Why Peruvian pots in Tenby Museum?

Posted by Tenby Museum on Jul 25, 2019 Blog No Comments

A display of Moche pottery has recently gone on show at the museum.  The dynasty of the Latin American Moche civilisation dates from 100 AD to 700 AD in modern day Peru.  They are well known for their pottery and artisan skills. The pots on display were probably excavated from Moche tombs on the north coast of Peru.


As collectors and conservers of all that is the history and story of Tenby you may wonder why we have an excellent collection of pre-colombian pots from South America. Despite their coming from so far away there is a close connection with a local family. The various items, together with some Etruscan ware, were donated to the museum by Col. Francis William Lambton who lived at Brownslade Farm, Castlemartin. He had a strong interest in the museum and had worked with Arthur Leach on the excavation of an iron age burial barrow at Castlemartin. However, the pots are a link to some sad family stories which are commemorated in Flimstone Church, Castlemartin. Col Lambton and his wife Victoria, nee Campbell, lost three of their sons at the turn of the nineteenth century. Alexander Frederick Lambton was killed at Magersfontein, South Africa in 1899 and his brother Ronald Robert Lambton was killed at the battle of Blood River, South Africa in 1901. Their names are recorded on the Boer War Memorial in Haverfordwest. It is their brother William Francis Lambton who connects us with South Africa. He did not follow the family tradition of military service but set up business in Chile, South America. He travelled fairly frequently between the Liverpool and Valpariso, always 1st Class and his profession is given as “Estanciano” or estate owner. He died at The Hotel Milan, Santiago on 16th December 1900 aged only 32.