloquium 26th-28th April 2019.BACS details below.

ADDRESS: ______________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ TELEPHONE:_________________________________________________________________

E-MAIL: ______________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT: Dr Simone Thomas, Byron House, Henton, Wells, Somerset. BA5 1PD. Tel 07934 470668. Email thomassya@gmail.com

PAYMENT DETAILS The Vaughan Association, Natwest Bank. Sort Code 51 61 28. Account number 73729973. BIC NWBKGB2L. IBAN GB13 NWBK 5161 2873 7299 73

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