An in-depth study of Lord and Lady Llanover

High Hats and Harps

The Life and Times of Lord and Lady Llanover

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Lady Llanofer - the Bee of Gwent


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Helen Forder

The Eisteddfod

Eisteddfod (Welsh, plural Eisteddfodau - a sitting of the learned). An annual gathering, now taking the form of a mainly music festival, but formerly a triennial assembly of Welsh bards, dating back to the 7th century at latest.
From Everyman's Dictionary of Music, compiled by Eric Blom, published 1946

Eisteddfod (Welsh, 'Session', from eistedd, 'to sit'. Plural Eisteddfodau). The national Welsh gathering of bards, dating in its present form from 1817, though it is said to date back, in one form or another, as far as the 7th century, with a suspension throughout the entire 18th century and a few years before and after it. It now takes place annually (in August) in various Welsh towns. Degrees of Ofydd (Ovate), Bardd (Bard), and Pencerdd (Chief Musician) are conferred on candidates who pass various tests and there is a strong choral and competitive side to the gathering. Many local Eisteddfodau exist in the form of competitive fests. An international Eisteddfod, at which choirs and dancers from all over the world compete, has been held annually in Llangollen since 1947.
From The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, compiled by Michael Kennedy, 1980.

'The earliest [Eisteddfod] that can be traced, according to the Chronicle of the Princes (Brut y Tywysogion), was held at Christmas at Cardigan in 1176 under the patronage of Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd ...'
'There are several references to an eisteddfod held at Carmarthen about 1450 or '51 under the patronage of Gruffudd ap Nicolas ...'
'The next important eisteddfodau were at Caerwys in 1523 and 1567 ...'
'Thereafter the tradition degenerated until it was rekindled at the end of the eighteenth century by the London-based Gwyneddigion Society ...'
'During the early nineteenth the eisteddfod was revived by a group of offeiriaid llengar (literary clerics) and the Cymreigyddion Society, and, in the 1860s, culminated with the formation of the National Eisteddfod Society.'
From The Story of the Harp in Wales, by Osian Ellis.



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