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Welsh voyage to brave new world finally marked by city

Sailing ship Mimosa left Liverpool for Patagonia 150 years ago

Published on January 22nd 2015.

Welsh voyage to brave new world finally marked by city

THE part Liverpool played in the creation of a Welsh colony 7,000 miles away is to be recognised in the city at last.

On May 28, 1865, the clipper Mimosa set sail from the Mersey. Aboard were 162 people from North Wales and around the city region. The destination: South America. The plan: to create a settlement where Welsh culture could thrive.

Today that little bit of Wales remains in Patagonia,  on the southern tip of South America. Y Wladfa, Welsh for The Colony, is home to 73,000 people, with 5,000 Welsh speaking Patagonians living there. 

Now plans for a memorial along Princes Parade, close to the Pier Head, have been announced to mark the 150th anniversary of the voyage. 

The Merseyside Welsh Heritage Society has joined forces with Peel Holdings for the memorial plinth, with plans to unveil it on May as part of celebrations to mark the anniversary. 


The society was set up in 1999 to help promote the contribution of Welsh people to the heritage of Merseyside.

The 1865 voyage took 60 days, with four deaths and two births along the way.

When the settlers arrived at New Bay (Port Madryn) on 28 July 1865 their troubles had only begun. They had expected a friendly land similar to lowland Wales but found no water, very little food and no available shelter.

Nevertheless, they overcame these and other odds of floods, bad harvests and arguments over land ownership, not to mention the lack of a direct route to the sea which affected their ability to import and export. By 1915, the community had grown to 23,000.

Arthur Thomas, secretary of the Merseyside Welsh Heritage Society said: “It is important to promote the events of 150 years ago and help people to recognise the impact the Welsh community had in shaping Liverpool over the last two centuries.

“Liverpool’s docklands have a vast history and by creating this plinth, we hope to create our own piece of history that will remain for all to see. We are currently appealing to anyone who wants to be a part of this event to come forward and help support our cause. ”


Ian Pollitt, development investment surveyor at Peel Holdings, said: “This is a fascinating and largely unknown episode in the city’s history and we are delighted to be working with the society to mark this important anniversary and help re-tell the story to the current generation

“The waterfront is the perfect location for the memorial and will serve as a long-term reminder of the city’s role in shaping the rich diversity of the new world all those years ago.” 

A planning application for the memorial has been submitted by Peel to Liverpool City Council and it is hoped that the plinth will be unveiled on Saturday May 30.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ButtyboyJanuary 23rd 2015.

Da iawn Lerpwl o'r diwedd

Dai YoungJanuary 23rd 2015.

Liverpool is known as the 'lost capital of North Wales'.

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

"Mimosa", is an unusual name, already the name of a road in Wavertree, any connection?

AnonymousJanuary 28th 2015.

I suspect it's a flower, the neighbouring roads are tulip and daffodil. Mind you daffodil has Welsh connections, and was also a ferry on the Mersey. Any offers on Tulip, other than it being a bacon factory in Birkenhead.

AnonymousFebruary 4th 2015.

There has always been a very strong link between North Wales and Liverpool with sreet names such as Madryn Street. The history of the 'Welsh Streets' There were once 70 Welsh chapels in Liverpool but now only a handful remain Welsh workers were attracted to Liverpool with the promise of work In the late-1800s the Welsh Streets were built near Princes Park, all with Welsh names When demolition was first mooted a decade ago, many residents called for alternatives.

Green TambourineFebruary 5th 2015.

Is the strong link with Liverpool because North Wales is near, not like NORTH PERU???

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