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 Herkomer School.

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 Marshal's staves.

1970-Plastrons for Past Grand Bards were added to the regalia.

1975-Regalia for the Swordbearer was added.

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 the harp.

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 place.

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