Gorsedh Kernow 2023

Update: 30.08.23 – Esedhvos Festival

Gorsedh Kernow have a number of events taking place over the Esedhvos festival weekend from Friday 1st September until Sunday 3rd September.

If your unable to make the ceremony on Saturday 2nd September – you can watch the live stream. To find out more about the livestream please visit: https://gorsedhkernow.org.uk/gorsedh-kernow-2023-live-stream/

You can download the flyer here to provide you more details: Esedhvos 2023 or view the information below:

Gorsedh Kernow – Padstow host town for 2023

Gorsedh Kernow and Padstow Town Council are pleased to announce that Padstow will be the host town for the annual Esedhvos and Gorsedh ceremony in September 2023.

“On behalf of the bards of Gorsedh Kernow, we are excited and delighted that the Gorsedh is coming to Padstow” said Grand Bard Mab Stenek Veur, Pol Hodge. “Our last visit was in 1952 and it is wonderful to be coming back again in 2023. Padstow traditions are at the heart of Cornish culture, and it is very fitting that the Esedhvos should be held in the town.”

At a recent meeting, Padstow Town Council supported the visit of the Gorsedh to Padstow in 2023. Mayor, Councillor James O’Keefe said that “It is a great delight and pleasure to be invited to host the annual Cornish Gorsedh celebrations here in Padstow in 2023. This is a once in a generation event for towns and villages to host throughout Cornwall. We look forward to working with Gorsedh Kernow and with their support we hope to make this event a huge success for them, and for the town of Padstow.”

A local committee is being formed which will work to help organise the event. The Gorsedh ceremony takes place on the first Saturday of September and is preceded by the Esedhvos Kernow, a celebration of Cornish culture and of the host town.

Further information on Gorsedh Kernow

Gorsedh Kernow exists to maintain the national Celtic Spirit of Cornwall and to give expression to such spirit. It supports and promotes Cornish cultural activity, including the study of Cornish history and literature, the
Cornish language, Cornish art, music, dance and sport and encourages links with other Celtic countries. The Esedhvos festival includes the annual awards for adults and young people.

Gorsedh Kernow’s Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture, which includes the bardic ceremony where new bards are initiated, will be held in and around Padstow in the first week of September with the main bardic ceremony taking place on Saturday 2 September 2023.

For further information about Gorsedh Kernow please visit the website www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk

Update 29.08.23: Gorsedh Kernow Ceremony 02.09.23
This year the ceremony will be held in the grounds of Prideaux Place on Saturday 2nd September, by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Prideaux-Brune, and will be conducted by the Grand Bard of Cornwall, Pol Hodge, Mab Stenak Veur, assisted by Gorsedh Kernow Officers.
This will be the first time that the Gorsedh has been held in Padstow since 1952.

1.40pm Bardic Procession leaves Church Street/Church Rooms and heads to Prideaux Place
2pm The Gorsedh Ceremony begins on site at Prideaux Place.
Public attendance is FREE and welcomed.

Please note the chairs forming the bardic circle are for bards, dignitaries and special guests only.
Visitors are asked please not to enter the bardic circle although they are very welcome to bring their own chairs or stand behind the circle to view the ceremony.
In the event of wet weather, the afternoon Gorsedh Kernow bardic ceremony will take place inside the church, however space is limited, with bards, dignitaries and special guests being seated first.

Updated August: Gorsedh Kernow names 29 new Bards for 2023

Gorsedh Kernow announced that 29 worthy people have been invited to take their place among the 500 or so existing members of the College of Bards of Gorsedh Kernow and will be barded at Padstow on the 2nd September, in the grounds of Prideaux Place.

“This year we are welcoming new bards whose work for Kernow reflects both traditional and modern aspects of our Cornish culture,” said Grand Bard of Cornwall, Pol Hodge, Mab Stenek Veur.  “Several new bards are involved with Cornish dance and with traditional and choral music. Others are actors and performers who are working with Cornwall’s prominent and innovative theatre companies and showcasing their expertise on stage and film, both locally and internationally. Some are honoured for their work with Cornish cultural events and with the Old Cornwall Society who work to maintain our traditions and extend our knowledge of them. Others work with Cornish institutions such as the Cornish Gig Association, Porthcurno Cable and Wireless Museum and Wheal Martyn China Clay museum while a number are honoured for their knowledge of and work with the Conrish language. All are important to Cornwall and we are very glad to welcome them this year.”

The new bards will be initiated at the annual bardic ceremony on September 2nd at Prideaux Place, Padstow, to which all are welcome. Further details, including the names of the new Bards can be viewed on Gorsedh Kernow website: https://gorsedhkernow.org.uk/gorsedh-kernow-names-29-new-bards-for-2023/

Update July: Gorsedh Kernow Adult Awards 2023 announced

Groundbreaking music, in classical and pop traditions, has been recognised in this year’s Gorsedh Kernow Awards. The Grand Bard’s award goes to writer Fiona O’Cleirigh and composer Ben Sutcliffe, whose magnificent ‘Stations of the Cross’ performed by the Breselor Ensemble was a highlight of the Cornish cultural scene and has added a very significant work to the canon of Cornish music. The special Lowender prize, named for the annual festival, goes this year to Gwenno, for her groundbreaking and internationally acclaimed music in the Cornish language.

Reflecting the growing popularity of the Cornish language, The Mab Hirnans Award, in memory of Stephen Gainey, for outstanding contribution to the Cornish language, goes this year to broadcaster and writer, Matthi ap Dewi, who produces and presents regular independent television and radio programmes in Cornish.

The annual Gorsedh Kernow awards recognise excellent work that sustains or promotes the Celtic spirit of Cornwall both in Creativity and for Community.  All winners will receive a specially commissioned Awen medal that features the Gorsedh Kernow symbol of inspiration. These will be presented at a celebration evening at St Petroc’s Church in Padstow. This will be on Friday 1st September as part of the Esedhvos festival of Cornish culture that culminates in the Gorsedh assembly of bards. Grand Bard, Pol Hodge, who will present all the awards in September, commented: “We have been impressed by the quality and diversity of creative and community work nominated this year and it is a real pleasure to celebrate Cornish talent and commitment”.

Awen medals for Creativity are presented to individuals or groups for a body of work that  embodies the Celtic spirit of Cornwall. Community award winners have all been nominated in recognition of outstanding work in sustaining the Celtic spirit of Cornwall in their communities, from protecting and promoting local heritage to encouraging greater use of the Cornish language. Highlights this year include Barbara Santi for her documentary film-making on Cornish subjects including Padstow, and the John Harris Society who have successfully sustained and promoted the legacy of the miner [sic] poet of Bolenowe.

The panel also award Certificates of Recognition designed to encourage new work in a range of categories. This award has swiftly become a quality mark for new creative work that celebrates the Celtic spirit of Cornwall.

Updated April: Gorsedh Kernow Proclamation 22.04.23

On Saturday 22 April Gorsedh Kernow held the Proclamation.

A small procession of Bards went from the Church Room into St Petroc Church for the Celtic ceremony.

Updated: March 2023 – Launch of Gorsedh Kernow Awards 

The Gorsedh Kernow Awards celebrate and honour those who demonstrate the Celtic spirit of Cornwall in creativity or community work and it is open to anyone to nominate. The scheme caters for all ages, with Young People’s’ Awards up to age 18, and Adults’ Awards and Certificates of Recognition. Last year saw a record number of nominations and submissions. This year’s deadline of 23rd April gives plenty of time to nominate someone, or submit work, this year. Last year saw Awen medals awarded at a special evening at the Hayle Esedhvos for an impressive array of creative and community work across Cornwall. Winners included Mary Ann Bloomfield and the community of St. Just for the splendid staging of the Ordnalia, Helen Tiplady and the Hall for Cornwall Youth Theatre, and Roger Gool for a lifetime’s dedication to the Padstow carols. Certificates of Recognition were given for new creative work – from poetry to song- in Cornish and English, on Cornish heritage, and for new films. Who will be honoured this year?

These awards are agreed by a panel whose judgments are informed by specialist adjudicators but candidates are nominated by the public. If you have been inspired or impressed by an outstanding contribution to Cornish community or culture made by an individual or group you can nominate them for a Gorsedh Kernow Award. This may be someone, or a group, whose creative or community work has promoted, embodied, or demonstrated the Celtic spirit of Cornwall for a considerable time or in an exceptional way. Winners will be awarded the prestigious Awen Medal, specially designed and made from Cornish tin.

You can also enter your own work for recognition by Gorsedh Kernow’s specialist adjudicators. Successful submissions will be awarded a Certificate of Recognition and may, in exceptional circumstances, be awarded an Awen medal.  Adults can submit work in Cornish language writing, Cornish dialect writing, Cornish study, and Creative Work which enables individuals or groups to submit evidence of their own project (such as an exhibition, new song, craft or performance). Published books should be submitted instead to the Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof Awards scheme.

Details of how to nominate someone for an award, to submit your own work for recognition, and of the Young People’s awards, are available on the Gorsedh Kernow website at https://gorsedhkernow.org.uk/awards/.
All winners are invited to a presentation evening, with entertainment, and exhibition at the September Esedhvos Festival of Culture, this year to be held in Padstow.
If you would like more information on the Gorsedh Kernow Awards, please email awards@gorsedhkernow.org.uk.