Gregynog Press

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Gregynog Hall

The Gregynog Press,[1][2] also known as Gwasg Gregynog, is a printing press and charity located at Gregynog Hall near Newtown in Powys, Wales.

Early years[edit]

Founded in 1922 by the sisters and art patrons Margaret and Gwendoline Davies, the press was named after their mansion Gregynog Hall.[3] It rose to prominence in the pre-war era as among the more important private presses, publishing limited edition books, primarily on a Victoria platen printing press. Much of the printing work from 1927 to 1936 was carried out by the skilled printer Herbert John Hodgson,[4] who had previously worked on the 1926 edition of the T. E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom.[5] The American poet and printer Loyd Haberly was briefly the controller of the press.

It commissioned a private typeface from Graily Hewitt, Gwendolin, dated 1935.[6][7] It was manufactured as a private commission by Monotype.[8]

Reincarnation as Gwasg Gregynog[edit]

In 1954 after the death of Gwendoline Davies, Margaret donated most of the machinery used by Gregynog Press to the National Library of Wales.[4] The press was reopened under the Welsh title Gwasg Gregynog by the University of Wales in 1978, and production resumed. While the National Library permanently loaned the Press its original Victoria platen press in 1980, since 1986 it has primarily printed with a Heidelberg Cylinder Press.[4] Typesetting of the smallest pieces is done by hand, but otherwise manuscripts are typeset with the use of a Monotype machine. Among the publications of the press are a series of pamphlets entitled "Beirdd Gregynog / Gregynog Poets": the first of these was Euros Bowen's Yr Alarch, 1987.[9]

Gwasg Gregynog Limited is a company limited by guarantee which was incorporated on 28 June 1978. It adopted new Memorandum and Articles of Association on 28 August 2001 and was granted charitable status by the Charity Commission on 11 January 2002 (charity no. 1090060).[10] Intended to benefit and educate the public, it offers lectures related to the press and printing techniques, as well as offering tours of press facilities, which are dedicated to maintaining traditional printing methods.[11]

The press has been involved in several historic events in Wales in connection with the National Assembly. When the Assembly opened in Wales, the press produced its first documents, including a small hand-bound souvenir volume that served as the Assembly's first publication.[12] Later, in 2006, it bound a poem commissioned to mark the opening of the Senedd, the Assembly's permanent home, and written in calligraphy.[13]


  1. ^ Trevor Fishlock (2014). "Chapter 17: Lunch in the Blue Room". A Gift of Sunlight. ISBN 978-1-84851-811-7.
  2. ^ Glyn Tegai Hughes; Prys Morgan; J. Gareth Thomas, eds. (1977). "Chapter 8: The Gregynog Press". Gregynog. University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-0634-9.
  3. ^ Harrop, Dorothy A. A History of the Gregynog Press. Pinner: Private Libraries Association, 1980 ISBN 0-900002-63-8
  4. ^ a b c History of Gwasg Gregynog and the Gregynog Press at Gwasg Gregynog website
  5. ^ Impressions of War: The Memoirs of Herbert Hodgson 1893-1974, Martlet Books, Oakham, 2010, ch. 3. Herbert Hodgson Printer: Work for T. E. Lawrence and at Gregynog, Wakefield: Fleece Press, 1989.
  6. ^ Jaspert, W. Pincus; Berry, W. Turner; Johnson, Alfred F. (2001). Encyclopedia of Type Faces (Paperback ed.). London: Cassell Paperbacks. p. 110. ISBN 1-84188-139-2.
  7. ^ Nicholas, Robin; Sweet, Eric. David G. Lewis (ed.). Gwendolin: 75 years on. Gwasg Gregynog. ISBN 978-1-907224-03-4.
  8. ^ APHA Newsletter
  9. ^ Bowen, Euros (1987) Yr Alarch. Y Drenewydd, Powys: Gwasg Gregynog ISBN 978-0948714177
  10. ^ "Gwasg Gregynog Limited Directors Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2002". Companies House. Companies House. 7 December 2002. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Appendix 1: Community Enablement Support Fund 'On-Going' Revenue Applications" (PDF). 29 May 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  12. ^ "Searching for Gregynog: Welsh private press books". AbeBooks' Reading Copy. AbeBooks, Inc. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Official Opening of the Senedd". National Assembly for Wales. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dowd, Anthony; Brockman, James (2004), The Special Bindings of Gwasg Gregynog. Newtown, Powys, Wales: Gwasg Gregynog. ISBN 095419425X
  • Esslemont, David; Hughes, Glyn Tegai (1990), Gwasg Gregynog: a descriptive catalogue of printing at Gregynog 1970-1990. Newtown, Powys, Wales: Gwasg Gregynog. ISBN 978-0-948714-41-2
  • Esslemont, David; Schanilec, Gaylord; Armacost, J. Andrew; Chambers, David (2003), Ink on the Elbow: conversations between David Esslemont & Gaylord Schanilec, Solmentes Press, ISBN 978-0-907014-20-1
  • Evans, Jayne (1990), Gregynog Press Gwasg Gregynog
  • Haberly, Loyd (1979) An American Bookbuilder in England and Wales. London: Bertram Rota
  • Hutchins, Michael (1976), Printing at Gregynog = Argraffu yng Ngregynog : aspects of a great private press = agweddau ar wasg breifat fawr; translated by David Jenkins = y cyfieithiad gan David Jenkins. Cardiff: Welsh Arts Council ISBN 0905171047

External links[edit]