Gorseth Kernow

The Cornish Gorsedd 2007

Saturday 1st September 2007
at Penlee Park, Penzance

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Penzance Station sign

Situated in Mountís Bay in Penwith Penzance is an attractive former market town, with sea and air connections to Scilly, and the United Kingdomís most westerly rail terminus. It was always a somewhat special place as its Cornish name Pen Sans which translates as Holy Head indicates. It has examples of fine as well as more mundane architecture. Its prominence over its neighbours, particularly the port of Newlyn, is comparatively recent arising from the economic opportunities created for agriculture, the fishery and commerce with the advent of the railway. Its 19th century economy was based on Agriculture, Mineral Extraction and Fishing; its inhabitants were sometimes engaged in all three simultaneously.

It was the growth of the Mining Industry and the subsequent interest in the Applied Sciences which brought to the fore Penzanceís favourite son Sir Humphry Davy leading to the invention of Laughing Gas and The Safety Lamp which saved the lives of so many miners all over the world.

Davy was also a fine poet who took his place in the still thriving artistic life of the town. This cutting edge culture was not limited to Arts and Science but also extended to social and political thought. It is often forgotten that one of the most important architects of the Peopleís Charter and Universal Suffrage was Newlyn born William Lovett. Lovett spent the first 22 years of his life in Newlyn and Penzance before he left for London where he was to make his mark on the wider world. Penzance retains much of this dynamism, not least in the number of its citizens who have become bards, Surely a reflection of the role played by people here in the early days of the Cornish revival, and in its persistence.

The town is a real sporting centre with the oldest Cornish Cricket Club, of course it also has provided many star players for Cornish Rugby matches; it is also becoming recognised as a centre of Cornish Culture with its brilliantly organised St Piranís Day and Golowan parades which actively encourage school children. The Morrab Library, Penlee Gallery and Museum and the Acorn Centre, all bear witness to an exciting cultural life vibrant which is relevant to the changing world but retains roots in Cornishness.


Civic Procession in the Town Centre
This is not organised by Gorseth Kernow but by the Council. The Grand Bard and Deputy Grand Bard will be the guests of the Mayor. The ceremony is to welcome the Gorsedd to the town. It is hoped that local Bards will join the procession which will commence at St Johnís Hall at 10.30.Bardh Mur has given permission for robes to be worn on this procession.

Car Parking There are public car parks in the town.

Disabled Bards Disabled Bards will robe at St Johns Hall. Please advise the Senior Marshal as to any special requirements for the day in advance.

Public Attendance is free and welcomed, and it is hoped that visitors will regard the ceremony as a mark of the unique difference between Cornwall and the shire counties of England. The ceremony will be conducted by the Grand Bard, Mrs Vanessa Beeman, Gwenenen, assisted by the Gorsedd Officers.

The Gorseth Site: In Penlee Park. The route from the main roads will be marked by black and yellow Gorseth Kernow signs.

Robing This is from noon onwards in St Johnís Hall, located at the top of the town. Bards are advised to arrive early for robing and are advised to consider the length of the main procession through the town in advance of setting out.

Davy statue and St Johns Hall

Seating The chairs forming the Bardic circle are for Bards and Dignitaries only. Visitors can view the ceremony from the outside of the circle of Bardic chairs, and are asked not to intrude into the Bardic circle.

Wet Weather. In the event of wet weather, the Gorsedd will take place in St Johnís Hall.

Photography. No photographers will be allowed in the circle during the ceremony.

Stalls. A number of official stalls at the site will be selling Cornish language books and Cornish memorabilia. Further details from Keskerdh Kernow, P.O. box 28 Redruth.

Exhibition. During two weeks commencing Saturday 25th August, in the Public Library Morrab Road, Penzance there will be a display of some of the winning entries in the Gorsedd`s annual competitions. Esethvos Kernow are organising a programme of events from Wednesday 29th, so please support these if you can.

Ceremony Booklet. By tradition the ceremony is conducted mainly in Cornish and the booklet with proceedings in English and Cornish is available at a small cost.

Public Concert. This will be held in St Johnís Hall, Penzance and will commence at 7.00 p.m. Tickets price £5.00.

Formal Tea For Bards and specially invited guests only. This will be in St Johnís Hall. Please be there by 4.30 p.m. for Grace in Cornish. There are facilities elsewhere in Penzance for those not permitted to attend the formal tea.

Booking for Saturday Concert
Booking Forms, with cheques/POs, payable to:- St PIRAN IN PENWITH , must be sent (with SAE) to:- Mr. Simon Reed , 1(b) Trewavas Road, Penzance Kernow/Cornwall TR18 5N3

Celtic Delegates. The Gorsedd welcomes the Breton and the Welsh representatives. We hope they have a memorable time.

The Gorsedd Council is very grateful to Penzance Town Council Members, who have done a tremendous amount of the local organisation, the local Old Cornwall Societies, the Priest & Congregation of St Maddernís Church, Madron, and to local organisations and volunteers for their welcome and for the help given, without whose assistance our ceremony could not be staged.

Gorseth Kernow Ė Penzance, 1st September 2007
    1325 All Bards to be robed.
    1330 The Marshal will brief the Bards, guests, initiates, Lady of Cornwall and dancers with the specific instructions re this Gorsedd in Penzance. Venue Ė The St Johnís Hall.
    1350 Bardic Procession leaves for the Circle.
    1430 The Gorsedd Ceremony will begin.
    1615 Return of Procession (approximately).
    1630 Prompt! Bardic Tea in the Dining Room for the Council`s special guests and bards who have pre-booked.
    1900-2100 Public Concert in St Johnís Hall
To facilitate the work of the Marshals and Stewards in forming the procession, it is requested that Bards and guests acquaint themselves with the linear order of the procession, which is as follows:- Marshal, Piper, Gorsedd Banner, Initiates, Bards, St. Piranís Banner, Council Members, Esethvos Banner, Mistress of Robes and Herald, Chanter and Chaplain, Horner, Dancers, Lady and Attendants., Past Deputy Grand Bards, Past Grand Bards, Secretary and Treasurer, Breton Banner, Breton Reps., Welsh Banner, Welsh Reps., Deputy Grand Bard, Sword Bearer, Grand Bard, Junior Marshal, Deputy Senior Steward, Banners O.C.S.

The Procession from St. Johnís Hall to Penlee Parc will take some 20 minutes. Those Bards who do not wish or are not able to take part in the Procession may request transport to the Gorsedd site.

Sunday 2nd September
    1500 Ecumenical Service in Cornish in St Maddernís Church, Madron. The collection is for the Church, and all are welcome whether Cornish speakers or not.


location map

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