Press Release – Gorsedh Kernow celebrates the midsummer Awen

The historic sites of Cornwall have long been used by the blue-robed bards of Gorsedh Kernow as the setting for their symbolic events and the celebration of midsummer at this year’s Awen ceremony will be no exception.  But this year the Awen festivities will have a wider attraction for the community with the addition of more public events.

Awen is a Celtic word meaning “inspiration” and an appropriate thought for the start of the weekend when members of the public are invited to join one of the free tours of St Justin Jewellery at the Awen open afternoon on Friday 19th June from 1pm.

St Justin Jewellery at Long Rock, near Penzance
St Justin Jewellery at Long Rock, near Penzance

“Come and meet the Grand Bard of Cornwall and find out more about Gorsedh Kernow,” said local bard Howard Curnow, an enthusiastic supporter of these relatively new additions to the bardic calendar. “You can also enjoy afternoon tea and cakes, browse the stalls including one with Awen jewellery and watch the dancers and musicians of Penzance Guizers.”

On the Sunday 21st June the celebrations pick up again with the 11am Awen bardic ceremony at the newly restored Carwynnen Quoit, Troon, near Camborne.  One of Cornwall’s lesser known Neolithic monuments the massive stones lay in a heap in a farmer’s field for over 40 years before being finally restored exactly one year ago to their full glory.

Gorsedh Kernow Awen ceremony, Perran Round 22 June 2014
Gorsedh Kernow Awen ceremony, Perran Round 22 June 2014

“It’s fitting that the bards of Cornwall are gathering at Carwynnen for the first time since 1948 and one year to the day since the great stone was lifted back into place,” said Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor “and we know it will be an emotional moment in the Awen ceremony when two elders of the community hand over the Gorsedh Kernow ‘Book of Life’ to two local children, representing the passing of wisdom from one generation to another.”

Bards at Carwynnen 1948
Bards at Carwynnen 1948

Later that day a new booklet ‘Gorsedh Kernow returns to Carwynnen 1948-2015’ will be launched which details the lives and work of the nineteen bards who lived and worked, at least for part of their lives, in Kernow. They were all intitiated at Carwynnen in 1948 but only one is still alive. Carwynnen 1948 is now only just within living memory of a few, in the days when Gorsedh Kernow was small and informal and met at isolated but emotive Cornish sites. The launch will take place at Treslothan Church, in the beautiful, secluded hamlet of Treslothan, surrounded by native woodland.  Members of the public are welcome to attend and there is plenty of free parking nearby.

“To round off this splendid Awen weekend we will gather again on Sunday 21st at St Agnes Methodist Church for a 3pm service conducted in our beloved Cornish language,” said the Grand Bard, “and everyone is welcome whether a Cornish speaker or not.”

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For further information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, email  communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk

For further information about the new booklet “Gorsedh Kernow returns to Carwynnen 1948-2015” please contact Ann Trevenen Jenkin, Bryallen, tel 01736 850332 or email pellgowser@btinternet.com

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Further notes

Gorsedh Kernow is a non political organisation and exists to maintain the national Celtic Spirit of Cornwall and to give expression to such spirit, to encourage the study of Cornish history and literature, the Cornish language, to foster Cornish art, music, dance and sport and to link with other Celtic countries.

The St Justin Jewellery Awen open afternoon for Gorsedh Kernow runs from 1pm – 4.30pm on Friday 19th June.  Free tours of the factory start on the hour and half hour, advanced booking advised by ringing 01736 369600.  Meet the Grand Bard of Cornwall, find out more about Gorsedh Kernow while enjoying tea and cakes, browsing the stalls and watch the dance display by the musicians and dancers of Penzance Guizers. This event is part of the Golowan Festival.

The Gorsedh Kernow Awen ceremony takes place at 11am on Sunday 21st June at the newly restored Carwynnen Quoit, Troon, near Camborne, TR14 9LR.  The ceremony is open to the public and directions to the site can be found on the website http://giantsquoit.org   There is no charge for entry.

The Awen ceremony is followed by the launch of a new booklet “Gorsedh Kernow returns to Carwynnen 1948-2015” from 12.30pm onwards on Sunday 21stJune 2015 in Treslothan Church (off the B3303),Treslothan, TR14 9LP by kind permission of the vicar of Crowan with Treslothan, Rev. Dom Whitting. The booklet features many photographs of the bards initiated and also of Carwynnen Quoit.  Some are in colour and include press cuttings and details of the first Gorsedh Kernow visit there.  The book contains an introduction by Grand Bard Maureen Fuller, Steren Mor and has been sponsored in kind or financially by local organisations and private individuals. Refreshments will be available afterwards. All welcome.

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