The 2016 Colloquium



The Twenty-first Vaughan Association Colloquium will be held at The Castle of Brecon Hotel from teatime on Friday, April 22nd to lunchtime on Sunday, April 24th, 2016. 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 . Hard- by 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 2016 include:

Jeremy Hooker

John Goodby on Dylan Thomas.

Tony Brown on the Late Poems of R S Thomas

Hilary Davies Sebastian Barker as Metaphysical Poet. Spiritual Landscapes in his work.

Beth Dodd on Thomas Traherne

Jonathan Nauman: ‘Varying Arrangements: Observations on some copies of Henry Vaughan’s Silex Scintillans (1655)’



Arrival around Friday tea-time, if possible. Dinner at 7.00pm followed by first talk. On Saturday two talks before lunch; afternoon free; fourth talk at 5.00pm;dinner at 7.00pm. On Sunday there is one talk, after breakfast; followed (after coffee) by the Association AGM to which all are invited.

Meal Times:

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

All are invited to attend the Annual Memorial Event at 3.00pm, 24 April at Llansantffraed Church


Please print the Booking Form and include it with your cheque to:

Mr. Allan Wilcox, Ty’n y Ffynnon, Nant Peris, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 4UH, Wales, UK

tel. 01286 872281    e-mail: afcwilcox at

Alternatively send a BACS payment to:

The Vaughan Association

Account number 73729973, sort code 51 61 28

Please include the form in an email.

(For International payments we recommend using and the account information above).

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 1, 2016. Places may have to be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

——————-2016 Colloquium Booking Form ——————-

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