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Ancient Penryn site hosts Cornish Gorsedh: PICTURES
9:00am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
The site of an ancient college in Penryn that was instrumental in the promotion of Cornish culture, set the scene for this year’s Cornish Gorsedh as it welcomed 18 new Bards on Saturday.
Glasney College, which was founded by Bishop Bronescombe of Exeter in 1265, was filled with the blue robes of the bards and banners from Cornish organisations for the first time in almost 40 years as they joined together to celebrate the county’s heritage.
Deputy Grand Bard Merv Davey said: “It was a wonderful day, although it was quite a challenge to hold an event like this in the middle of a town.
“It was well worth it though, particularly as there were parts of the college all around us.”
Mr Davey added that around 400 people attended the event, either being directly involved or to watch it unfold.
The inauguration of the 18 new bards recognised their contribution to serving Cornwall and promoting its identity, particularly through the growing interest in its language, or for work in music, crafts, heritage and the Cornish Diaspora, which represents people who emigrated from the county in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A number of adults and children were also awarded prizes on the day for competitions they had entered in poetry, music and prose, painting, photography and calligraphy.
Grand Bard Maureen Fuller said: “These competitions are open to anyone, whether Cornish born or not.
“They are organised to promote this event and to encourage an interest in all things Cornish.”
The wide appeal is reflected in a number of winners coming from out of county, but also the growing number of younger entrants. The Grand Bard, Mrs Fuller added: “It is rewarding to see schools being well represented and I’m delighted to see a range of successful entries.”
Ed Buckingham from Saltash was also honoured for being the first Cornishman to summit Mount Everest.
The Cornish Gorsedh is the culmination of the Esedhvos Kernow festival that took place in and around Penryn from September 2 to 8.
During this week Mike O’Connor and Barbara Griggs showcased their storytelling and music with a performance of ‘Return to Lyonesse’, while a number of local books were launched at the Cornish Book Market, and Eliaz Pasco and Roger Pinsent played ‘Echoes of Glasney’ on bombard and organ respectively at Penryn Methodist Church.
People also had the opportunity to learn about thosewho moved away from the county at the festival’s Open Conference ‘Engaging the Diaspora’, and to dance to Hevva, a group of musicians and dancers who display, teach and promote traditional music and dance.
The Cornish Gorsedh was established in 1928 to celebrate and promote Cornwall’s Celtic culture and holds its main ceremony every September.
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