The Cornish Gorsedd.
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We will be adding to this to include the History prior to the
revival in 1928.
1928-7th August seven Cornishmen and
a Cornishwomen were made bards of the Welsh gorsedd during the
National Eisteddfod at Treorchy in South Wales. That evening at Cox's
Cafe in Cardiff, Robert Nance, Canon J S Carah, Canon Gilbert Doble,
Mrs Annie Pool and J H Rowe met to discuss the ceremony of the first
Cornish gorsedd. They agreed that Henry Jenner should be the first
Grand Bard of Cornwall, and also considered names of several
distinguished Cornishmen whom they felt should be invited to become
Bards of Cornwall. They included A K Hamilton-Jenkin, Canon Thomas
Taylor, John Tregarthen and C C Henderson.
Friday 21st September-The First
Cornish goresedd was held at Boscawen 'n Un (it is a traditional
site) under its Grand Bard Henry Jenner, m.a., F.S.A the inauguration
being carried out by Archdruid Pedrog of the Welsh gorsedd.
Only one class of membership was instituted, that of Bard, wearing
the blue robes of his Welsh counterpart with slight modifications,
such as the front of the headpiece, top enable a distinction to be
made between the gorsedds. These bardic robes were designed by Sir
Herbert von Herkomer, R A, the victorian artist and founder of the
Regalia are used during the ceremonies of the gorsedd, and these
were once strictly limited to a crown and a plastron for the Grand
Bard. An ornamental copper band was also used for the horn.
After 1939-The Council of the
Gorsedd of Cornwall approved additional regalia, and asked Francis
Cargeeg to design and execute new regalia for the Grand Bard , the
Deputy Grand Bard and the Secretary, and two headpieces for the
1970-Plastrons for Past Grand Bards
were added to the regalia.
1975-Regalia for the Swordbearer was
1976-A Heralds Wand was made by
Dicon Nance of St Ives.
1980-An impressive carved wooden
chair was made by Leslie and Clive Libby together with a cushion made
by the Cornish Guild of Weavers and Dyers for the use of the Grand
bard during the gorsedd ceremony.
All the gorsedd regalia are made of copper and carry boldly
executed Celtic designs on a background of Celtic knotwork, with
prominance being the symbol of the gorsedd, the awen, which comprises
three diverging lines introduced by Edward Williams as a
representation of the name of God.
The Gorsedd Ceremony.
The proceedings begin with the sounding of the horn Corn Gwlas as
a symbolic call to the four points of the compass, this is followed
by the fine prayer composed by W.S Gwynn Williams at Llangollen in
1924. (All is carried out exclusively in the Cornish language with
some parts translated into English as required). After the Ceremony
of Peace, performed by the GrandBard, the gorsedd is declared open.
The Ceremony of Offering of Fruits of the Earth is made by the Lady
of Cornwall, escorted by two young attendants, all three chosen
annually for the part. This ceremony is very colourful because it is
accompanied by groups of young dancers who perform to the music of
There follows a commemoration of those bards who have died during
the preceding year. This is followed at once by the initiation of
the new bards to symbolise the continuation of the existence of the
gorsedd. Each new bard is presented in turn to the Grand Bard, who
welcomes Him or her to membership of the gorsedd and bestows a bardic
name upon him or her. Speeches are then made by the delegates of the
other Celtic countries. Awards are presented to the principal winners
of the various annual gorsedd competitions. The ceremony is finally
closed by the oath of fealty to Cornwall by the assembled bards and a
call for peace, after which the procession from the circle takes
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