Snapshots from the Georgiana trail

Finding the details in a story that stretches across Europe and from Scotland to Western Australia has meant doing much of the research remotely, using the Internet and accessing digital files sent by email. Seeing something new on screen is exciting but by far the most wonderful times have been visits to explore the places in John and Georgiana Molloys’ lives.

Here are some photographic memories of our travels in Cumbria, Scotland, London, Warwickshire and Western Australia.

Crosby Lodge in winter

View from Crosby Lodge across the meadows to the River Eden and the village of Low Crosby, looking much as it did during the first winter at Crosby Lodge for the Kennedy family; the village was cut off from the outside world for several weeks because of deep snow.

View from the drawing room, Crosby Lodge

The windows of Crosby’s living rooms and bedrooms look out towards the village church. This is not the original church from 1819 when David Kennedy died, but Georgiana must have been able to see the tower of the church where her father was buried, each time she looked out. She was fourteen when he died.

View from Crosby Lodge

I took this photograph in 2014, from what was the back entrance to Crosby Lodge during Georgiana’s childhood. There’s snow on the hills in the distance. It’s just a few moments’ walk from the Roman wall that once separated England and Scotland, the emperor Hadrian’s Wall. Even today, the country around the house is still […]

Crosby Lodge

An evocative reminder of the seasonal changes Georgiana would have seen around her home in the countryside near Carlisle. With grateful thanks to Michael & Patricia Sedgwick who owned the house until 2014, restored it and operated it for many years as a restaurant and country house hotel – as well as a family home.

Kensington Square, London

A summer day in 2014: the garden in Kensington Square, London, where Georgiana went to school. Discovering where she was educated and finding that the area has changed so little since 1821 was one of the most rewarding times.

The Gareloch, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

View across the Gareloch, a place that Georgiana Molloy loved when she lived there in 1828 and 1829 – and missed for the rest of her life.

Colours of the Gareloch

The pebble beach at Roseneath (Rosneath) at the place where Georgiana would have taken the ferry between the home of the Reverend and Mrs Story (Helen Boyle Dunlop) and Keppoch House, where she was staying with the Dunlop family.

The Gareloch

Visitors to the Gareloch have tried to describe its beauty for centuries and each time I go there I feel lost for words. This 19th century description comes close to capturing what Georgiana saw around her each day. “Whether it be in summer, when not a cloud rests on the blue ether of the sky, […]

The ruins of St Modan’s, Roseneath

The ‘barn-like’ church was cold, uncomfortable and bare of decoration, with an earth floor. Crofters walked for up to an hour to attend Sunday service and washed their feet in the cold water of the Clachan burn before entering. After enriching their souls, many of them warmed their bodies with a few drams of illegal […]

The old graveyard, St Modan’s, Roseneath

Each time we go back to Scotland I take more photographs of the grave inscriptions, the ones that were there when Georgiana was staying at the original manse and the graves of her friends who died after she left for Western Australia. The oldest gravestones in that ancient community bear only images, not words. Georgiana […]