Capel Curig grave Alice Pennant

Grave of Lady Alice Douglas PennantLady Alice Douglas Pennant (d.1939)

Alice was born in 1862, second daughter of George Sholto Gordon, 2nd Baron Penrhyn, and his wife Pamela Blanche Rushout. She was the third of Lord Penrhyn’s 15 children but there was plenty of room for them all, since their home was Penrhyn Castle, now a National Trust stately home near Bangor.

It’s believed that as a teenager she fell in love with one of the gardeners and was confined to a room in the castle by her disapproving father. While there, she may have been responsible for an Italian message scratched onto a window pane: “Essere amato amando”. The words were treated as a meaningless scrawl until 2012, when Resi Tomat, an Italian woman who had recently joined the castle staff, pointed out that it means “to be loved while loving”.

Alice catalogued the castle’s art collection. Having grown up surrounded by the work of artists such as Rembrandt and Cannaletto, she became a watercolourist. She was also a committed Christian, an officer with the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. She never married, and died in London in March 1939. She was buried here in Capel Curig, where she had spent many pleasant holidays. Her gravestone records: “She faithfully defended the ancient church in Wales.”

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