This section contains information about this subject and a link to a list of current and deceased bards.
Gorsedh means ‘a Bardic assembly’. It comes from the ancient Celtic word meaning ‘high seat’ or ‘throne’.
Bard derives from the name given by Greek writers to the poets and musicians associated with priests and Druids. Originally the term bard was generally conferred upon all professional poets. Bards were very prestigious people and often the closest personal ties existed between them and their patrons. Head of all the bards in the Gorsedh was, and still is, the Grand Bard whose symbol of authority is the great chair in which he or she sits.
Since the inception of Gorsedh Kernow, well over a thousand bards have been created, of which more than half are still alive.
Not all are Cornish, and not all are resident in Cornwall. There are bards in Australia and North America, invited to become bards because of their work promoting Cornwall to the emigrant families in those countries, and many of these make the long trip to Cornwall to be initiated into the Gorsedh and attend the Gorsedh ceremonies.
A person who is considered worthy of bardship must be proposed by an existing bard, who is required to submit a citation to the Gorsedh in support of his or her candidate. Citations must be presented without the knowledge of the person being nominated. Each nominee is in turn considered by the Gorsedh Council and, if found satisfactory, she or he is duly invited to become a bard. Bards choose a Bardic name in Cornish, which is generally relevant to their place of birth, their particular vocation or the work which has led them to be invited into the Gorsedh. The names of these new bards are not made public until shortly before their official acceptance into the Gorsedh, now always held on the first Saturday in September.