Symbolism and Regalia


The Awen

Awen is a Welsh word meaning Muse or Inspiration and represents the creative powers in action. It is also known as Y Nod Cyfrin, The Mystic Mark, or Y Nod Pelydr Goleuni, The Mark of the Shaft of Light, where it is derived from the rays of the rising sun. In the Bardic Gorseth however, it represents the attributes of Love, Justice and Truth. It is also a continuing symbol of the Celtic imagination which tends to express concepts in threefold form. The Awen is the symbol of the Gorsedh or Gathering of Bards and appears for example on plastrons (breastplates).

Grand Bard's Crown

The current crown was made by Francis Cargeeg/Tan Dyvarow who also made the ‘second’ crown worn on the installation of a new Grand Bard. Tan Dyvarow had a workshop for beaten copper between Hayle and Lelant. The motif is Oak Leaves which have had a similar use in Wales, and probably date back to the Bronze Age. The first two Cornish Grand Bards, Jenner and Nance, had a different head-dress.

Grand Bard's Plastron

This seems to have been made about 1967. It includes Celtic knotwork and the 15 bezant shield.

Grand Bard's Robes

Until 1965 the over-robe had a Celtic design on the back and this can be seen in old pictures. The under-robe is as for other Bards except that the fold-over piece across the front is removed.

Bardic Robes

The Cornish Gorsedh has one order so all Bards are equal. The blue color is that of the sky. Robes were first designed for bards in Wales by Professor Sir Hubert von Herkomer about 1896. Herkomer was born in Bavaria in 1849, but left Germany at age 2. Morton Nance/Mordon was a student at Herkomers Art College in Bushey, near London. In “The Cornish Review” in 1951 Nance stated he watched Herkomer making a crown, copying the bronze oak leaves from a branch of oak.

Deputy Grand Bard

The Deputy Grand Bard has an Awen on their head-dress, where other Cornish bards have black-yellow-black bands. The plastron is the same pattern as that of the Grand Bard, and was made in 1967 by Tan Dyvarow. It is almost identical except it lacks the “scroll” pattern on the center piece. The DGB also has a plastron for ‘civic’ use, made of Cornish Tin and presented in 1995. The parchment scroll listing deceased Bards is in a leather case presented by Ky Gwyn in 1980.

Past Grand Bards

Former Grand Bards are easily spotted in their bright yellow head-dress with an Awen in front. This seems to date back to 1966, and also from then the immediate Past GB has worn Mordon’s original plastron. Other Past GBs plastrons are made to a 1970 design.


The current sword was purchased in 1947 and repaired in 1978. It symbolises the sword of Arthur, a once and future King of the Britons. The original sword dating back to 1928 is not in good condition.

Sword Bearer

The original Sword Bearer’s plastron was ‘lost’ from a car belonging to Ky Gwyn in Bristol in 1978. This followed a visit to Wales by Map Dyvroeth and Gwas Costentyn. The Gorsedh would be grateful to know of its whereabouts. Tan Dyvarow once said this was “the best piece of regalia he had ever made” and it is perhaps as well he died before it was lost, thus sparing him the anguish. The replacement regalia for the Sword Bearer was made by John Turner of Newquay/Towan Porth Lystry in 1978/9. They show a sword, 15 bezants and the Awen.

Secretary's Plastron

The Secretary’s plastron was made by Tan Dyvarow in 1967. It was commissioned by Gwrek Map Melyn after Map Melyn died. Appropriately it includes a quill pen (nowadays a computer is used), the Awen and Celtic knot-work.

Admissions Secretary

The admissions Secretary administers the admission of New Bards. The plastron is similar to that of the Secretary, but smaller. It is in fact the original Secretary’s plastron, worn for many years by Map Melyn.

Treasurer's Plastron

This is a small square of copper on a leather neck strap. It was made in 1998. There are 15 bezants around the edge with a picture of a "purse" or drawstring bag. On either side there are piles of coins, and above the purse there is the Gorsedh Awen symbol.

Chaplain's Plastron

This was made in 1984 by Cyril Orchard of Penzance, and is mounted on wood. The design is a type of Celtic Cross.

Herald Bard

The Herald Bard’s wand of office follows medieval practice and is made of peeled willow. It is 24 inches long and is surmounted by the Awen. It was commissioned in 1976.

Lady of Cornwall's Robes (at the Open Gorsedh)

These were designed in 1933. The present robes were made by John Jenkin’s late wife and first used at Roche in 1991. Those used from 1928 to 1933 were different. Originally the Lady was accompanied by two page boys who wore yellow/buff tabards with a black chough on the front.

Lady of Flowers (at Proclamations)

The robes are the same as above.

The Dancers

Talek introduced these - from Wales - when he was Grand Bard. The first performance in Wales was in 1936 at Machynlleth, and was created and choreographed by Cynan. From 1954 it took place on stage at the crowning and chairing.

Marshall's Staves

The staves are made of hardwood with repoused heads bearing the Awen symbol. They are some 6 feet long by 1¼ inches in diameter (1830mm by 30.5 mm). They were made by Tan Dyvarow about 1967. Morgarer remembers using them in 1968 at St Just when he was deputy to Den Delynyans. In 1994, with Gorsedh Council approval, three small copper plaques (1¼ inches by 1 inch) were attached to the Marshall’s Staff to commemorate previous Marshals.

The plaques were engraved as follows:-

Map Kenwyn 1946-1967, Den Delynyans 1968-1979, Morgarer 1980-1990. Map Elmet 1991-1997 has been attached to the stave also, by Colin Ellis.

The Harp

For several years the harpist has used her own harp. The Gorsedh owns a smaller harp named after John Legonna. An older Harp built in 1830 was sold in 1989

The Horn

This is a genuine Buffalo horn with detailed filigree work added by Tan Dyvarow in 1940. It has a baritone mouthpiece. An unsuccessful attempt was made to use a trumpet in earlier Gorsedhow. The trumpet was sold in 1946.

The Bardic Chair

This was designed and made by Pengover and first used at the 1983 Gorsedh. A cushion presented by the Cornish Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers was first used at the 1990 Gorsedh in Marazion. Between the annual Gorsedh ceremonies it can be seen in Truro Cathedral. The name of every Grand Bard since 1928 is inscribed on the chair. The Cornish inscription AN GWYR ERBYN AN BYS translated from Welsh (Y gwir yn erbyn y byd) means in English "The Truth against the World".

The Half Sword

The Gorsedh's new sword is used in the ceremony for the Joining of the Sword, a symbol of the uniting of the three Celtic nations, and the two halves are carried by Cornish and Breton Bards to the Grand Bard who passes the united sword to the representative of the Welsh Mother Gorsedd as a symbol of unity and friendship.

The handle of the nickel plated sword was fashioned from yew wood from the St Columb Churchyard, a fitting tribute to the first Grand Bard, Henry Jenner who was from the town. Engraved on the blade are the words "lymm ow lown heb own a boon" the Cornish for "sharp my blade without fear of pain" taken from a poem by Tim Saunders - Bardh an Werin.

The sword was made by Mr Colin Rescorla of St Columb in 2010.



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Arwodhieth ha Regalya


An Awen

Awen yw ger Kembrek gans styr yn Sowsnek 'Muse' po 'Inspiration' hag a dhiskwedh an nerthow awenek yn gwrians. Ynwedh yth yw godhvedhys avel Y Nod Cyfrin, An Sin Kevrinek, po Y Nod Peldyr Goleuni, Sin an Tewyn Golow, mayth yw devedhys dhyworth tewynnow an howl drehevel. Byttegyns y'n Orsedh Vardhek, y tiskwedh an teythi Kerensa, Ewnder ha Gwiryonedh. Ynwedh yth yw sin pesya an dismygyans Keltek hag a styr dhe dhiskwedhes tybyansow yn furv dryflek. An Awen yw sin an Orsedh po Kuntellyans Berdh hag a omdhiskwedh rag ensampel war blastronys (brestplatys).

Kurun Bardh Meur

An Gurun a-lemmyn a veu gwrys gans Francis Cargeeg/Tan Dyvarow neb a wrug ynwedh an 'nessa' kurun hag yw gwiskys dhe stallashyon an Bardh Meur nowyth. Tan Dyvarow a’n jeva hwelji rag kober morthelys ynter Heyl ha Lannanta. An desin yw Delyow Derow kepar ha del veu usys yn Kembra, ha martesen a wra ystynna dhe’n Oos Brons. Yth esa dhe'n kynsa dew Vardh Meur Kernewek, Jenner ha Nance, kugol vardhek dyffrans.

Plastron Bardh Meur

Hemma a veu gwrys a-dro dhe 1967 del hevel. Y syns ynno kolmweyth Keltek ha'n skoos a 15 besont.

Powsyow Bardh Meur

Bys yn 1965 yth esa dhe'n gorpows desin Keltek war an keyn, hag y hyllir gweles hemma yn skeusennow koth. An is-bows yw an keth avel Berdh erel, saw bos an lappa a-dreus an dal removys.

Powsyow Bardh

An Orsedh Kernow a’s teves unn urdh mayth yw egwal pub Bardh. An liw glas yw henna a’n ebren. Powsyow a veu desinys y’n kynsa yn Kembra gans Professor Sira Hubert von Herkomer a-dro dhe 1896. Herkomer a veu genys yn Bavarya yn 1849, mes a asas Almayn hag ev 2 vloodh. Morton Nance/Mordon o studhyer dhe Kolji Art Herkomer yn Bushey, ogas dhe Loundres. Yn ''An Daswel Kernewek'' yn 1951 Nance a derivas y hwrug mires orth Herkomer ow kul kurun, yn unn dhasskrifa an delyow derow brons dhyworth skoren dherowen.

Kannas Bardh Meur

An Gannas Bardh Meur a’n jeves Awen war y gugol, yn le an bondow melyn-du-melyn usi gans Berdh Kernewek erel. An plastron yw an keth patron avel henna dhe'n Bardh Meur, hag a veu gwrys yn 1967 gans Tan Dyvarow. Ev yw ogas ha kehevelep marnas bos fowt an patron 'rol-skrifa' war an tamm kres. Yma gans an GBM ynwedh plastron rag usadow 'burjesel' gwrys a Sten Kernewek ha res yn 1995. Yma rol skrifa parchemyn gans henwyn Berdh tremenys yn trog a ledher res gans Ky Gwyn yn 1980.

Berdh Meur Kyns

Y hyllir aswon yn es Berdh Meur Kyns der aga hugol melyn splann gans an Awen war y dal. Del hevel hemm yw dhyworth 1966, hag ynwedh wosa henna an Bardh Meur Kyns Desempes re wiskas an kynsa plastron Mordon. Plastronys Berdh Meur Kyns erel yw gwrys dhe dhesin 1970.


An kledha a-lemmyn a veu prenys yn 1947 hag ewnys yn1978. Ev a bortray an kledha Arthur, Myghtern kyns hag y’n termyn a dheu an Vrythonyon. Nyns yw yn studh da an kynsa kledha a 1928.


An Kynsa plastron Kledhevyas a veu 'kellys' dhyworth karr Ky Gwyn yn Brystow yn 1978, wosa vysyta Kembra gans Map Dyvroeth ha Gwas Costentyn. Y fydh An Orsedh pes da godhvos an le mayth usi. Tan Dyvarow a leveris y’n termyn eus passys bos hemma "an tamm gwella a regalya a wrussa ev bythkweyth". Martesen ef o sparys an angos drefen ev dhe verwel, kyns bos kellys. An regalya gorrys yn le rag an Kledhevyas a veu gwrys gans John Turner a Dewyn Bleustra/Towan Porth Lystry yn 1978/9. I a dhiskwedh kledha, 15 besont ha'n Awen.

Plastron po Brest Platys an Skrifennyas/Skrifennyades

An plastron Skrifennyas a veu gwrys gans Tan Dyvarow yn 1967. Y feu erhys gans Gwrek Map Melyn wosa Map Melyn dhe verwel. Yn hwiw ev a syns warnodho pluven kwyllen (y’n jydh hedhyw jynn amontya yw usys), an Awen ha kolmweyth Keltek.

Skrifennyas/Skrifennyades Dhegemeryans

An Skrifennyas/Skrifennyades a venyster an degemeryans Berdh nowyth. An plastron yw kehevel dhe henna an Skrifennyas/Skrifennyades mes byhana. Yn hwir yth yw an kynsa plastron an Skrifennyas, gwiskys dres lies bledhen gans Map Melyn.

Plastron Alhwedhor

Hemm yw pedrek byhan a gober war ledren konna. Y feu gwrys yn 1998. Yma 15 besont a-dro dhe’n min gans delinyans "pors" po sagh gans korden-tenna. Dhe bub tu yma grahell a vathow, hag a-ugh an pors yma’n sin Awen an Orseth.

Plastron Chaplen

Hemm a veu gwrys yn 1984 gans Cyril Orchard a Bennsans, hag yw settys war brenn. An desin yw ehen a grows Keltek.


Gwelen sodh an Arwodhvardh a syw usadow a'n osow kres hag yw gwrys a helygen dhiruskys. Hi yw 24 mesva yn hirder gans an Awen war hi fenn. Hi a veu erhys yn 1976

Powsyow Arlodhes a Gernow (dhe'n Orsedh Ygor)

An re ma a veu desinys yn 1933. Powsyow a’n jydh hedhyw a veu gwrys gans gwrek dremenys a John Jenkin hag a veu usys y’n kynsa dhe Roche yn 1991. An re na usys a 1928 dhe 1933 o dyffrans. Wostalleth an Arlodhes a Gernow a veu keveylys gans dew bajys neb a wiskas powsyow melyn/gell gans palores dhu war an dal.

Arlodhes an Bleujyow (dhe'n Gwarnyans)

An powsyow yw an keth avel a-ugh.

An Donsyoresow

Talek a gomendyas an re ma – a-dhyworth Kembra - hag ev Bardh Meur. An kynsa gwrythyow o yn Kembra yn 1936, dhe Machynlleth, yn 1936, hag a veu formys ha donslunys gans Cynan. A-dhyworth 1954 y hwarva war an arethva yn termyn kurunyans ha kaderyans.

Lorghow Marshal

An lorhow yw gwrys a brenn kales gans pennow drehevys hag ow ton an sin Awen. I yw neb 6 troos hys aga hirder ha 1¼ mesva aga threusvusur (1830mm gans 30.5mm) I a veu gwrys gans Tan Dyvarow a-dro dhe 1967. Morgarer a borthas kov orth aga usya yn 1968 a Lannust hag ev Kannas yn-dann Den Delynyans. Yn 1994, gans akordyans Konsel an Orsedh, y feu tri flak kober byhan stegys dhe'n Lorgh Marshal dhe govhe kyns Marshalys.

Y feu an plakys grevys del syw :

Map Kenwyn 1946-1967, Den Delynyans 1968-1979, Morgarer 1980-1990. Map Elmet 1991-1997 re beu stegys dhe'n lorgh ynwedh, gans Colin Ellis

An Delyn

Dres lies bledhen an delynnyores re usyas hy thelyn hy honan. An Orsedh a bew telyn byhanna henwys warlergh John Legonna. Telyn gotha drehevys yn 1830 a veu gwerthys yn 1989.

An Korn

Hemm yw korn bual gwir gans neusrannweyth manylys gorrys warnodho gans Tan Dyvarow yn 1940. Yma ganso ganow bariton. Yth esa assay heb sewen gwrys der usya trompa yn Gorsedhow a-varra. Gwerthys o an trompa yn 1946.

An Gador Vardhek

Homm a veu desinys ha gwrys gans Pengover ha usys y’n kynsa dhe’n Orsedh 1983. Pluvak res gans Myster Kernewek a Nedhoryon,Gwiadoryon ha Liworyon a veu usys y'n kynsa dhe’n Orsedh Marhas Yow 1990. Y hyllir gweles an gador ynter solempnitys an Orsedh pub bledhen yn Penneglos Truru. Henwyn a bub Bardh Meur dhyworth 1928 yw skrifys warnedhi. An skrifedh Gernewek AN GWYR ERBYN AN BYS, treylys dhyworth Kembrek (Y gwir yn erbyn y byd), a styr yn Sowsnek "The Truth against the World"

An Kledha Rynnys

Kledha nowyth an Orsedh yw usys y’n solempnita rag Unyans an Kledha, arwodh unyans an teyr gwlas Geltek, mayth yw deges an dhew hanter gans berdh Gernewek ha Bretonek dhe’n Bardh Meur, neb a dremen an kledhs unys dhe gannas an Vammorsedh Gembrek, avel arwodh a unnses ha felshyp.

Dornla an kledha platys yn nyckel a veu furvys dhyworth an prenn ywin dhyworth Korflann Synt Kolom, trubyt gwiw dhe’n kynsa Bardh Meur, Henry Jenner neb o genys y’n dre. Grevys war an lown yw an geryow “lymm ow lown heb own a boon” an Kernewek rag “Sharp my blade but without fear of pain”, kemerys dhyworth bardhonek gans Tim Saunders – Bardh an Werin.

An kledha a veu gwrys gans Mr Colin Rescorla a Synt Kolom yn 2010.



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