The Penrhyn Castle Collection

The Penrhyn Castle collection is only one amongst many estate collections held here at Bangor University. However, it is our largest estate collection, and it attracts researchers from far and wide since one of its most significant elements is the material relating to the sugar plantations in Jamaica. The collection spans a period of over 700 years and is wide ranging in its research potential.

By the end of the 19th century the Penrhyn Castle estate was the third largest estate in Wales. Its owners by this time, the Pennant family, built their fortune through the sugar trade in Jamaica and profits from Jamaica were invested in the UK. The Pennants purchased a significant Welsh estate and became pioneers in establishing the Welsh slate industry. The Penrhyn Quarry became the largest slate quarry in the world, and is famed for the increasing industrial unrest which culminated in the Penrhyn Quarry Strike of 1900-1903

The papers were deposited at various times over the years, and as a result, many individual catalogues have appeared. It is also important to remember, that a percentage of the collection remains uncatalogued, although every effort is made to tackle this backlog every year.

All of our catalogues exist in paper format whilst some are also available on our online catalogue.

Work on the Penrhyn Castle Further Additional Papers is complete.

Reference number Name of collection
Paper catalogue available in reading room
Available on CALMView
PENR

Penrhyn Castle Papers

Yes
Yes
PENRA

Penrhyn Castle Additional Manuscripts

Yes
Yes
PBRA

Penrhyn B.R.A.

Yes
Yes
PBIS

Penrhyn Correspondence : Bethesda Intermediate School

Yes
Yes
PQS

Penrhyn Correspondence : Quarry Strike

Yes
Yes
PFA

Penrhyn Castle Further Additional

Partly available

Yes